I’m still learning from our amazing tribe of school communicators – SCN Encourager

I’m grateful for the lessons you teach me.

Sometimes I get too caught up in the sizzle and the fluff.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 3.24.53 PMIt’s almost impossible for me to read a book, listen to a podcast, or walk into a store without scribbling down notes about what I see and hear.

If ever I could actually decipher these notes – even just a few hours later – I really might be onto something.

Cindy wants me to accept her bet that I have more scraps of paper than socks in my sock drawer in our bedroom dresser.

(Nah, I’m not taking her up on this one. I suspect she secretly counted them up last week.)

Anyway, in an effort to better understand you and other school communicators, I thought I’d take a look at the “reader analytics” behind Encourager email message I send your way on school days.

Although I’ve written more than 500 Encouragers, I’ve never actually dug into all of the data available when you regularly post articles online and frequently email them out.

I guess I’ve always been afraid to see what this hard data would tell me, thinking it might be too similar to how I always wind up feeling after digging into my checkbook balance for about three minutes.

Besides, what kind of data trail can categorize YOU anyway?

Believe me, I’m not about to jump into this pile of interpretations and assumptions.

I doubt there would be a soft landing.

But the ranking of my top five must-read Encouragers over the last three years did catch my eye.

Incredibly, the #1 all-time Encourager (so far) is one I had forgotten even writing.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 3.12.20 PMIt was about Cindy’s and my train trip to Chicago in July, 2013.

The other four in the top five list are all fairly recent – thanks to you and growing base of school communicators who check in frequently –so  the high interest generated by this 20 month-old Encourager surprised me.

My base of readers for the Encourager was smaller then, for sure.

But still, the data made me wonder what I had done right.

Even if by accident.

At first, as I re-acquainted myself with my leader of the pack Encourager, I thought it earned its top spot because of my total devotion (AKA obsession) to tracking down legitimate marketing takeaways (nine of ’em!) and deftly serving them up on a witty and stylish platter for you.


Rather, the analytics revealed that it was a unique blend of factors that lifted this Encourager to its #1 position, as all of the following items are apparently loved by the majority of school communicators:
•  any place with the word “tavern” in its name
•  a trip to Chicago with an equal mix of shopping and eating
•  behind-the-scenes political stories and scandals
•  the tavern owners who refused to serve Republicans in 1944
•  and deep affection for the Chicago Cubs


My nine self-described marketing takeaways had absolutely nothing to do with this Encourager’s appeal.

I was afraid this would be the case.

It was painful to find this out, let me tell you.

But, oh well…

It’ll be another three years before I think about looking into any analytic reports again.

Your occasional email responses are good enough for me.

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