With school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become reliant on emails, messages, and other forms of communication to stay in touch with families. Because many parents are overwhelmed with having their children home full-time, it can be tricky to connect with them during this time. Whether you want to remind them about an upcoming webinar or send them some helpful information, it is important that what you share is easy for parents to read and digest.
To help, Ready4K recently hosted a webinar entitled, Messages That Motivate, for early learning professionals. The webinar looked at tips to craft messages that are easily read and understood. If you are interested in watching the webinar, click here to find a recording. Good2Know attended the webinar and we are sharing a few key takeaways below.
Make Messages Manageable
Ready4K advised making messages easy for parents to read by including three, easy-to-manage points: what, why, and how. This helps to keep messages simple by keeping the focus on what you want parents to know or do, why it is important or what the value is, and how to do it. The how should always be doable, as parents are much more likely to do something when it easily fits into their daily behaviors.
A few tips to help keep your messages manageable are included below:
Messages should also be kept short and sweet. Try to avoid unnecessary wordiness. Parents might feel overwhelmed by messages that include long text that will take a long time to read through.
Try for a period instead of a comma to keep sentences shorter. Long sentences can sometimes be tough to read through.
Use fewer descriptive words. Try to get to the point as quickly as possible, so that parents can quickly understand what your message is saying.
Be aware of your word choice. Word choice can be the difference between a message that feels overwhelming and one that feels empowering. Be especially aware of the word choice in the first sentence.
Visualize Your Reader
When you are writing communications to families, visualize them reading your messages. Think about where they are now, how they might be feeling, and what they might be experiencing, especially during this pandemic. Before you send a message, consider the following questions:
Would my families want to read this on their worst day? On their best day?
How will this message make families feel? Think about specific parents and how they might perceive your message.
Could families read this while caring for their children? Doing chores around the house?