With a university-wide rollout of Office 365, communication about the project was more important than ever. Not only was this change going to have an effect on email–the lifeline for communication at the university–but it was going to impact every single faculty and staff member. IT leadership requested an email notification; we gave them a designed weekly email update.
Finally, we were receiving positive feedback about our transparency and proactive communications. This newsletter was sent out from the IT@UC Help Desk every Wednesday notifying everyone of the project’s progress, what needed to be done before the migration, and available assistance after the migration.
As long as the project was sweeping through the university, our newsletter let them know all they needed to know.
As the O365 email migration portion of the project simmered down, a weekly email became unnecessary. But, we realized the need for transparent proactive communications was still not being met. Based on the success of the O365 newsletter, I formed a newsletter strategy that would meet these needs.
The idea was to phase out the weekly divisional email and create a new mid-monthly email in its place. This newsletter, the IT Insider, would update all central and divisional IT personnel about the projects currently impacting the university. Anyone can opt-in to this newsletter.
So far, we’ve had good success with our newsletters with a 48.5% open rate (industry standard is ~25%) and 14.1% click rate (industry standard is ~5% click rate) in the second month.
Additionally, for central IT personnel, the IT Staff Council publishes a beginning of the month email. This newsletter fosters the “culture” of the division, highlighting divisional events, kudos, anniversaries, birthdays, and accomplishments. This, too, has had decent stats with ~47% open rate and 9% click rate.
Lastly, once a semester, the division will post a UC News article letting the university know about its accomplishments in relation to the university strategic direction.
All of these newsletters relate to our public website as well as keep in mind that a university-wide intranet is under development. As new channels for internal communication at the university arise, this strategy creates the framework for building upon good client communication moving forward.