InformaCast Users Share Best Practices for Higher Education

Best practices for mass notification in higher education

Overcome Notification Challenges

On a college or university campus, it can be difficult to reach everyone during an emergency. Disparate systems, complicated procedures and the sheer volume of people and devices that need to be reached can make it challenging for your message to quickly reach the intended audience. 

InformaCast simplifies the mass notification process to reach everyone, wherever they are, during a crisis, and our customers tell us they benefit most from hearing about how others use InformaCast in their institutions. Three longstanding higher education customers recently shared their expertise to outline best practices and innovative solutions for using InformaCast to notify a campus population.

Learn more about using InformaCast in Higher Ed

Reaching Everyone, Everywhere

Our panelists work at institutions in the U.S. and Canada and manage emergency notifications for campus populations large, small and in-between. They work with various IT and security groups on their campuses to bring together communications systems that maximize the reach of the notifications they are sending out through InformaCast.

Throughout their campuses, our panelists use IP speakers inside and outside of buildings, Cisco IP phones, desktops, digital signage and mobile devices to send audio and text notifications. This was particularly important on a campus that had a large population of part- and short-time students who were less familiar with campus buildings and procedures.

Leverage InformaCast Mobile

Social media connectivity was another major component of the emergency notification equation. With so many students active on social media channels like Twitter, it was important to be able to automatically send notifications to that platform. With an InformaCast plugin, our panelists were able to link their schools’ social feeds to InformaCast for emergency notifications.

Natural and Not-so-Natural Disasters

All three of our panelists use InformaCast for weather alerts including blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes. Messages are sent to notify campus populations of impending severe weather, but also provide updates on how that weather impacts campus operations.

One campus is located near a fault line and experiences low-level earthquakes during the summer. It uses InformaCast to broadcast an “all clear” to the campus to let everyone know they are aware of the situation and there is no structural damage to be concerned about.

One of the institutions is also expanding, and during construction, the crew hit a gas line. Our panelist and their team used InformaCast to evacuate buildings and notify people to stay away from the area until the issue was resolved.

Another panelist uses the system to inform the campus population of crimes happening near the area. Notifications for robberies and home invasions are sent to raise awareness and keep students and staff in the area safe.

Support Your Dispatch Team

One major benefit cited amongst our panelists was the ability to reach a large number of people with a single system. With InformaCast, dispatchers and security personnel can send one message in a variety of formats (email, SMS text, desktops, etc.) from a single interface. This means messages are sent and received quicker, minimizing unnecessary calls to the dispatch team during and emergency.

Benchmarks Boost Performance

One of our panelists also shared how they use benchmarks to measure and improve their notifications' effectiveness. Their team tracks and logs every notification that is sent out and analyzes the delivery results. After determining realistic goals, they have worked on methods to best meet those benchmarks. Some they have been able to resolve quickly, while others require more long term planning. By looking at the time it takes to deliver and receive notifications, they are reaching their campus community with vital information at greater speeds

With InformaCast, higher education institutions are reaching more people, saving time and enhancing safety.

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