With the growth of mobile and the increasing number of smart phone users, Texas Tech University now offers a free mobile app (http://mobile.ttu.edu/) for all internet-enabled mobile devices as part of TTU’s social media communications plan. For iPhone users like me, the TTU Mobile suite of apps is powered by Blackboard and available for instant download from the Apple App Store. While allowing users to access the most recent updates and information on-the-go, TTU Mobile features apps for prospective students, current students, parents, employees, sports fans, and other stakeholders and target publics with an interest in TTU.
Best of all, unlike some poorly designed apps, TTU Mobile is seamlessly formatted to be adapted to the technology itself, mobile devices and smart phones. As a TTU student and staff member, TTU Mobile is extremely efficient and effective in allowing me to painlessly access important TTU information. Some of the features of TTU Mobile include campus directory, athletics, events, courses, maps/buses, dining, videos, news, images, help, library, admissions, and final exam information. I’d like to briefly discuss some of the features that I found most interesting and useful for my career as a graduate student and university employee.
The directory is something I use at work on a daily basis. Prior to TTU Mobile, I’d flip through my bulky paperback directory to find the contact information for the person I needed to contact. Now I can simply type the name of the individual I’m searching for and instantly view the person’s title, department, phone number, and email address. From here, I can touch the phone number or email address to contact the person directly from my iPhone, and add the person to my favorites, add to existing contacts, or create a new contact to save the contact to my iPhone.
The “Help” app is another great feature about TTU Mobile, as it instantly provides access to important phone numbers via the emergency dial contact list. This feature includes direct access to the Ombuds Office, TTU Operator, IT Help, Student Judicial, Campus Police, Lubbock Police, maintenance emergencies, vehicle assistance, and several other key contacts. The “Events” feature is effective in allowing users to locate information regarding campus activities, and with the “Maps/Buses” feature, users can not only locate the event, but can also gain access to the bus route that will get them to the event in the shortest amount of time. Furthermore, the “News” feature allows higher education PR professionals to instantly provide accurate TTU news and updates to publics.
With mobile, PR professionals in the higher education industry can communicate instantly and directly to those publics who are interested in the institution by allowing key publics to opt-in to receive mobile alerts. For PR, the growth of mobile offers a new level of immediacy in which PR professionals in higher education can communicate with target publics in real-time, and allows for the facilitation of targeting small groups of people and those publics who are interested in the institution.