It's no secret that your job requires you to juggle a million tasks and wear many hats (how's that going?), and one of your key responsibilities is ensuring that everyone in your school community is informed, engaged, and safe.
You already know that effective school communication tools are the backbone of a thriving school community— it's vital for schools and districts to ensure everyone is feeling connected and supported in a positive learning environment.
Email, SMS, voice messages, mobile apps, websites…with so many diverse audience segments and communication tools available for schools, it's crucial to find a solution that helps you easily reach everyone— and quickly. That's where a mass notification system for schools comes in.
By using the COPE model (Create once, publish everywhere), Finalsite's Messages XR simplifies mass notifications even further, allowing you to focus on delivering your school's urgent messages across multiple channels quickly — even in a user's preferred language.
Here's why the COPE approach is a quick way to improve communications in schools:
- Time-saving: Crafting a single message and distributing it across multiple channels saves time and effort compared to creating separate messages for each platform.
- Consistency: COPE ensures that the information shared across different channels remains consistent, reducing the likelihood of miscommunication or confusion among recipients.
- A wider reach: By publishing a message on multiple channels, your school can reach a more diverse audience, catering to the different communication preferences of parents, students, and staff members.
- Increased engagement: COPE helps increase engagement by delivering important information through the preferred channels of your school community, ensuring that recipients are more likely to actually read, understand, and respond to the message.
- Streamlined workflow: COPE simplifies the communication process, reducing the need to switch between platforms and enabling your team to manage communications more efficiently.
- Personalized and targeted messaging: COPE allows for targeted messaging to specific groups or locations, ensuring that the information reaches the right people and avoids information overload for families.
- Multilingual support: Messages can be translated into multiple languages, enabling your schools to communicate effectively with families who speak languages other than English at home.
- More trust: By ensuring timely and consistent communication, the COPE approach builds trust and confidence in your school's commitment to keeping everyone informed and engaged.
We often see the COPE acronym paired with a school's content management system, but how can this approach offer even more advantages for your communications, including your school’s mass notifications system?
One message, many channels
Instead of manually composing and sending emails, SMS, push notifications, voice messages, and website notifications separately on different platforms, you'll have the power to write your message once, adjust the character length and tone, then distribute it across multiple channels with Messages XR in just a few clicks.
When it comes to important announcements, creating a message once and distributing it across multiple channels ensures consistency, saves time, and makes your life a whole lot easier.
With Messages XR, there are two message categories — promotion and important announcements. The promotion category gives you the flexibility to send regular communications based on people's subscription preferences — great for your newsletters, school events, or annual campaigns. For important announcements critical to your school's mission that families just cannot miss, they’ll be sent out without subscription-based preferences.
Reach everyone, everywhere
The average person receives 100 to 120 emails per day and only spend 10–15 seconds reviewing an email. Crazy, right? That might work well for those who prefer email for school-home communications, but what about those who want alerts sent straight to their phone?
Compare that number to the 90% of phone users checking their phones within 30 minutes of waking up and the more than a third of people (34%) who read texts within five minutes of receiving a message.
Your families have different preferences, needs, and expectations for how they receive important information.
With that in mind, Messages XR covers all bases by reaching your families through multiple channels like email, mobile app, SMS, voice, and even a page pop on your school’s website. This way, you increase the odds that everyone gets the message, no matter their preferred medium.
Targeted messaging for specific groups or locations
Why should a parent receive an alert for an early Kindergarten pick-up time, when their high school students are preparing their college applications? Targeting your messages to the right audience is especially important for families with students in separate divisions, or for parents with children at different schools throughout the district.
Messages XR empowers you to send targeted and personalized messages to specific groups or locations, ensuring that your message reaches the right people. This feature is perfect for sending reminders to specific classes, updating staff members of a specific school about meeting times, or notifying parents about school or division-level events.
Time is precious — when there’s an urgent message that needs to go out immediately, Messages XR lets you streamline your workflow by working within one platform and distributing your messages across channels.
Snow days, schedule changes, event reminders — when you just need to get the info out, the option of using a “simple message” template lets you easily add your school’s branding so you can focus on the wording of the message, without all the bells and whistles.
You can even clone and reuse messages, or pre-schedule your communications in advance for when you’re holding off to make an announcement, or waiting for that last piece of information to come through.
No more hopping between multiple platforms and systems or struggling with design choices when it’s all about the language— say “goodbye” to repetitive, tedious tasks, and “hello” to more efficient communication!
Customizable and versatile
Whether you're sending out an important announcement, a reminder about an upcoming event, or an urgent alert, you can tailor your messaging to suit different situations.
Each mode of communication has its benefits, tone, and best practices for character limits. For example, a closure for a weather-related event can be sent across different channels — an SMS or voice message can deliver just the facts to expedite the communication, while the email, mobile app, and pop-up versions can link to more information on your website about adjusted schedules and closing procedures.
And customizing your messaging to engage a wide range of families means offering your communication in more than one language — nearly a quarter of school-age children speak a language other than English at home. With Message XR’s email, SMS, and voice message options, your text can be translated into more than 100 different languages based on the preferred language families identified from your school’s SIS.
Boost engagement and trust
Effective communication is essential for schools — with consistent and timely communications, you'll demonstrate to your school community that you take communication seriously. When your community receives the latest updates on their preferred channel— in their preferred language— you work toward building a better relationship with families. Win/win!
A mass notification system is essential for effective school communication, enabling you to reach everyone in your community quickly and easily. With Messages XR, you can demonstrate to parents, staff, and students that communication is a top priority while continuing to build trust and engagement with your school. It's the perfect tool to help you juggle all those communication tasks with ease, ensuring that you can focus on the bigger picture and continue being a communications superhero.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.