My list of 10 trends in school communications is depressing me – SCN Encourager

I’m discovering I need to improve in every area!

same old thinking at 6.54.40 AMOne of these days…

I’m going to brag about one of my personal mastery skills.

Just because the list of my 10 school PR learnings clearly represents items I need to work on, doesn’t mean I don’t have a set of unique talents already fully developed.

This diagram even reminded me about one of them.

I had totally forgotten about my God-given ability to routinely try out BRAND NEW THINKING and still be able to churn out the SAME OLD RESULTS.

Not everyone has that particular gift, let me tell you!

Now before I present trends #5 and #6, how ’bout a speedy-kwik recap?

Here’s a tweetable review of  Trends #1-4: 

#1  Act FAST. Example: 10 minutes or less to launch a school crisis response.

#2  Be CONCISE. Don’t add weight to the pile of communications clutter.

#3  Begin your slow dance with CUSTOMER SERVICE. It’s the new marketing.

#4  Choose your own METRICS THAT MATTER. The others are secondary.

And, of course, this week’s invitation still awaits you:

brain powerI’d like your ideas about how you’re dealing with these four trends.

You may not know it, but I’m already receiving some excellent ones back.

With all of that extra “brain power” from school communicators coming in, next week’s Encouragers should be super rock-solid.

For once, I’ll have more than just Cindy’s opinion to keep me afloat.

(But don’t tell her I wrote that.)

Okay, it’s time to knock out Learnings #5 & #6:

Who would argue that social media is not where the action’s at, communications-wise?

Social media now provides the platforms where many of us are increasingly telling the stories of our schools.

Being an effective and engaging social media storyteller is a tremendous skill to have.

BUT it’s not the only internet skill we need to nurture.

#5  We must now be the protectors of our brand’s online reputation 

When you hear cybersphere referred to as something akin to the old “wild west,” don’t scoff.

It’s true.

We can teach (and preach) internet etiquette until the very day our Legislature fully funds our schools, but not much will change.

superheroThere’s simply no online sheriff out there to stop calamity before it “rides into our town.”

It’s nightmare-ish when it happens.

How online reputations can be severely tarnished in no time at all.

So, it’s up to us to be more knowledgeable about both active and re-active reputation management strategies.

I’ll go over some of these strategies in a few days.

I’m busy now working on a killer design for our “Online Brand Protector” t-shirts!

They’ll be a big help.

Anyway, Learning #6 is also related to how we react to the information we see posted online.

Here ’tis.

#6  What WE say online about us is not as important as what THEY say online about us

All of those Peer-to-Peer reviews posted online – and typically by people we don’t even know – have incredible influence.

people talkingSomehow we’ve elevated the countless throngs of online “peer reviewers” as the new omnipresent purveyors of truth.

Especially when it come to either recommending products and services OR un-recommending them, for that matter.

And this shift in the balance of “trust” doesn’t help us any.

Peers are the most effective persuaders around today.

For a superintendent or school communicator to join in the online conversation taking place between parents and their peers (or a gaggle of community cranks and their peers) is problematic.

While monitoring online conversations about our schools is relatively easy to do, actually entering into a school related discussion taking place online in real-time carries the risk of getting tagged as an interrupting “buttinski.”

But it’s a risk worth taking.

And I should know.

That’s another one of my unique personal mastery skills!

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