Visually Telling Your Story
Once denigrated as journalism’s version of light beer, infographics are now de rigueur, especially for interactive news outlets. Done well, these colorful and clever variations on standard chart and graph designs can convey a lot of information quickly.
Restoring Trust in Schools
From union busting to thinly veiled attempts at privatization, public schools are under attack. Using budget cuts as cover, the dismantling of public education is well under way. How did an institution that still maintains a 77 percent approval rating from its primary customers (parents) get in such a state?
Telling Your Story
The very concept of public schools that are free and open to all is under attack – and the wrong side is winning the debate. That’s because we’ve let others tell our story and define the agenda for public education. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will.
Communicating to Employees
Employee-first communications is extremely important to your future success. Leaders need to set up systems and structures that allow for ongoing feedback from employees. You also need to make a concerted and coordinated effort to ensure that employees know what is going on, why, and how it will affect them.
Your Staff, Your Work Family
Stagnant salaries, growing accountability pressures, and too many “my way or the highway” administrators are making teachers feel more like serfs than professionals. That same malaise is spreading to custodians, maintenance workers, cafeteria managers, secretaries, principals, and central office staff. We need to start treating them with more respect.
Dealing With Education Activists
Voters, it seems, are getting angrier and staying madder longer. Misinformation abounds, spread worldwide 24/7 by bloggers and social media savants. With more than 70 percent of U.S. voters no longer directly connected to their public schools through their children, ignoring media-savvy activist groups is likely to backfire.
Getting Public Support for Schools
The public square today is online, primarily in social media networks. These tools represent important communication channels for people who care deeply about children and public schools. If the new media is the new public square, then educators need to rally their troops and make sure their voices are heard.
Mobile Apps Strategies for Schools
The rise of mobile applications and adoption of e-readers are raising consumer expectations about the timing, format, and delivery of news and information. Simply posting a PDF online won’t engage readers used to taking quizzes, listening to podcasts, viewing videos, tapping into social media outlets, and linking to related content.
Bringing Parents to School
Definitions of what constitutes parent involvement may differ based on cultural perspectives and biases, but most experts now agree that engaging parents is as important as instruction. As a result, engagement efforts are focusing more on boosting the capacity of parents to support learning at home as well as at school.
Social Media Headaches for Schools
Social media sites can pose significant legal headaches and public relations challenges. Anticipate possible concerns and develop policies in advance that spell out expectations and consequences while passing legal muster. Like students, employees maintain First Amendment rights when they walk into school or when they return home and go online.
Video in School Communications' Plans
People tend to believe video more than words because, after all, “pictures don’t lie.” The potent, emotion-laden combination of sound and moving pictures gives digital video an edge over other applications, particularly when it combines humor and interactivity. Online video is here to stay. Start telling your stories – your way.