You're a program manager who wants to keep your participants engaged, on track and informed.
This article will show you how to do all those things using the Practera Comms functionality. You will learn how to schedule, send and track Comms and receive some advice for what types of comms to send and when along the way.
The Power of Comms
After years of running experiential learning programs, we have seen the positive impact of regular, clear communication with participants on their productivity, understanding and timely submissions. Comms help participants to feel connected to the broader cohort, supported and informed.
Here are some examples of why/when you would send a comm:
An overview of what's coming up each week (you can get these all scheduled in advance)
Reminders of key information or deadlines (where an automated assessment reminder doesn't quite fit the bill)
Updates or changes to the experience or due date
Participant interventions when the data has flagged there's an issue
How to Send Comms on Practera
Let's take you through the steps to send a comm. A comm will send as an email to all planned recipients, and you will be able to schedule and track engagement through the Comms tab.
In order to create and manage your comms, navigate to Communications on your left-hand side menu.
Write your Comm
On the communications Dashboard, click on Add Communication (top right corner). This will create a draft comm to be sent when you wish.
Fill in all the required information:
Title: This is the email subject, e.g. 'Welcome to Week 1'
Estimated Read/View Time: Please ignore.
Audience: Select who you wish to receive the communication. You can select one or multiple user types, e.g. participants and mentors.
User state: Do you want to send your comm only to registered participants? Tick the 'Active' box only. Do you want both registered and unregistered participants to receive this comm? Tick both 'Active' and 'Unverified' boxes.
Additional Users: Anyone else you want to receive this comm that isn't included in your Audience selection?
Upload a CSV file: Instead of selecting recipients in Audience and User state (steps 3-5 above), you can select recipients by CSV. Head to this article to learn more.
Teams: Instead of selecting Audience or uploading a CSV file, a 3rd option is to select specific Teams you want to receive your comm.
Delivery Modes: Keep 'Mail' selected
Video URL: Add a valid URL if you wish
Content: This is where you will write the content for your comm; it works like a normal text editor so you can edit the font colour, size, type, add hyperlinks and attachments
You can also adjust the html by clicking on View Source. One simple way to adjust the html is to include a direct app login link. You'll find code at the bottom of the Content box which you can copy and paste into the source code.
Attention: Once you hit the save button, the comm is successfully added to 'Drafts' in the Comms Tab. Hitting save doesn't send the comm!
Schedule and Send Comms
So, you've drafted a comm (or, even better, you've drafted all comms you are going to send during this experience). Nice work! Now it's time to schedule or send those Comms.
Next to each draft comm you'll see the following icons:
Here's what each icon does:
Magnifying glass: Preview what the email will look like
Pencil/notepad: Edit the comm
Paper aeroplane: send the comm
Clock: schedule the comm.
Orange arrow: clone the comm
Bin: delete the comm
How is it different to using my own email?
If you choose to use the Practera Comms tool instead of your personal email address, you can benefit from the following:
All emails sent will contain the email branding you set for all automated app notifications
Keep all communication and program management in one place - and avoid losing participant correspondence in your inbox!
Access data to see who has received and read your comms
Create and copy comm templates
Schedule comms in advance
Comms send as emails to participants' inboxes. Do you want participants to receive your messages to their Practera app instead? In which case, you can use the Cohort Chat functionality! Read this article to learn how.
You just learnt how to send comms on Practera and also how and why regular comms make a big difference to users' experience. We hope it's been helpful.