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Communications is the glue that connects a school or college to its key constituents.The word is most commonly used to describe the emails, newsletters, web page updates, magazines, brochures, social media posts, viewbooks, and other tools and channels that institutions use to stay in touch with their primary groups. Communications typically encompasses public and media relations as well, and has gradually evolved beyond its early roots in print, TV and radio to include all forms of digital media, and most recently, the colossus known as video. Another critical audience for education institutions is its internal community of faculty, staff, administrators and coaches.
Communications is crucial for your relationships with prospective families, current and past families and students, grandparents, friends, board members, and alumni. The use of an effective message and appropriate channels and programs is critical to success in attracting potential applicants as well as keeping current constituents aware of your institute's unique attributes, spirit, and value-added. All of those assets can influence how a parent or student describes your institution to friends and whether that student re-enrolls.
Schools Compared with Higher Ed
Communications in school and higher ed has many similarities in the scenarios above, and a few differences. While schools typically send ongoing parent emails emails ranging in frequency from weekly to quarterly, higher ed places more of a premium on high-quality and bigger magazines,broader advertising campaigns, and more rigorous responsibilities for public relations and media outreach. Colleges and universities are also more likely to have separate communications and marketing functions, which often result in marketers handling strategy-based role such as defining the audience and the channel, focusing on the results of a campaign, and working with enrollment management on targeted programs. In these cases, communications teams create relevant and interesting content for websites and social media, write press releases, work with the media, and produce ongoing publications.
Though communications is a well-established role in schools, colleges, and universities, it is evolving fast due to innovative new technologies and capabilities. Communications purveyors may find the communications audits, content marketing and blogging, and campaign integration pages valuable.