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How to reach people with better delivery.

Stacks of unopened mail pile up on kitchen tables, while hundreds of unread emails clutter in-boxes. 'These are delivery challenges," asserts Ben Castleman, assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

"We continue to send very important communications through channels that aren't reaching people. We have to think both about how we deliver and design communication. Increasingly, even texting is getting more saturated as a channel. Instead of using words and phrases, we're starting to embed well-designed images and infographics as a way of garnering and capturing attention."

Incorporating private-sector marketing techniques into school communications systems could prove valuable. "On the design side, we can be much simpler and straight forward by using a lot more media imagery, graphic design, and white space. Whether the message is about free lunch, report cards, or after-school program opportunities, we need to convey that information in ways that people are going to actually digest and take informed actions based on."

Castleman, a former school administrator, maintains most school leaders are cognizant of the communication challenges they lace and are receptive to learning how to implement these marketing strategies.

"On one hand, it seems like, 'Of all the things we could focus on in education, why focus on better brochures?' Flowever, the reality is, from pre-K through college, students and families are making a series of complex and hard decisions. If we can more effectively communicate what's available to them and support them to make decisions about the opportunities they pursue that best align with their own goals, that's a pretty simple and cheap fix."

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Title Annotation:Your Life
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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