Would you allow a company like Sears, Amazon or Nordstroms call you at home at 5:30 AM without your permission to let you know that they are closed due to a snowstorm? I think not! Then why do school districts get away with this lack of targeted, preference based communication?
All town residents are customers. They pay for the schools via taxes whether they want to or not. They deserve to be treated as customers and therefore deserve to communicate with the district on their terms.
Many school districts take a “spray and pray” mentality. So what exactly does that mean? Schools will send out a in every possible format in the hopes that one of them will stick:
- Printed news letters
- Notes from teachers
- Articles in the news paper
- , facebook, posts
I submit, that school districts should allow residents to choose their preferred communication preference. This aligns with a 21st century approach to communications – preference based. I am talking communications targeted to address the needs and concerns of residents as individuals.
I also understand that school districts are under extreme pressure to deliver more less budget than ever and that administrators and teachers are doing what they can just to education our children. So, any solution needs to seamlessly integrate into the day to day operations without adding additional overhead.
Want the good news? The technology exists to capture residents’ demographics, interests and preference….and it is often FREE! It is time that we start using it!
- Create or use an existing database of contacts enabling contacts to manage their own information – our school district has this. The key here is that the school districts need to consistently ensure that there is one system of record.
- Give contacts choices in their communications. Provide parents and other residents the ability to manage their own information (address, email address, phone numbers and preferences) from the device of their choice (iPhone, Android device, tablet, laptop etc)
- Enable multi-channel communications (email, , telephone) and the preference choices govern which medium is used for communications. This means establishing policies and procedures about using the preferences in fabric of the school district.
So, what is your opinion?
Do you have other suggestions?