Communicating with students

Student communications survey results

In winter 2015, the Student Success Office conducted a student communications survey with 1,199 student respondents. We wanted to answer the following questions:

  • How do Waterloo students want to be communicated with?
  • How are Waterloo students using email and social media?
  • Who do Waterloo students consider an important source of information?

Key takeaways

  • Waterloo students consistently identify email and social media as their preferred communication channels.

  • The use of multiple channels to communicate key messages helps ensure your messages will be heard by Waterloo students.
  • Waterloo students are equally likely to read their emails on a mobile device or a personal computer.
  • Waterloo students identified email subject and sender lines as two motivating factors for reading an email.
  • Waterloo students identified that their email reading style is ‘skim and scan’ and in an email, they prefer to have links to further information.
  • The majority of Waterloo students are using social media, but platform preferences and activity levels vary amongst different groups.
  • The majority of students consider their professors or program coordinators and academic advisors as sources of important information.

Download the full student communications survey results (PDF)

Student communications best practices

Based on feedback from current Waterloo students, and email and social media best practices, we have created guidelines to help you:

  • Increase the likelihood that students will open, read and retain your messages
  • Meet student requests for concise, easy-to-read emails from their university 
  • Create a student-friendly social media strategy 

Download the email best practices (PDF).

Download the social media best practices (PDF).

Download the social media campaign planning template (PDF).

Download the Hootsuite best practices