No joke. We’ve got to be masters of both zippity-zip and brevity. Here’s Part 2. – SCN Encourager

The Speedy-Kwik Back-to-School PSD for school communicators is on a roll!

momentumLook out below!

Yesterday I introduced 10 new school communication “learnings” I believe are big time trending.

With the Tigers struggling and the NFL and college football season yet to begin, compiling my list of 10 is actually the most fun I’ve had recently!

But despite my pitiful definition of “fun,” pursuing ways to grow our skills in these areas is the best investment advice I can offer.

A tweetable review:

#1  Act FAST. 10 minutes or less for launching your crisis response.

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

An invitation repeated:

"More ideas, please."

“More ideas, please.”

Your tips and ideas about how you are coping with these trends are invited.

I’ll beg if I have to.

I’d like to include a range of real-world strategies in the Encourager next week.

So, if you have a new favorite tactic or resource, please add it to the mix!

Learnings #3 & #4:

I’ll confess.

Both of these kind of snuck up an me.

While I’m not sure traditional marketers or veteran business professors would agree with these two choices, I think the trend is quite clear.

#3  Customer service is the new marketing. 

Consistently memorable experiences with self-selected brands (like our schools!) trumps robust websites, snail mail newsletters, pithy tweets, and a matter-of-fact parent/teacher conferences.

That’s what consumer and “chooser” surveys say.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.02.50 PMA bright electronic sign near the curb may get noticed.

But positive experiences are what impact the decisions of school-choosing parents.

This doesn’t diminish the importance of first impressions, of course.

But dang, it’s now those “last impressions” that make or break us.

And yep, they happen every single day!

#4  Metrics that Matter are what matters 

I wish I could report that the State Legislature was all over this one, so we could relax.

But I can’t.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.02.50 PMCall me a cynic.

It’d be true.

In fact, I’m so cynical I repeated the visual image I used for #3.

For sure, the State’s perpetual push for standardized tests and other calculable comparisons stands in stark contrast to what most of the successful firms and organizations are now routinely measuring: customer satisfaction, resilience, creativity, teamwork, meaningful growth (aka results in context), sustainability, and market share.

If I wasn’t a school communicator, I’d give up hope.

But I know that you and school leaders in many districts have been evaluating and redesigning the benchmarks and evaluations we use for quite awhile.

So, all is not lost.

It’s just too bad we have to work on both sides of the street, though; doing our best to respond to Metrics that Rarely Matter while also developing those that really do.

No wonder we’re tired!

We have to play both offense and defense at the same time!

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