Parents Prefer Emails For Most Messages From Schools: Study

Parents prefer email as a form of communications from schools, according to a study by Blackboard, with Project Tomorrow.  

For general information about school or district activities, 68% prefer a general email blast or update. Yet 62% also like automated phone messages and the same percentage prefer Facebook sites. 

In addition, 83% prefer emails as a means of personal communications from teachers, and 80% of administrators agree that email works best for these messages.

But 73% of parents want automated phone messages for crisis or alert communications. Email is not preferred for these situations.

Email’s popularity varies with the locale. Administrators in suburban communities are less likely than those in rural or urban areas to favor text messages, the study notes.

The preference among suburban communities may explain “why a greater number of district leaders in suburban school districts support general emails to their parent community (a more traditional communication tool today) compared to leaders to rural or urban districts.”

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Text messaging is growing in popularity, but it presents its own problems.

For years, school districts have been archiving email conversations for compliance, regulatory and legal requirements, and if the use of text messaging increases to become more the norm, "schools need to find a mobile-enabled, social media tool that can archive these conversations as well,” saysShelly Maes, manager of member services, Southwest West Central Service Cooperative.

But Maes warns that it will be “critical to keep teachers from using their personal mobile devices and phone numbers to provide the school-to-home communications parents prefer.”

Brands and colleges, take note: Parents probably want your messaging via email, too.

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