The Rave Guardian Campus Safety app is widely used throughout the country to keep students safe and provide emergency assistance both on and off-site; but did you know the system´s alert function can also be used as a great marketing tool for universities?
Rave Guardian's Campus Safety app is free for students to download and connects their smartphones to campus security, 9-1-1 and trusted “guardians” (friends, house-mates, tutors, etc.). The app enables students to call for help quickly with the press of a button, and - via the safety timer feature - to alert guardians to their late or non-arrive at a destination.
Rave's Campus Safety System seamlessly integrates with Smart911, giving students the opportunity to create Personal Safety Profiles. The profiles are only accessible by 9-1-1 call takers, who use the information provided in the profiles to make faster and better decisions. The integration with Smart911 shortens response times and can save students´ lives both on and off campus.
A university that implements the Rave Guardian Campus Safety System demonstrates a responsibility towards student wellbeing, sends a statement about tackling crime, and encourages the whole campus community to get smart about safety. However, the positive image a university would create by implementing the Rave Guardian Campus Safety System is not great marketing we are thinking of.
What we hope to explain in this article is how Rave Guardian can double as a great marketing tool for universities by being an effective channel of communication, through which students can discover the opportunities that exist to make the most of their university experience. In order to best explain this concept, a brief explanation of Rave Guardian´s alert function is required.
How Rave Guardian's Alert Function Works
Rave Guardian's alert function is most frequently used to simultaneously warn the university´s database of students and faculty staff to the risk of danger. Alerts can be sent by system administrators via multiple channel of communication (SMS, voice broadcast, email, social media, etc.) and Rave Guardian is also IPAWS-OPEN to receive public safety alerts by SMS and voice broadcast.
As emergency incidents may not always be university-wide, it is possible to divide databases into groups by campus, role or other characteristic. For example it is possible to create groups for students living off-site so they do not unnecessarily receive alerts informing them to evacuate university grounds. It is also possible to create groups for faculty staff that have medical training or who are CERT-qualified.
The Campus Safety System allows for an unlimited number of groups and sub-groups to be created, and for students and other personnel to join as many groups as they wish. This provides the possibility for groups to be created - for example - for students with mobility issues who would require assistance during an emergency, or for students whose first language is not English who can choose to receive alerts in one of thirty-four languages.
Mechanisms exist to ensure students who join multiple groups do not receive multiple alerts in the event of an emergency, or receive non-emergency notifications that are not relevant to them. Some universities use the alert function to advise students of cancelled lectures or facility closures, and students can choose how they wish to receive non-emergency notifications - for example, cancelled lectures via email, facility closures via Twitter, and details of forthcoming social events via Facebook.
SMS Opt-In/Opt-Out Function add to System´s Versatility
Rave Guardian databases are most frequently populated by importing a university´s existing database. Thereafter the Rave Guardian database and university´s database are synchronized in order to automatically add new students and new faculty personnel to the Campus Safety System. Depending on how the university´s existing database is set up will determine the groups that are formed by default in the Rave Guardian database and how each group is populated.
Once the Rave Guardian database and default groups are populated, there are various ways to assign students and faculty personnel to different groups and sub-groups. The simplest ways are either to include the process in the Smart911 Personal Safety Profile set-up - so students can manually select which groups they wish to belong to and their preferences for receiving non-emergency notifications - or universities can take advantage of an SMS opt-in/opt-out function.
Rave Guardian´s SMS opt-in/opt-out function works in the same way as text message marketing used by many big brand retailers. Students text a keyword to a dedicated short code number (i.e. “EVENTS” to 654321) and opt in to receive non-emergency notifications from the group related to the keyword. Their details are automatically added to the group or sub-group, until such time as the student indicates they no longer want to receive notifications by texting “STOP” to the same short code number.
The process is simple, it is one which most students are already familiar with, and it can be used as a great marketing tool for universities to encourage students to join groups such as:
- Academic Advice Groups (by subject).
- Student Activity Groups (by activity).
- Disability Support Groups.
- Diversity & Inclusion Groups.
- Mental Health Support Groups.
- International Student Groups.
- Career Advice Groups.
The list of possibilities is extensive. It can include groups for Parent & Family Programs, faculty personnel, and alumni. Groups can be created that allow local employers to post summer job vacancies, or that allow overseas universities to advertise student exchange opportunities. Furthermore, as Rave Guardian apps are designed specifically for each university, the Rave Guardian Campus Safety System helps grow the university´s brand while keeping students safe both on and off-campus.
A Great Marketing Tool for Universities. But is it Right for Yours? In addition to enhancing the safety of students, Rave Guardian can double as a great marketing tool for universities and complement existing marketing activities. However, with more than two and a half thousand universities throughout the country, Rave Guardian is not a one-size-fits-all system that will enhance the marketing activities of every university.
Therefore, if you would like to evaluate Rave Guardian in the context of a great marketing tool for universities, we invite you to get in touch and request a free demo of Rave Guardian in action. After a brief discussion to establish what your current marketing activities consist of, and how you feel they could be improved, we will organize a tailor-made demo to meet your specific requirements. Contact us today to find out more.