When I student of Dhaka Commerce College the closest thing we had to public relations and communications was the biweekly College newsletter that we cranked out in MS Word. Photocopied newsletters stuffed into backpacks on a Friday afternoon seemed to do the job of communicating with parents. For teachers, memos were placed in cubbyholes in the staff room.
As technology progressed and the University where I worked got larger, new options became available. The need to better communicate and engage our students, staff, parents, and prospective families became even more essential. Here are a few ways that we at Daffodil International University should have engaged with our community:
University is busy places, and parents need a trusted place to find the right information. But information is not enough -- gone are the days of the website being just a digital brochure. Now it needs to facilitate two-way communication. We just need to update our website this year to include these key features:
1. It must be mobile friendly. It must work on phones and tablets as well as desktops. No exceptions.
Yes, we must be thinking we have all of those, the website we have works on mobile but a mobile friendly website is a different milestone.
In January 2014, mobile internet use exceeded desktop use in the United States. Web designers may work separately on such pages, or pages may be automatically converted, as in Mobile Wikipedia. Faster speeds, smaller, feature-rich devices, and a multitude of applications continue to drive explosive growth for mobile internet traffic.
Our website lacks to calibrate content (both text and other things) according to different mobile devices resolution; I’m not an expert, just a user and I’m trying to give feedback the best way I know how. Please bear with me. Showing of Desktop website in mobile devises is not the indication of having mobile friendly website, it is converted and re designed separately from Desktop friendly Website.
I hope Mobile website should be a fact in 2018 to enrich a new milestone in this New Year.
2. It must be easy to update, preferably automatically. For example, the information we add into our Google calendar automatically updates on our website. For static pages, make sure the content stays current.
3. Link your other social media initiatives on your website. Parents should be able to easily find your official Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube profiles from your webpage. Then use your webpage to share the content from those profiles.
The hardest but most important part is that your site must provide a sense of your unique University's culture. People visiting your university website should feel like they are visiting your campus.
"if you are not telling your University's story on Facebook, someone else is." By Petter Noren. He was right.
Use Facebook to celebrate the great things happening at the University!
1. Promote sports, arts, and cultural events.
2. Post blog articles, news items, and announcements.
3. Publish fundraising goals.
4. Share educational memes.
Should you use Facebook ads? We are already promoting because we found good success in promoting our posts. For a minimal cost, it places them into the top of the timelines for your friends and their friends.
4. Be sure to monitor your posts. Which posts have more views and likes than others? While it isn't a popularity contest, you want to keep track of whether you are actually reaching your audience. Have more than one person as admin, but don't bring in too many people.
More views doesn’t mean you are reaching right audience and it is a waste of time and money for most of the time. Remember it doesn’t counts how many views you had rather how many right audience you get in per promote, keep an eye on static and make a monthly report on it with evidence because you will have a track of your promotion which will help you to predict future promotion. Promoting post for minimal payment and applaud seeing many views is kids’ stuff.
Make sure we answer comments and direct messages.
What happens when you get a bad comment?
If it is inappropriate, we delete it. If it challenges or disagrees with us, we use it as an opportunity to educate and inform both the poster and the public. We will follow this with a private message inviting them to come in and discuss the issue. We also fully support Facebook's requirement that users be 13 or older.
Use the Facebook "Insights" tab to learn more about what's been happening with your page. The graphs show the likes, comments, shares, and other useful metrics for planning and strategy.
Our teachers should use Twitter to celebrate what they are doing in their classrooms, ask questions, share resources, and document their learning. It's has a profound effect on our staff. By creating a school hashtag, we are able to thread all of our school-based tweets. We used to think we needed some kind of official Twitter authorization to create a hashtag. You don't. Just make a memorable one that describes your University, and start using it. Twitter use by our staff will grow slowly at first. but we if compiled all of the tweets onto our internal digital daily bulletin using our #DIUTalent hashtag, and it allowed non-Twitter users to see all of the posts. Twitter use is growing rapidly now.
We should be starting to explore engaging our parents and local community with Twitter, as well as reaching out to a global audience.
At this point, we use must LinkedIn to recruit potential teachers and reach the working members of our DIU family. We follow the major employers in our area and develop our networks within the business community. In addition to posting about major university events, we also share articles related to leadership, corporate social responsibility, and team building. We use it to announce our corporate fundraising, sponsorship, and partnerships. We post much differently on LinkedIn than we do on Facebook.
I can guarantee that there are already many videos of our school and students on YouTube. Once again, if you are not telling your story, someone else is. Since you may not be able to police the other videos, you should have an official YouTube channel. Use water mark in video and channel as well.
Remember if you think you handle social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. effectively then you should accept that YouTube is a different is totally different kind of social media.
Your University YouTube is not just an event shearing Channel, There should be category tab in you channel, and plans to upload video type in different sub category throughout the whole week.
Please note that YouTube is not just video upload site, It needs special care If you can’t reach your YouTube goal, you should be assure that there are some missing plots and you need help.
You need separate content creator and publisher for managing YouTube channel and it can be your one more earning source.
Remember that old newsletter? We don't have it anymore. At first, we switched to a digital PDF version, but now we should get rid of that as well. Now our news should be a blog, constantly updated -- we must post articles and announcements as they are written. Every teacher has his or her own blog. Administrators should have blogs, as we should try to lead by example. Our next step is to engage further through integrating our blogs with social media.
Overall, our move toward digital engagement has been successful. Our community is much more connected. Our parents stay informed through our website and Facebook. Our teachers interact and share through Twitter, and we continue to seek new ways to engage our community through the tools that are available to us.
How about you? What ways are you engaging your University community? Which issues concern you about social media?