With so many options: Social Media, E-Mail, Websites, Blogs, Text Messages, Robocalls, Apps, flyers... Where to Begin!?
Start by asking yourself three simple questions.
A. "Am I reaching families where they're looking?"
Look at parents 1 minutes after drop-off and 1 minute before pickup Where are they looking? Their phones.
B. "Is my content where they'll see it and is it easy to reference?"
This is possibly the most difficult as some prefer e-mail, others, twitter, etc. however, everyone prefers apps.
C. "Is it confusing?"
Many schools over-communicate; important information is overlooked and school resources are wasted. We can reach a greater audience with less effort. The best way to explain is a real example, take Ashley Elementary in Denver, CO.
1. Newsletter is created in MS Word, and sent to translators. Finished copy saved as PDFs
2. Staff prints and stuffs 500+ print outs (per language) into folders for ~3 hours
3. An e-mail is crafted with attachments and delivered to 50% of the families due to bounces or bad addresses
4. PDF's are uploaded to the website with the assistance of the Tech Liaison
5. Admin creates Facebook post and a Twitter post to direct parents to the "Thursday Folder" link on the website.
Result: Lots of effort with average results.
25% - 30% of the e-mails are opened
10% - 15% of the social media posts are seen
After - Ashley Elementary Mobile App
1. E-mail drafted in English and sent to the App News Page. Subject line becomes the News Article Title and the email body and attachments become the News Article.
2. Admin sends a short Push Notification from their phone in seconds announcing "Updated News" to families. The app opens to the News Page in their native language.
4. School Website, Facebook and Twitter update auto-magically!
Result: Very little effort with excellent results
Feature Spotlight: Sandoval's App Store
Sandoval Elementary released the Sandoval e-Store in their app to sell Fall Festival tickets.
Families buy in seconds via credit card or PayPal on their phone. Payments are deposited into their Paypal Account and their PTSA receives and e-mail notification. Families receive an emailed receipt (for tax purposes) with Check-In instructions.
"Enabling mobile e-commerce solution is saving us tons of effort and growing our sales. This is a far better solution than anything we could find online and it's included with our app!"
All the best and don't forget, Keep It Simple!