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PRI Report: Digital for Emergency Campus Messaging

  • Text messaging, digital signage and other digital media are the most effective means for getting emergency-related and other messages to students and faculty, according to a recently released research report by the Platt Retail Institute (PRI). "Communication Effectiveness in Higher Education" examines the use of both traditional and new media channels to communicate with university students.
  • "Our research study found that 97 percent of students prefer to receive information via digital channels, rather than from non-digital sources," said Steven Keith Platt, PRI Director and Research Fellow. "Overall, text messages were found to be the most effective distribution channel, followed closely by digital signage."
  • Researchers examined the methods currently being used by universities to communicate with their students. Differences between administrator and student perceptions of effectiveness and channel use were analyzed to isolate differences to determine if information is being transmitted successfully. The study also looks at emerging digital technologies and recommends options to be deployed to enhance the flow of information from administrators to students.
  • The PRI study is particularly timely given recent events on some college campuses, including the late September shooting incident at the University of Texas in Austin. A text-message/e-mail alert system operated by the university was credited with successfully alerting students and faculty and kept them apprised of the ongoing situation.
  • Copies of "Communication Effectiveness in Higher Education" may be obtained from the research sponsors, Black Box Network Services and OneLan Digital Signage.
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  • Platt Retail Institute at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (PRI) is recognized worldwide as an industry-leading expert in research and consulting to retailers, media companies, financial institutions, hardware, software, transmission, and other business enterprises seeking to impact the customer in-store experience. PRI delivers impartial business analyses and offers the strategic consulting necessary to an organization considering the impact and benefits of a digital communications network implementation.

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