SIGUCCS 2017 Conference Takeaway – You Know You Want to Read This

You Know You Want to Read This: Communicating Effectively in Tech Support

Presented by: Robert H. Guissanie, Bucknell University

Robert GuissanieRob provided some tips on effective communication for an IT department which start with common sense:  be clear and concise, make sure it is relevant and meaningful, provide timely information, and do it in a respectful way. However, once the presentation started, you knew that good communication strategy was more than that…

This session reminded us to take into account the amount and types of messaging that you do. For instance, Bucknell has a message center that is used for informational messaging – for example, at the start of Cybersecurity month, an email will go out to welcome people but direct them to future weekly messages in the message center. Rob also makes use of targeted email lists so that people are not getting messages about things that are not relevant to them. He also infuses some humor into messages when appropriate so as to gain and keep people’s attention – dry and formal messaging will lead to “skim reading”.

Read more at:

Slides available at:


One main takeaway from this presentation is to remember that while we work in technology, we deal with and support people. The product that we produce (students) is more important than any other industry. Remembering this as we deal with messages in both good and bad situations is paramount to our success! – Lisa Brown

About SIGUCCS Editor

The Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services (SIGUCCS) is an association of professionals who support and manage the diverse aspects of information technology services at higher education institutions. SIGUCCS is one of 36 special interest groups of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. SIGUCCS focuses on issues surrounding the support, delivery, and management of those services, and provides professional development opportunities for its members and the other individuals in the field.