Many of us have seen an explosion in the use of social media by school administrators in the past couple of years, particularly on Twitter. But some school superintendents and building principals remain either skeptical or simply too busy to take on social media in a direct way. You know who you are.
The major social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn – are no longer a playground reserved just for the communications and instructional technology staff. The superintendents and building principals who have decided that they wanted to join in on the fun have come around to understand the platforms, and to participate themselves.
As a school public relations professional, you might find (as I do) that you’ve become the social media teacher, and your superintendents and building principals have become your students. I can’t tell you the number of times over the past several years that a district administrator has asked me, “So what’s this social media thing, anyway?”
To answer that question, you might want to consider some of the following tips:
- Conduct a social media workshop for members of your district’s cabinet, or explain how your district is using social media at a Board of Education meeting.
- Offer to do a social media workshop for your PTA – usually an eager, social media-deprived audience. I’ve presented for the past two years, for example, at the annual Westchester/East Putnam Parent Teacher Association’s conference on social media. As you might expect, the audience has grown.
- Develop a social media toolkit page on your school district website. To see how this is done well, visit the Chicago Public Schools’ Social Media Toolkit page here. Chicago has developed a toolkit of resources that includes how-to videos, documents and links to other sites, meant primarily for school principals who want to use social media to connect with their communities.
You might be surprised at the reception you’ll get by sharing your social media knowledge.