Transit and Parking Looks at Options in Communicating
Since a Transit and Parking online survey was completed on March 31, the department has looked at the data and has had discussions about the topics it addressed.
On the survey some respondents had much to say about parking areas, bus routes, and having better signage on campus; there was also some feedback about how the department communicates.
Respondents were asked what ways they preferred to get information from Transit and Parking, and email was by far the favorite among several choices, being selected 35.6 percent of the time.
About 16.1 percent said they went to the web page for information (parking.uark.edu), and 15.9 percent liked getting transit and parking news on Newswire.
In smaller numbers, respondents said they would be open to getting news via text messaging if it were possible, and some said they preferred getting news from the department on social media.
About 7.2 percent indicated they simply like to call Transit and Parking when they have a question.
Transit and Parking has a social media following of less than 1,600 people via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and it has an ongoing effort in place to increase that number.
David Wilson, director of transit and parking communications, said the department bases its communications strategy on which avenues will reach which people.
"At this time," he said, "we do not use social media as our main vehicle of communication because the numbers tell us that it won't reach everyone. Social media is an effective tool to supplement our message, but it is not one that can be our primary means of putting out information. At least not for now."
Survey respondents were asked if the department should use other forms of social media in addition to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Sixty-eight percent said they preferred Snapchat, and 16 percent mentioned Linkedin. Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, and Tumblr were also mentioned, but in very small numbers.
"We are open to using other forms of communication in social media," Wilson said, "but at this time no department on campus has officially started using Snapchat. Like anything else, we will look at what might be most useful before we make a change."
When a message needs to go to everyone, Transit and Parking still uses email because every student and employee has an email address.
"That's why we always tell permit-holders and bus riders to check their email," Wilson said. "When we need to get the word out to everyone, email is still the best way to go."
David Wilson, communications director
Transit and Parking
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