10 Tips on what twitter taught us about communication


NeatSchool provides you with a great e-mail based tool to communicate with your school community. You can customize the audience, reach large populations and do all that in a timely fashion. However, I want you to warn of one thing: Parents might not find the time to read your e-mail. If you are new to e-mail you might be wondering how this is possible. You get an e-mail from your child’s school and you will not read it? Well, you are right…. but you need to put this in context. Today’s parents tend to get 100s of e-mails. Work e-mails, personal e-mail, facebook activity, twitter activity, RSS news feeds many times arrive in one Inbox. And like you, reading e-mail takes time and  is not considered part of the job, is considered just a prerequisite!!

So what are you to do? You need to remember that your goal is to get your message across. This might not be the same as your audience reading your whole e-mail. So how do you make sure your message gets across to as many recipients as possible? Here are some tips you need to keep in mind when you send your school communication through e-mail:

  1. Keep your e-mails short and to the point.
    • Avoid packing many subjects and action items in one e-mail
  2. If you expect action to be taken as a result of reading the e-mail spell it out at the beginning.
  3. For e-mails longer than two lines, include a one line summary.
    • Why? If the parents are just skimming over e-mail they might read the summary line and move on. They might never come back to read the whole e-mail
  4. Use the whole subject line, this might be the only line people read
    • NEVER leave the subject line empty, well NeatSchool protects you from that
  5. Do not send e-mail too often. People will start ignoring it
  6. Limit the recipients only to the ones that need to receive it.
    1. The NeatSchool mass e-mail features allow you to easily tailor your recipients.
  7. Use bold typeface in a few places, to hightlight the important stuff or get people who are just skimming the message to home into something
  8. If you address the message to more than 2-3 recipients, put all the recipients in bcc:
  9. Ask your recipients to reply to your e-mail, if you need their consent on something. Never assume they have read the e-mail
  10. In addition to e-mail use other ways to reach your audience, including direct face-to-face communication

Finally, do not get offended if one of your e-mails was skipped, it happens to everybody once in a while.