How to attract the attention of students? Interview with University of East London

In universities around the country, attracting the attention of students and making them aware of all that is happening on campus is a daunting task. We all know how easy it is to move all unwanted mail into the junk folder, so short of camping in the lecture hall or flyering the student bars every day, how do you get the student body to lift their heads up from the (*ehem*) books to take notice?

Student Communications Manager Melissa Abraham from the University of East London kindly agreed to chat to us about how she deals with the challenge, as well as explaining how Flockler has become an integral tool for her marketing needs. We found out how much of an impact Flockler is having and discovered some interesting things about what Melissa finds most useful.

When and why did you start using Flockler?

“Actually the university was already using it before I arrived in early 2016. We were using it both in our student communications, through the YourUniverse hub, as well as the InFocus platform, which is directed to the lecturers and professionals on campus.”

What, then, was the main problem that you were trying to tackle with YourUniverse?

“Well initially, it was that the regular newsletter being emailed out to students wasn’t getting any traction. A survey that was carried out showed that the students had either little or no knowledge of it. This was a huge issue because it was a central point of the communication containing lots of relevant and interesting information.”

So how did the tool help you overcome this obstacle?

“Before Flockler much of the student body was unaware of the bi-weekly newsletter. Now with the Flockler hub, awareness among students is up to around 30%."

That’s a great statistic. It seems that students have really engaged with the platform.

“Absolutely. The student response to having the Your Universe information hub has been really positive. Students are no longer bombarded with dozens of emails or social media posts. And because of the ease of use and access from any device and in any circumstance, I can really trust the messages will get through with Flockler.”

What other benefits has Flockler been able to bring?

“Well, Flockler let’s us bring all student news and events listings into one place. Not only is this convenient it means the students don’t have to log in to access the information we want them to see. That was one of the big barriers to communicating with the student body. But of course it’s not only enrolled students who get easy access now to news and events – but it’s also prospective students. It’s a format that allows the wider community to engage easily, and everybody can jump to the content they are most interested in.”

Has Flockler changed your job processes or made work easier in any way?

“Definitely. Any information I want to send out I do it immediately. The drag and drop function makes it so easy to use and update. I have to say that for anybody in marketing and communications, where resources are limited, it’s a must-have for people like me handling it all by themselves. Flockler has also allowed us to modernise really quickly. The features of the tool allow us to measure and build on the engagement of students reading the UEL newsletter.”

It sounds like it’s been a really positive application. Do you have any plans for expanding the use or ideas for exploiting user-generated content?

“Well as I said I’m handling most of the student communications on my own at the moment. I would love to develop some more comprehensive marketing campaigns, but there is always so much to do. However, I am interested in using the inbuilt metrics more to analyse the engagement and reach we’re currently having.”

Great idea. And remember that the Flockler team are always on hand to give you help and advice, just punch a question into the chat box or give us a call.

The experience of Melissa at UEL and how she has utilised Flockler demonstrates just how effective it can be in providing support for basic communication throughout the community. However, Flockler provides many other benefits and even broader opportunities to harness the power of content, whether internally produced or user-generated. Visit some of our previous blogs to find out more and watch this space for other examples of how Flockler is expanding the marketing impact of our customers around the world.

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