You Shared the Pain, Now Share the Joy

There have been plenty of posts in this blog about the need to be aware of social media traffic as part of brand management:

  • How to monitor
  • How to respond to negative comments and criticism
  • What process to follow

Another aspect, though, of knowing what is being said about your organization online is being able to share the good news. Yes, there are occasions where our audiences actually say good things about us. When that happens, shout a quick “hallelujah” and then retweet, share, post or use whatever means your channels of choice provide, to help spread the word.

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And, don’t forget to clip out those images and share them with others in your world who may not be following your accounts or be quite so tech-savvy. My superintendent printed a favorable tweet I sent him and had it framed for his office, shared it with the state director, and sought out the student responsible to thank him for his comment … a lot of goodwill for something less than 140 characters.

How to Get Rid of Facebook Reviews

At first, when people used Facebook’s review feature on our district page, it was harmless. They gave us a nice review, or they used it to announce a PTA meeting. No big deal. There weren’t many star reviews.

But then we had a few snow days. People started accusing us of hating children and not caring about their safety. The star reviews decreased when people disagreed with our snow-day decisions. That was unpleasant, but we understood that Facebook is an opportunity for two-way communications.

Then someone posted an inappropriate, personal rant that violated our policies, and it really became a problem. You cannot delete a review, and flagging the post did not work. I looked for a way to get rid of the reviews entirely, but I could not find it anywhere in the settings.

Finally, after extensive Googling, I found it in the least intuitive place. You go to “edit page,” then to “edit settings.” Click on “page info,” and then click on “address.” Under the map, there is a check box that says “show map, check-ins and star ratings on the page.” You have to uncheck this box.

So the downside is that your patrons can’t check in on Facebook at your site, but for us, this was a small price to pay.

NEWSFLASH: Social Media is Changing The Way We Do Things

If you didn’t know already, social media is changing the way we do things in our daily lives. It’s not only changed how we communicate in our personal lives but also how we communicate in our jobs. Communication is much more face-paced. Users want information at their fingertips. They want to know what is happening in our schools today, not two weeks ago.

In honor of spring break (at least in our district), I wanted to share something lighthearted and fun. In a recent article for PR Daily, John Kultgen compares the then and now of changes in technology to show where we have been and where we are now. He identifies nine items that social media has made obsolete:

  1. The White Pages
  2. Disposable Cameras
  3. Walkie-Talkies
  4. The “Art” of Collage
  5. Camcorders
  6. Diaries
  7. The Yellow Pages

Think about it.  When was the last time you used one of these in a their traditional format? I certainly can’t remember when I did. If you haven’t used these formats in a while, your audience probably hasn’t either. If you needed an argument for why social media is important, there you go.

Connecting with Students and Families Using Video

How many of you have seen the Rainbow Loom®? If you haven’t, it is a plastic toy used to weave small, colorful rubber bands into bracelets and charms.

My wife and I have three children – our oldest is nine. She is a loomer. She and her friends spend hours making bracelets, rings and shapes. I am amazed by their designs.

(Just for clarification, in no way am I endorsing or advertising for Rainbow Loom®; I am using it as an example.) 

A few months ago, I asked her where she gets all of her ideas and she simply answered, “YouTube.”

Search for Rainbow Loom® on YouTube and you will get 553,000 results. Many of the videos have more than a million views. The tutorials provide step-by-step methods for making anything with the toy.

Without knowing it, my fourth grader is using videos and social media as a way to learn and follow instructions. Most importantly, it is for something positive and meaningful.

Just as my daughter finds videos useful for her hobby, we find videos useful in my district. Like many school districts around the country, we have worked hard to harness the power of video. Our department has gone from receiving requests from our schools for flyers and brochures, to requests to produce videos and slide shows.

On a regular basis we share videos with our staff and community from our superintendent, about school safety, student attendance and other events.

Recently, we have been working with some of our schools to promote behavioral expectations. We have found this to be a meaningful and lighthearted method to reach our students. Much like my daughter, many of these digital natives prefer and expect to receive the information this way.

I hope you enjoy the video below produced by our department. Because YouTube is blocked on our student computers, we use SchoolTube to post most videos. We uploaded this video recently and have not shared it with families yet, so there are not very many views. Just so you know, these are our students, teachers and bus drivers – there are no paid actors in this video.