Best in Class: How Poppulo Helps Universities Get Top Communication Grades
— March 14th, 2023
Working for Poppulo for over six years now, it’s still fascinating to see how our platform makes very complex communication challenges so much easier for an incredibly diverse range of companies and global organizations.
From pharma to fintech, to car manufacturing to hospitality and major aerospace companies—and so much more.
I was also struck again recently by the way organizations in the same sector use the different elements of our omnichannel platform to solve different challenges and problems.
Take higher education. Cambridge University Press & Assessment in England, and Augusta University in the US, both used the email function of our platform to surmount specific internal communication issues. On the other hand, the University of Calgary in Canada and West Virginia University in the US, have found that our sector-leading digital signage solution is best suited for their specific communication needs.
Other organizations find that a combination of our mobile app and digital signage is the best way to reach all audiences, especially those who are not office-based—for example, manufacturing, retail, and frontline workers—while an increasing number of companies are using the full omnichannel suite of channels for their different employee audiences.
The bigger and more complex a company is, the more they need to use multiple communication channels—email, mobile, digital signage, Intranet, and enterprise social networks—through one platform.
Irrespective of which of our platform’s solutions organizations use to reach and connect with their different people audiences, the critical element is the analytics employee communicators have at their fingertips.
Data and analytics enable them to know whether their comms are hitting the mark and if people are engaging with them, and what content performs best for different audiences—insights that can then inform and guide communication strategy going forward.
Poppulo analytics and the ability to personalize and target content to different audiences was key to Cambridge University Press & Assessment’s priority to achieve cut-through with the communications that really mattered during a time of large-scale organizational change and a global pandemic.
We pretty much live, sleep, and breathe Poppulo—it has revolutionized the way we work as an internal comms team, really,” said Kate Hughes, Group Internal Communications Manager.
“The biggest thing for us is the ability to target our comms to deliver relevant content to different audiences, and the data that Poppulo provides about how our comms are performing is invaluable. It really helps inform how we do our comms and gives us insights on where we need to focus more," she said.
Operational changes combined with data-driven personalized comms through Poppulo have been transformational, with engagement levels above industry and peer benchmarks. The organization’s newsletter now enjoys open rates of 85% and click rates of up to 20%.
Meanwhile, the communications team at Augusta University had a very different problem with their email communication to staff and students: lack of governance, the inability to target, and the consequent comms noise.
The communication team of two (with another 27 communicators across 11 colleges and two healthcare systems) had no organized way to create engaging emails and more importantly, could not target them to a specific college, group of employees, or students. As a result, some communicators were sending daily emails to 20,000 or more people!
“It got out of hand,” recalls John Jenkins, former Internal Communications and Publications Coordinator at Agusta." “Too many uncoordinated emails meant many were not read. There was no policing on our end and that was costing us a tremendous amount of money.
Reducing noise and creating clarity was key—and that’s where Poppulo came in. To do that, Jenkins, and Rachel Robbins—Director, Digital & Interactive Effectiveness— were looking to align and empower their network of communicators.
“Our goal was to turn our extended team into experts in delivering personalized, relevant, and targeted content. Our communications experience platform, Poppulo, made that possible,” said Robbins.
In Canada, the University of Calgary found that the best way to streamline communications at its world-renowned Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) is through Poppulo Harmony’s digital signage solution.
This 265,000 sq. ft. facility offering collaborative and individual learning spaces, state-of-the-art technology—with historical archives, 600,000 books, an art gallery, a student success center, research facilities, and much more—required the most sophisticated, streamlined digital signage software for its 35 kiosks, five media walls, and 84 interactive meeting rooms.
Digital signage plays a crucial role in how students, visitors, faculty, and staff experience the TFDL. However, prior to implementing Poppulo, while the library already had screens in place, its various digital signage software platforms were making it difficult to manage the large network and optimize every display.
When the University brought in Poppulo, every kiosk, media wall, and interactive meeting room within the TFDL came under one flexible content management platform.
By consolidating its digital signage applications, the TFDL was able to streamline its digital communications efforts and provide localized, relevant information on each of its screens.
Using Poppulo’s software, the TFDL team created a comprehensive interactive directory that includes bus schedules, computer availability, an up-to-date event calendar, and wayfinding capabilities.
Digital signage also plays a key role in the communications strategy of West Virginia University (WVU)—particularly to enhance the experience of its 28,000 students—and when it needed to move on from its legacy software platform it chose Poppulo, due to its superior flexibility, network security, and high level of functionality.
The university needed additional flexibility within the template management and scheduling functions as well as the ability to leverage interactivity for donor recognition and hall of fame projects. It also wanted to enable building-specific wayfinding.
The Poppulo Harmony platform not only delivered on these requirements, but it also provided the University with access to multiple new features.
Additionally, WVU’s software managers gained the ability to centrally control every aspect of the institution’s digital signage network while also enabling various user groups to access and update custom content databases.
This functionality gives each group ownership of the content displayed on their screens.
So, there you have it, from Cambridge to Calgary and Augusta to West Virginia, when Universities need to solve very different and frequently complex communication challenges, they find the best-in-class solution is the Poppulo Harmony platform.
- Interested in learning more about how the Poppulo Harmony platform can help your campus with student, faculty, and staff communications? Contact us today—we're here to help!