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Referendum Communication Guide

Referendum Communication Guide: A Guest Post from Dorreen Dembski

Communication with the public plays a pivotal role in any school district. It is the cornerstone of building relationships with your constituents. The true test of how well you are doing often is presented when you must go to ballot to ask your community for funds. Whether it is for operational or facility needs, you need to ensure the voters know why you need the money.

To share insight on this topic, I reached out to an experienced school communications professional, Dorreen Dembski. She has worked as a communication director for a large public school district and now helps consult with schools on various communication projects both large and small. She is recognized by the National School Public Relations Association as a legacy leader and has earned a reputation as a reliable, knowledgeable and passionate communication professional.

Dorreen Dembski
 

Dorreen shared:

A referendum communication plan should feel more like a special news bulletin within your community, rather than the only news your district shares. Schools and their employees, as public entities, cannot promote or discourage voters to be for or against a referendum. The role of communication before a referendum vote is to inform and educate about the needs of the district and the proposed solutions presented in the referendum.

Long before a referendum, a strategic organizational communication plan should establish well-worn communication paths between your school district and your stakeholders. Then, when a referendum comes onto the scene, the pre-referendum information is a special topic plan within an overall strategy.

Every communication plan, including referendum communication plans, has four key components. Let’s apply the RACE formula to a referendum communication plan.

RACE Infograph

Research (R)
Community engagement: surveys, face-to-face advisory committees, community conversations.
About a year in advance of a referendum on the ballot, begin with community engagement. What may seem like obvious needs to district leaders – new roofs, maintenance needs, and operating funds for programming – are not at all obvious to the general public. Community engagement, at its core, builds awareness and collects feedback about potential projects. This engagement should help establish mutual understanding between key school decision-makers and the public about viewpoints, potential questions, and priorities. There is a skill to effective and authentic community engagement, so seek professional advice. Many districts use surveys. I believe face-to-face opportunities, such as advisory committees, are very effective, too. Remember to include all your stakeholders – staff, parents, community members at large, business owners or representatives, and other elected officials – in outreach efforts.

Analyze (A)
Identify the priorities of your stakeholders.
Try to discover the community’s priorities through careful and objective analysis of the survey results and/or outcomes of face-to-face meetings. Good listening is required. If you’re open to listening objectively, well done community engagement will tell you the community’s priorities for your district, and what community members are willing to support for your schools. Listening isn’t easy or quick and when you truly listen, you may change your mind. However, listening is essential to finding a referendum proposal that addresses the community’s priorities.

Communicate (C)
Formulate and implement a tactical plan to deliver the key messages.
This is where some districts jump into pre-referendum communication. Actually, this is the third step. Use your research and analysis develop an effective communication plan.

  1. Develop key, consistent messages. Once the referendum resolution has been decided, communicate how the projects and their components present solutions for the district’s needs, addresses community priorities, and present an educational value to the community. (All staff and leaders need to speak the same language so involve and inform staff of the solutions, too!)
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  3. Identify the many channels of communication you will use.
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    • Fact sheet: A fact sheet grounds the key messages into one single document.
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    • Website: Dedicate a section of the website to store all the materials for a voter.
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    • Social media plan: Ideas for social media posts include “Did you know” posts about your referendum needs and solutions; announcements of where to find information; pictures – lots and lots of pictures; answers to frequently asked questions.
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    • Videos: Think about how to incorporate short videos into your overall and social media plan.
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    • Other communication tools: E-newsletters, print flyers, mailers, information open houses, presentation boards and posters, frequently asked questions, and an email address where the public can submit questions are all helpful. All communication tools are integrated into an overall calendar and used to organize and implement your communication plan.

     

  4. Deliver your key messages through various communication channels.
    A communication plan will have many prongs because of the diverse communication tools used by your diverse audiences. Think carefully about all stakeholders in your community and how to best reach them. Carefully implement the plan.

 

Evaluate (E)
Just as you might taste-test a soup while it simmers on the stove, and add a few ingredients to improve it; so too it is important to regularly evaluate the communication plan as it is being implemented. Has a pattern of questions emerged in the community that were not on your radar? How will you proactively provide the answers via social media or your print campaign? Evaluation of the communication plan is ongoing and adjustments may be necessary.

In the end, a referendum is a special topic communication plan within your organizational communication strategy. Like all communication plans it follows the RACE formula – research, analysis, communicate, evaluate. Remember – your purpose is to inform the public, so simple language and transparency is key.


Levies & Communication For Schools

For more information on Dorreen, please visit www.ddcommunicationservices.com.

Also, check out this free webinar that dicusses referendums and how social media can play a pivotal role.

 


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Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

Why You Need ONE District-wide Facebook Page

The debate is real!

When it comes to school communication and social media – should your district have one district-wide Facebook page, or should each school have its own page? Or should you try to manage a district account plus all of the individual schools?

I know I have opposition out there, but today I’m going to make a case for the district-wide Facebook page approach. Please note that I am only talking about Facebook here. Twitter and Instagram – go crazy with more pages (if you’re comfortable with that). This blog is just about Facebook.

Now I may be biased because I got my start in a small K-12 school with only 325 students. When you talk about district versus schools, well, there is only one school! One wing has elementary (K-6) and the other wing has 7-12.

Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

But since I started with that small school in Wisconsin, I’ve grown to work with schools up to 11,000 in enrollment. My advice is to always create that strong district presence with one Facebook page first, and here are 10 reasons why:

Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

    • One page builds a consistent district brand. One message, one hashtag, one story, one family. Ideally, all communication from your district should have a similar message, look, logo, colors, etc. This obviously extends to your Facebook page.

 

    • One page builds district pride! The momentum builds and once it’s started, it truly is a force to watch.

 

    • District Pride easily translates to community engagement and community pride. You can measure engagement on your Facebook page.

 

Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

 

    • One message on a central page eliminates confusion and provides consistent communication with families and the community. Just think of the nightmare a snow day could cause if notifying parents means posting to multiple pages……

 

    • The Facebook algorithm – it’s real! There is competition out there and your school pages are trying to grab the attention of your community. If you have multiple pages, they are competing against each other. If you only post once per day on each school page, then why not combine those onto one page and get 3-5 posts out per day? If you don’t understand the FB algorithm, check out my two blog series on the topic. Part 1: What is it and how does it work? Part 2: 11 Ways to Improve Your Reach

 

 

    • Many parents have children in multiple schools. They want to stay up to date on all events and happenings, not just those of one school. And worst yet – if one school does a “better” job of posting on Facebook than another (frequent updates, reminders, videos & more) it creates a negative feeling toward the other school.

     

     

    • These parents and families “age up”; they transition from elementary school to middle school and eventually high school. One stop shopping is imperative. A district-wide page ensures that families “stay in the know” throughout their years in your district. If I have a kindergarten child, why wouldn’t I want to see the amazing opportunities available in high school? Trust me (I’m a Mom of 6) – parents are thinking that far ahead.

     

     

    • Merging existing pages into one district-wide page is simple and requires nothing on the part of the fan. Your fans stay the same, just the look and name of the page changes. Want to know how to do it? Check out this blog.

     

     

    • One district page with a few people posting (or better yet, #SocialSchool4EDU) takes the pressure off of schools, secretaries, tech support people, and administrators. Put someone in charge and make it a priority! Use the tools and tricks Andrea shares weekly in her blog. Sign up for that here.

     

     

    Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

    • One interesting byproduct of a district wide Facebook page, and more importantly, telling your district’s story in a consistent and positive manner, is teacher (staff) buy in. Teaching is a busy profession and many times teachers rarely have a moment to see what their colleagues are doing, especially in other schools. District pride amongst staff pays off big time! It builds morale, it builds trust and turns the tide of a what can be a negative work atmosphere.

     

     

    A district-wide Facebook page is just good business! Let #SocialSchool4EDU help you tell your story, a story that begins with one page. You can reach out to me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com for more information!

     


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Facebook Live Contributors for Your School

Facebook Live Contributors for Your School

Facebook Live is so HOT right now!

It has never been easier to broadcast live, and schools across the world have seen the positive impact it can have. Check out this live book reading Chippewa Falls did the night before school started:

Facebook Live Contributors for your School

The stats on this post speak for themselves.
72 comments
Reached 7,200
172 reactions
27 Shares

Facebook Live Contributors for your School

But how can you use it more this school year when only a few people within your school are Facebook page administrators?

Well, Facebook now allows you to assign people as Facebook Live contributors. This means that they can go live from their own Facebook account, without the ability to post or edit other content on the FB page.

Facebook Live Contributors for your School
Once a contributor, that user will see the option to “Go Live” when they access your school’s Facebook page.

Facebook Live Contributors for your School
 

Facebook Live Contributors for your SchoolIf the new contributor needs a little more instruction on what to do now, here is a short video that will help explain things for them. And we even created this handy little checklist! We broke down what you need to think about a week before, minutes before, and during the taping.

Grab the checklist here!

Do you have a successful Facebook Live post from your school? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below.

 


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What’s the Story Behind #SocialSchool4EDU?

What’s the Story Behind #SocialSchool4EDU?

“What a great idea!”

That is a frequent response I get after explaining my business model that helps schools use social media.

And I wish I could say that it was a well designed plan, but…

It is quite by accident that I’m talking with you today.

What seemed like the absolute worst news back in 2013 turned into the absolute biggest blessing of my life.

So if you want to learn the “behind the scenes” story about how #SocialSchool4EDU came to be, check out this awesome article from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (my alma mater).

The power of social: Blugold grad takes social media to education.

What’s the Story Behind #SocialSchool4EDU?


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7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media – (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

I’m on a mission to help schools tell their story using social media.

After working with schools for 3 ½ years, I’ve learned a lot. I share what I learn each week here on my blog. I hope you’ve tuned in for a while, enjoying the 100+ articles on topics from Facebook to Twitter to Social Media Policy and more.

Last week, I was preparing for a discussion with a group of schools in Wisconsin. When I talk to a new group, I always take time to review their current social media pages to get an understanding of where they are at in their journey.

I saw a mix of results for the dozen schools. Lots of great things, but more of the basics that just aren’t being done right.

I guess sometimes I think that the people I talk to have been on this journey as long as I have – and that they’ve read every article I’ve ever published… Well, they didn’t because I shared this article on the 5 Biggest Mistakes for Schools Using Social Media nearly 2 years ago.

Since many of these mistakes are still being made – I want to take a minute to help. Whether you are new to social media, or have been doing it for a few years, check your channels to see how you’re doing when it comes to these seven mistakes I see a little too often.

And if you want a bit more help – check out this free webinar I have coming up on Wednesday, September 6th. I’ll be going LIVE at noon and 8 pm EST to share Social Media 101. You have to sign up – so register here.

OK – back to those 7 mistakes:

  1. Posting with no image
    Our CIO, Heidi Feller, once said that “Posting without an image is like opening the front door of a school and yelling out an announcement.” No one is going to see it. You have to stand out in the newsfeed – and text only updates do not get seen. Create some standard images that can be used when you don’t have an adorable photo handy.
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    7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

  3. Not having a school hashtag
    I was just in a room full of school leaders, and when I asked them to raise their hand if they had a school hashtag, only 25% of the people raised their hand. You are missing out on great stories happening in your schools if you don’t have a hashtag! If you need more information on the why, what and how of hashtags, read this article.
  4.  
    #HASHTAG Questions: Answers for Schools

  5. Kids as your profile photo
    Schools should use their logo as their profile photo, not an image of students or staff. You want to differentiate yourself in the newsfeed from personal pages – and your logo will help you stand out. In the image below, the eagle logo is the profile photo. The photo collage is the cover photo.
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    7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

     
    7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

  7. Keeping Facebook Reviews visible
    The reviews on Facebook do not have to be shown on your page. I just saw a school who had a rating of 2.4. Yikes! I’m sure they have a great school, but a few disgruntled people out there can ruin your score. And you can’t hide or delete written reviews. In Facebook, you can go into settings and edit page to turn the reviews off.
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  9. Not customizing your Facebook URL
    Make it easier for people to find you on Facebook by customizing your URL. You do it by creating a username – click on the area right underneath your name to the left of the page.
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    7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

  11. Cover photo – outdated or just your school building
    The cover photo used on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is prime real estate when it comes to branding your school. If you still have 2017 graduates – you need to update it to focus on the current school year. My biggest pet peeve is just using a photo of your school building. Jazz it up to provide a feeling, like this one from Rockford Area School District in Minnesota. If you’re interested in getting some graphics help, #SocialSchool4EDU can help. Check out the prices here.
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    7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

  13. Not utilizing Facebook Live
    Reaching your audience with live video coverage has never been easier. The best thing is, Facebook really favors FB Live – so it will be seen by your followers! And you can use it to get them involved. Check out the example below from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD in Texas. You can get your staff involved by assigning FB Live contributors. Not sure how to do that? Stay tuned for my blog next week and I’ll explain it in detail!
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    7 Mistakes You’re STILL Making with Social Media - (And Easy Ways to Fix Them!)

There you go! If you were 7 for 7 on these items – you might be a school social media pro. If you feel like you need more of the basics covered, check out this free webinar!
 

 


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Hayward Community School District

Telling Our Story #LikeACane

Guest post by Superintendent Craig Olson

Even schools that do a great job with communication have room for improvement. I thought our school was cutting edge with how we communicated information to parents and members of the community, until we added social media. Through the use of social media, we have made a huge improvement in how we are branding our school district, and I thought we were going a great job of it before.

Hayward Superintendent Craig OlsonSetting a Strategy
Prior to making social media a priority in our school, we had no strategy at all. We didn’t have time and it wasn’t at the top of our list. We did as well as we could with the tools we had, but I was giving a half-hearted effort to something I half-heartedly knew something about.

A school social media expert had approached me about having her company manage our social platforms, but even then, I didn’t think we needed help. I thought, “Thanks for the idea; we can do that.”

Eventually, I realized we weren’t doing it! Without a plan, it ended up on the someday list every time other tasks took priority. The solution for creating a strategy for our school was to hire #SocialSchool4EDU, a company that would take care of managing everything for us. We were able to fund the program with donations from our community, which has been a wonderful solution for us. Other schools have a designated staff person who is the social media strategist. Either way, having a strategy and a plan of action is key.

Getting the Stakeholders on Board
The school board, teachers, administration, parents and students are all stakeholders when it comes to communication in your school. Our students have been excited about the addition of social media. It gives them a stage to share all of the positive and fun things they do and they enjoy seeing the interaction from people in the community.

I was worried about whether or not our staff would provide enough content for posts, but they have come through in a big way. As with the students, this is another platform for them to showcase what they are doing well. It gives them a voice in the community.

Our biggest impact has been in the community. Parents love that we have upped our game and they are positive about the way we communicate with them. Community members who don’t have students in the school can also interact with the students in our school through social media.

Hayward Community School District

Hayward Community School DistrictEngaging the Community
We are the Hurricanes, and we have a saying that has been used for years—”like a cane.” It means doing your best every day. Around our community we see more than 150 banners with “Like a Cane” on them. Businesses and organizations have joined in the campaign to do their best. Now the campaign has transformed into our district hashtag #LikeACane! We incorporate that message into everything: Speak like a cane at our school board meetings. Collect data like a cane when we present. Study like a cane for a test. Talk like a cane with our peers.

Through our district hashtag, and consistent sharing of engaging pictures, video and other posts, we are hearing positive feedback all over our community. And, we have the Facebook data to back up the increase in engagement as well.

Hayward Community School District

 

Hayward Community School District

Reaping the Results of Greatness
I thought using social media would be a bonus on top of all that we are already doing. I used to think it didn’t matter all that much if we added one more thing to the mix. I didn’t realize until we jumped in that it was a need more than a want. I never anticipated the impact that it was going to have.

Hayward Community School DistrictBranding and marketing is important! I have been speaking on this for years and sharing about all of the efforts we have launched in our district, but I was missing this one piece. Social media is foundational in the way we communicate because it is so engaging. We can tell our story, and we can get feedback from others. It is a listening channel. If you’re overwhelmed and aren’t sure how you can take on one more thing, I encourage you to partner with someone who can take your school from great to even greater. However you decide to get started, do it #LikeACane!

Craig Olson is superintendent of Hayward Community School District in Hayward, Wis., home of the Hurricanes. Craig has been with Hayward for 17 years, and has been superintendent for the last seven. His team has worked hard to develop a community outreach program with their “Like a Cane” campaign.

E-mail: colson@hayward.k12.wi.us.
Follow the school on Facebook @HaywardSchool.

 


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School Communication: What Really Works in 2017?

School Communication: What Really Works in 2017?

School Communication: What Really Works in 2017?Do me a favor. Look at your phone right now.

How many unread text messages do you have?

If you’re like most people, the answer is zero. You look at every single text message, usually within seconds of receiving them.

According to Forbes, texts have a 99% open rate and 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent.

So, is your school using text messaging to communicate?

Ok, one more question now. What is a higher priority in your school – website or social media?

I talk to schools every week and it seems that the website is often thought of first.

But, did you hear that Facebook just passed up the 2 billion user mark?

That’s right, over 2.01 billion people use Facebook each month. And ⅔ of those people look at Facebook every day.

School Communication: What Really Works in 2017?

Do you think people look at your website every day? Probably not.

But they do look at social media.

So is your school showing up in their newsfeed?

The way our students, parents, and community receive information has changed drastically over the past ten years.

But our schools are struggling to keep up.

If you feel that your school is caught in the 90’s with their communication methods, you don’t want to miss this free webinar featuring Dane Dellenbach. He is the inventor of great communication tools like Parent Link and Sociability. Currently Director of Project Management for Blackboard, Dane will break down the data behind the need for changes within our schools.

Dane will share how to prioritize updates you can make in your communication channels this school year. We’ll also take the time to get all of your questions answered!

Check it out!

School Communication: What Really Works in 2017?


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How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos Blog

How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos

By far, the number one concern I hear from schools that use social media is they can’t get enough content from their staff. They know great things are going on, but they have trouble getting information from their teachers.

Other schools struggle with getting balanced stories from all grade levels. It seems that the elementary grades may be good about sending regular photos, but the middle and high school content is nearly non-existent. It seems counter-intuitive, since this group of students is always on their phones.

Well, if you are reading this blog, you are probably the one responsible for posting things for your school. You cannot do it alone. It truly does take a village to tell your story (and here is the blog that talks about it).

So let’s talk about nine strategies to get more photos:

  1. Make it easy to submit – We recommend asking staff to e-mail photos and updates to a central e-mail address. Creating a general social media e-mail address (like socialmedia@myschool.com) will help clear up any misconceptions of “Who do I e-mail this to?” If e-mail is too tough, you could also offer up a cell phone number where they could text the photos to you. Another option would be if the teachers are using social media already in their classroom, to make sure they tag the school district in their posts. Get creative. The easier you make it, the more likely it will be that you get photos.
  2. Emphasize the importance – The new school year has either just kicked off, or will be kicking off soon. Passionately sharing the impact social media has for your school is a must! To help you out, I have created an awesome six-minute video to help highlight the reasons behind social media use in school. You are free to use this at your convocation or staff inservice meeting – click here for the YouTube video link.
  3. How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos Blog

  4. Talk it out – If some teachers don’t ever submit content, ask the question of why. If they are worried about privacy issues, take time to explain the list of students that can’t be photographed. If they feel that they don’t have time, show them how easy it is to snap a photo and attach it to an e-mail. If they are against social media altogether, then you may just want to let it go. You will not bat 1,000, nor do you need to in order to be successful.
  5. Reward staff – Creating a traveling trophy or special recognition for those who actively submit content is a great way to encourage staff. Competition is healthy, especially when it is in the name of celebrating our students. My friend Greg Turchetta at Collier School District created a hashtag trophy. Teachers adorn their classroom or office with pride!
  6. How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos Blog

  7. Get students and parents involved – Staff aren’t the only ones with great stories. Your students and parents have great accounts of the awesomeness going on in your school too! You can personally ask for involved students and parents to submit content to you via your e-mail address. You can also encourage the use of your school hashtag and use material that you find on your district channel. I would encourage you to ask permission first, but I’m sure they will be happy to see their photos shared.
  8. Report on metrics – You must share your social media wins with your staff. If you have a post that reaches 10,000 people, let them know about it! If you receive great comments, make sure to highlight them. Don’t assume your staff reads every post on social media. You need to put together a report card to share metrics back with them. If they see the impact you are having, they will likely participate more in the future. If you want help creating a report card for your school, this recorded webinar will help.
  9. https://www.facebook.com/collierschools/?fref=ts

  10. Classroom photographers – Encourage staff to assign classroom photographers. These photos from the students’ view are so fun for your community to see! It can make it less stressful on the teacher to try and remember to take photos.
  11. 100 Inspiring Ideas for School Social Media

     

  12. Provide ideas – Even though I believe there are a million things that could be shared each day in every classroom, some teachers may struggle with ideas for what to share. That’s why I created a list of 100 inspiring ideas for social media posts. Download the list here.
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  14. Training – Offering ongoing support for the social media efforts is key. In order to meet people where they are at, we need to offer continued training for our staff on using social media. If you aren’t equipped to conduct the training internally, #SocialSchool4EDU can help! We love conducting in-person or online training for your staff. E-mail me so we can talk about your specific needs.

I hope this list helps provide at least one or two that you can try at your school to grab more content. If you have another idea to share, comment below!

 
 


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Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

What’s the best way to take social media to the next level for your school?

Learn from others, of course!

Two weeks ago, I hosted my first virtual Social Media Summer Camp (SMSC) event. It was an unbelievable day of learning with over 100 attendees and a jam-packed agenda of social media topics intended just for K-12 schools.

This feedback summed it up well:

“I’m a happy camper! SMSC17 was a great day of learning: relevant topics; expert, engaging presenters; and a flexible format to fit into this busy time of year. I took away tips to use right away, and thoughtful information for long-range planning.” – Cathy Kedjidjian, Deerfield Public Schools, IL

If you missed the event, there is still a chance to grab all of the content. Check it out here!

To give you a high level summary of the camp, I wanted to share my top five takeaways from the day.

  1. Make staff feel like rockstars

    Dr. Joe Sanfelippo’s presentation certainly ignited the entire camp, but one of my biggest takeaways was to make staff feel appreciated. You invest thousands of dollars in hiring them. How about throwing them a $10 t-shirt and giving them some Facebook love?

    Fall Creek has taken it a step further and involved students in the process of hiring new staff. How cool is it to get a job offer from your class of 5th grade students that you’ll be teaching next year? Pretty cool!

  2. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  3. In a crisis, the goal is to “keep your head while all around you are losing theirs.”

    When tragedy or controversy hits your school, most people know about it before you have a chance to tell them! Understanding the issue, getting the facts, knowing what to say and how to say it through the use of social media – it’s overwhelming! Lesley Bruinton, APR gave this one piece of advice that really resonated with me. It’s all about keeping calm when everyone around you is frantic.

  4. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  5. A small budget can go a long way in Facebook advertising compared to traditional channels.

    If your school is spending any money on traditional modes of advertising, they are completely missing the boat if they don’t use some dollars on Facebook advertising. Shane Haggerty’s advice and direct examples of how Facebook ads can work for schools was powerful! I hear of schools using radio or newspaper ads – for thousands of dollars – when Facebook boosted posts can be done with as little as $5. The first step is to just try it out and see what happens – then build on it from there.

  6. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  7. “Don’t worry about having the right words; worry more about having the right heart.”

    Providing guidelines for our school staff was the topic, but Carla Pereira, APR hit on so many great topics that pertain to telling our story. This quote hit home for so many of our attendees. We get caught up in finding the perfect image and caption. It can be so stressful. Worry more about having the right heart. Celebrating our students is an important job. Keep that as your guiding light and you’ll be just fine!

  8. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  9. Social media champions

    Social media for your district truly takes a village. You may be the person responsible for managing it, but you can’t do it alone. You need to build social media champions within your schools. Kristin Magette, APR shared that this is the way that she has continued to grow her social media presence for her district.

  10. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

I hope this advice serves your school well! If you attended camp and have another takeaway that you’d like to share, comment below.

And if you are interested in taking part in all of the content that was covered, you still have a chance. Full access to recordings, the workbook, and all supporting materials are available for a special price until August 31, 2017. Check it out here!

 


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Boost Your Social Media With These Back To School Ideas

Boost Your Social Media With These Back To School Ideas!

It’s about to get a little crazy…

OK – a LOT CRAZY!

Nothing can beat the energy of back to school time.

Teachers are recharged, students are wide-eyed with curiosity, and parents are ready to get their kids back into a routine.

Easy Ways to Boost Social Media This School YearSo let’s capitalize on the attention our school is gathering by getting everyone involved in the social media channels for our school!

A few weeks ago, I shared more than 20 ideas for boosting your social media efforts on a free webinar. You can get access to that free recording here.

Out of the list, I wanted to highlight 5 of the best ideas.

  1. Facebook Live – Bedtime Book Reading
    Bring families together by sharing some of your favorite stories over Facebook Live. They could be read by a primary teacher, a principal, or superintendent. Check out this promotion for an upcoming event in Fall Creek!
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    Facebook Live Book Reading

  3. How To Videos
    Many kids (and adults) have anxiety when it comes to new things. How about using social media to cover some helpful tips before the first day of school? Show your kids how to do locks. This post from Ridgetop Middle School reached over 80,000 people when the originally shared it. Other ideas could include:

    • Getting from class to class in 3 minutes
    • Punching in your lunch number
    • What to do if you get sick
    • Tips on organizing your locker
    • Cell phone policies
    • Lunchroom rules
  4.  
    Ridgetop Middle School Lockers

  5. Introducing New Staff
    Using social media to introduce new staff is a great way to make them feel welcome in a new school! These posts reach thousands of people and end up attracting a lot of new followers to your page.
  6.  
    New Staff Post

  7. First Day Campaign
    Getting the entire community involved in broadcasting the first day of school excitement is as easy as developing a first day campaign. Wondering what it is? We broke down exactly how to do it in this blog post from District 214.
  8.  
    First Day Campaign

  9. Social Media Table at Open House
    Invite students, parents, and teachers to join your social media channels during your open house or back to school event. You can staff it with high school students or ask for parent or para-professional volunteers. Don’t simply tell people to follow your pages, but rather help them find it on their phone and ensure they have the right page.
  10.  
    Open House Table

You can add hundreds of new followers to your social media channels during this back to school season! To grab even more ideas, and to get more information on the five strategies above, don’t forget to check out the free webinar here.

Good luck! Here is to the best year yet!