Every school has a story to tell. The question is who is telling it? Is it the staff, students and parents singing your praises, or is it the vocal critics amplifying small issues into headline news?
I love to help schools escape an image problem. Today I was at one of our high schools to train a #tweetcher tech team. They agreed to do social media on the school accounts to help change the false narratives attached to their school for far too long. We talked our way through a communication strategy specific to the school’s PR challenges. The truth is this simple strategy will work at any school. Here are four steps to showcase any school!
- Student Success Stories: Every student has a success story. Kids going to Harvard are easy choices, but how about a student who made gains and got out of remedial classes? A social media video of the teacher or principal high-fiving the student for their accomplishment rewards the student and helps rewrite the school narrative about academic struggles. A student success story each day creates momentum and proves students succeed at this school!
- Spotlight Your Academic Programs: What academic programs make your school special? Demonstrate the innovate teaching and exclusive learning opportunities that your students enjoy each day in these classes. Put them into a one-page brag sheet for open house, put them on your website, show them of at a school board meeting and of course plaster these on your social media channels.
- Highlight Extracurricular Activities: Prove you create well-rounded students through athletics, music, art, JROTC and after-school clubs.
- Showcase your Staff: Introduce new teachers and new administrators to your parents and staff using social media videos before curriculum night or meet the teacher nights. Brag about your veteran teachers and the honors they have achieved in your monthly newsletters, and yes, even brag about how facility managers keep the school looking great.
As a school PR pro, it is our job to teach school administrators and teachers how to showcase their schools and communicate their own success stories. How many times have you walked the school halls with a principal and pointed out all the great stories waiting to be told? It is worth the time, every time, to teach our educators how to use their communication tools to brag about our schools.