Lost in Translation: Barriers to Great School Communication and how to Overcome them

  • Studentnomic
  • 01 October 2018

Effective school communication can at times seem like an unending and uphill battle trying to compete for the attention of parents and students, getting messages out, read and then acted on. That's not to say it has to stay like that, so what are some of the biggest barriers to great school communication, and how can we overcome them?

> The overload of messages parents receive and the competition for attention this causes
> Cost of traditional communication systems
> No direct way to find additional information or to act on a task

On a daily basis, we get overloaded with the number of messages and notifications we receive each day, so it's no wonder that trying to compete for the attention of parents becomes increasingly difficult. Emails are notorious for getting lost in junk mail and missed in overcrowded mailboxes. The reality is, we're often inundated with endless emails from the latest sale offers to important work-related emails and it's all too easy for emails to simply be missed.

This is where text messages tend to do better, it's a lot easier to quickly see a text, albeit it with much less information. SMS are great for quickly getting urgent messages out, but with more traditional comms systems required for SMS, these platforms can be quite expensive compared to more modern solutions using notifications.

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Emails can become difficult to generate responses, purely because of the fact that we often miss the important emails, forgetting the email requires the action of completing a consent form and returning it to school. This task quickly becomes seen as a "hassle" and easy to put off with no direct or easy way to complete it.

How Can School Communication Be More Successful? 
> Separate School Communication to Increase Visibility
> Keep Messages Short and Concise to Grab Attention Quickly 
> Make Information Easy to Find

In order to ensure great school communication, it's essential that your messages are seen and visible. The difficulty arises when you try and do this in mainstream channels, emails for example, because you're competing with the many other emails we all receive. The best way to create great visibility is to separate your school content and distance it from main channels.

For example, a school app can be a good answer when you're looking to separate your school content and keep everything centralised. You can easily add mailboxes dedicated for school correspondence with a channel that becomes solely for your school. It's time to say goodbye to the junk folder and overcrowded mailboxes.

Taking Communication One Step Further
Having a good channel of communication is great, but 9 times out of 10, you want your parents to act on whatever message or alert has been sent. Whether this is an important reminder for your school's coffee morning, a chase up for late school trip payments or a request to return the parent consent form there's a good chance you need parents to do something.

We've taken care of the first challenge, to get the message seen by having a great channel of communication. The next is to keep the process as simple as possible - and take the hassle out of it. We don't want to be printing of a form, filling it out then relying on it making it's way back to school - we want a way of easily doing this hassle-free. A digital form would be great, and as luck would have it, with a dedicated school app we can do exactly this. We can easily create an in-app form then embed it straight into the message you send out.

1. Parent has seen the message.
2. Parent completes the in-app form.
3. Your school receives answers to the form, stress-free.

School communication doesn't need to be an uphill battle. If you're interested in seeing even more ways we can help streamline your school's communication helping to save time and money we'd encourage you to reach out to our team. You can also schedule a call back via our contact page.

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