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Student Comms

Internal Communication Strategies to Catapult Your University Operations

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 — July 5th, 2023

Internal Communication Strategies to Catapult Your University Operations

Internal communication with faculty, students, and visitors is critical for any learning institution.

It keeps everyone on the same page regarding departmental and organizational goals, ensures that students have access to the critical information they need to know, and creates the campus experience that students and staff increasingly expect.

But today’s higher education landscape is quickly evolving. Even before the pandemic, distance e-learning began gathering momentum, and the pandemic further accelerated this shift, forcing students and staff to interact virtually. But with campuses now open again, expectations about how people communicate and receive information have changed.

Students, staff, and faculty now expect to have access to critical information wherever they are—whenever they need it. But how can university comms teams deliver this and ensure uninterrupted and clear communication?

Poppulo recently hosted a webinar with Dave O’Connell, Communications Solutions Specialist in the education space, and Curtis Thompson, Systems Design Specialist at Pennsylvania State University, where we explored how this university is leveraging digital signage to communicate with its audience.

If you want to watch the webinar, you can find the recording here—or read on for the key takeaways.

How Penn State University Leverages Digital Signage

Penn State University is currently leveraging over 1,100 screens across its residence hall lobbies, common areas, eateries, stores, athletic venues, office areas, hospitals, and other locations throughout campus. Top use cases include:

  • Student Communications: Digital signage is leveraged to communicate key messages, promote events, provide localized information, and recognize student achievements. Check out this guide if you’re interested in learning more about how to create a student communications strategy in today’s hybrid world.
  • Employee Communications: Digital signage is also used to communicate with non-desk-based employees throughout its kitchens and common areas, as well as desk-based employees in its back-of-house office areas.
  • Advertising: Digital signage can be used to promote events, amenities, and other on-campus services, engaging students and faculty while also driving revenue.
  • Menu Boards: Digital menuboards at each of Penn State’s on-campus eateries make it easy to update available food, drinks, and prices.
  • Directories & Wayfinding Screens: Staff, students, and visitors can use digital directories to find the location of colleagues and navigate the campus.
  • Video Walls: Penn State has two 16-screen video wall used to advertise concessions, promote campus goods and services, and create a memorable experience for all audiences.
  • Emergency Messaging: The Poppulo platform enables Penn State to integrate its emergency messaging system with digital signage throughout campus, allowing them to instantly take over all of the signs on campus in an emergency situation. Learn more about how Poppulo can be leveraged for crisis communications here.

The Poppulo platform also enables the IT team at Penn State to grant permissions to specific departments or individuals so that contributors can add content to screens without technical experience. Additionally, the content is all based on pre-designed templates so contributors can build content without help from design teams.

Some of our locations have 20 or 30 signs managed by the same template and content. In the past, we would have needed to go to each sign to update the content individually, which is time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Now, we can do them all from one touch point.”
—Curtis Thompson, Systems Design Specialist

These are just a few of the ways that universities and colleges can leverage campus communications platforms like Poppulo to communicate with staff, students, faculty, and visitors. In addition to digital signage, there are countless other comms channels that educational institutions can use to reach their audiences, including email, mobile devices, company Intranet, collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, and many more.

To learn more about the different comms channels available and how they can be leveraged, check out this guide. If you’d prefer to talk to a Poppulo representative about how our platform can help improve communications at your college or university, reach out to us today.

Interested in learning more?

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