Yes, I know “last but not least” is a lame cliché.
But what do I care?!?
I’m FREE from yesterday’s stress of writing about three of my Michigan school PR neighbors.
With Shane Haggerty 300 miles away and Tracy Jentz 875 miles away, I can now write totally uncensored and unfettered and not have to worry about offending someone.
Like someone close enough to drive over and publicly lodge a complaint at my next school board meeting.
Now, I’ll admit, it would be wonderful if I actually knew some words and phrases worthy of censoring and fettering.
But still … it feels wonderful just knowing I could use them if I felt like it!
Shane Haggerty is the Director of Marketing and Technology at the Tolles Career & Technical Center, Plain City, Ohio.
Located near Columbus, Ohio, Tolles Career & Technical Center is the premier (and most famous!) educational institution of any size in that part of his state.
In fact, I can’t even think of another school or college anywhere near where Shane hangs his hat.
Now maybe if one of those other schools had a decent sports team or something, that might pull some publicity away from Tolles, but what do I know?
At any rate, it probably won’t be too long before we’re all calling TCTC “THE Tolles Career & Technical Center.”
And that’s because Shane Haggerty is a master communicator.
I met Shane when he was the keynote speaker at an MSPRA conference last year.
(We were in the lunchtime buffet line together and he would’ve had difficulty moving away without losing his place in line.)
Shane developed his strong marketing mind and skill set long before entering the school PR field.
He’s a knowledgeable and insightful presenter on social media and other school PR topics and, no doubt, his genuine friendliness and quick wit continue to earn him many speaking invitations.
You’ll appreciate the four-letter word Shane highlights in his NSPRA 2016 takeaway.
“I was really moved by the Rich Harwood keynote when he called on our profession to “tell a new set of stories that provide our communities HOPE.” It continues to inspire me to be innovative and try new tactics in school PR, emphasizing emotional connections and providing resources to our constituents, instead of strictly pushing news and information. We told the story of our alumni and career-tech in last year’s “Landed” documentary, and we will continue to tell a “new set” of stories this year.”
The next school communicator from miles away is straight out of the “can do” DIY mold.
Tracy Jentz is the Communications Coordinator, for Grand Forks Public Schools in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Whether it’s plugging into NSPRA or participating in our SCN Lunchinars, Tracy is always looking for ways to improve her school district’s communications and reach.
I appreciate how she leans toward ACTION instead of sitting back and testing the prevailing wind.
Tracy is committed to continuous learning and always moving forward.
And Tracy’s NSPRA 2016 tip illustrates this.
“My favorite actionable tip from NSPRA 2016 is to use the technology tools that are available to me to help me with my job. For example, the Adobe Spark products (page, post, video) are great, free tools to use when creating graphics, newsletters, and videos. I don’t have to be a graphic designer (or hire one) to be able to make quality products for our district. In fact, I’ve already made several social media graphics for the upcoming school year, and am looking at transferring our employee newsletter to a new product. Free and time-saving, it doesn’t get better than that!” (Explore it here.)
Now in closing out this super week of tips and thoughts from school communicators I think the world of, I must squeeze out one final tip.
I should’ve known my superintendent would demand to see an NSPRA takeaway from me, too.
(“What the heck are we sending you to Chicago for, anyway?”)
So. let’s just call this one my personal CYA tip and know I’m grateful for your patience.
While I brought my low tech bullhorn to Chicago with the intention of learning how to step up from my present one button version to a more state-of-the-art two button model, NSPRA didn’t offer any workshops which covered this.
NSPRA offered so many awesome workshops, the conference planners probably didn’t catch this oversight.
But one of the more do-able (and uplifting) actions I’ve taken since NSPRA 2016 has been to set up and promote a common hashtag districtwide.
A young school communicator from Pennsylvania recommended trying this and Bingo! It’s starting to catch on.
And now, with one centralized hashtag to go to, our idle community ambassador network is starting to pick up some steam again.
So, that’s it.
Thanks for checking in with these NSPRA 2016 inspired tips throughout the week.
And I’m sorry this Encourager ran long… but I couldn’t help enjoying my new freedom!
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