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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pros and Cons of Emailing School Announcements

On Tuesday I evaluated the pros and cons of using social media for school announcements. Yesterday, I did the same for text messaging school announcements. Today, let's take a look at the pros and cons of using good old fashioned email for distributing school and classroom announcements.

Pros of using email for school announcements:
  1. There is essentially no limit to the amount of text and information you can pack into one email. 
  2. Easy to attach forms and or link to a Google Form in an email. This is helpful when you need to distribute things like permission slips. 
  3. Your school probably has a database of every parent's or guardian's email address. This makes it easy to add email addresses to mailing lists. 
  4. Most parents are familiar with how email works. The same cannot be said for social networks. 
  5. It is easy for parents and students to quickly reply to messages if they need to ask follow-up questions. 
  6. Many relatively inexpensive services are available to help you format and schedule email newsletter distribution. Alternatively, you can use spreadsheet scripts like this one can be used to schedule email distribution. 
Cons of using email for school school announcements:
  1. Not ideal for urgent announcements like school closings as people don't always check their inboxes regularly even if they have notifications on their smartphones. 
  2. Email is easy to ignore. 
  3. Some email services may flag your message as spam if it is sent to hundreds of people at once. You will have to encourage parents to whitelist your school's email domain. 
  4. Must remember to use BCC not CC when manually sending a message to a mailing list. Otherwise you expose all the email addresses to everyone on the list. And don't forget that not everyone knows not to use "reply all" when replying. 
  5. While occasionally a long email is necessary, long emails are skimmed and or ignored. You must resist the temptation to be long-winded in announcements. 
  6. As with all forms of digital communication we need to be cognizant of families in our school communities that don't have reliable access to the Internet. 
What do you see as the pros and cons of using email for school announcements? Let me know on Twitter