Floral clothing, shaggy haircuts, & negative space manicures – SCN Encourager

fingernailsDon’t waste your time fussing over these hot trends.

They’re not in my top five.

In fact, “negative space manicures” wouldn’t have even made it onto my list of Today’s Top 50 Trends.

I didn’t know what they were until yesterday.

So, I’m grateful my daughter took the time to clue me in.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.48.44 PMAlthough I could’ve done without her reminder that it’s now 2015, she did manage to spur my thinking about what other trends may be significant for school communicators today.

Of course, tips and tools are important.

We’ve got to keep scooping those into our tool box.

But understanding a few of the latest societal and generational trends swirling around us sure can’t hurt.

They impact our work.

Big time.

See if my Top 5 Trends are similar to what you’ve been observing and experiencing within your own school family.

#1  Let’s say you want to attract new teaching talent to your district. Experts will tell you that the primary decision-making factors in the minds of young job-seekers today are the perceived value of your “cause” and the affinity they feel for your organizational purpose. Yes, job security, pay, and benefits are important, but less so today.

#2  Every school staff is comprised of highly credentialed individuals. (Some of us are even certifiable…) Increasingly though, credentials are playing less of a role in career success today. Building and nurturing your personal “network” (along with acquiring experience and skills) is where the action is at.

#3  The “tribe” is now more important than the brand. It’s hard to fathom, but it’s true. Brands used to rule the marketplace. But today “peer to peer” feedback, reviews, and recommendations are more trusted than 98% of the messages conveyed by brands and their celebrity spokespersons.

#4  The pendulum is now swinging back (a bit!) toward offline communication tactics. Sure, online connections and platforms are here to stay in our schools, but the multitudes of messages mushrooming on social media are inspiring brand new approaches in direct snail mail, handwritten cards and thank you notes, and other “old school” marketing.

#5  Automated systems and the latest tech tools will always have great appeal, but the reigning champ for retaining current school families and attracting new ones to your district is still the intentional commitment to grow and strengthen quality relationships.

I’m sorry that I don’t have a #6 to tell you about.

I was hoping I’d discover that in 2015 “Predictable is the new sexy.”

But nope.

No such luck.

Sadly, it seems I’m confined to studying trends, not making them.

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