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Keyword Archives: data

From the Podcast: How Schools Need to be Strategic When Going on the Ballot

Strategies for Schools and Campaigns / Podcast interview

February 29, 2016

In this week’s podcast, Joel speaks with Steve Avakian, a newspaper man and veteran educational consultant. His work has reached students in nearly every region in the state of Ohio.

“You have to be ultra creative and responsive to the public. A key element to make this possible is survey research.”

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Posted in Campaigns, Community Outreach, Podcast
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Using research to get your message heard

November 3, 2015

Building a communications plan without research is much like trying to shoot fish in a barrel:  You know your target is there, you’re just not sure where to aim.

Research should be the foundation for every communications plan.  Surveys, focus groups, online discussions, and interviews with key influencers provide the information required to set goals and objectives, develop key messages, identify target audiences, and create effective communications strategies and tactics.

Information must be gathered from every group that could impact perceptions about your schools, including students, staff, parents, businesses, the media, and the community. Each targeted group should be surveyed about perceptions and attitudes concerning the schools, effective communications vehicles, desired frequency of communication, and message effectiveness.

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Posted in Allerton Hill News, Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Social Media
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The imperative for a communications audit and plan for schools

May 13, 2013

The 21st century has already brought enormous changes to the ways in which we gather, process and exchange information. Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are capable of organizing the limitless data of the information age, while we all now use “smart” devices to interact with each other and the world around us every minute of the day.

Social media’s role in our lives has become so widespread that it has grown into a tool of politicians and corporations to directly communicate with the public at-large. Many observers have given credit to social media for reforming the dialogue between Americans and their elected representatives and community organizations.

While these changes are taking root in world around us, some school districts have been slow to embrace the trends. For some educators, the new technology brings challenges. Some think of social media as a tool for the “younger generation” and more work than it’s worth. Others are familiar with social media as a distraction from the classroom. Still early-adopters of modern technology view social media as a welcome advance in their interactions with the government or with businesses, but are skeptical of its application to the education system.

The reality, however, is no 21st century industry — especially one as fundamental as education — can ignore the advantages of social media. For one, social media may have gained its initial popularity among youths, but its acceptance and usage has become widespread by Americans of all ages. According to the latest Pew polling data, 83% of 18- to 29-year-olds, 77% of 30- to 49-year-olds, 52% of 50- to 64-year-olds, and an nearly 1 in 3 (32%) of Americans over 65 years old regularly use social media. This represents a major opportunity to communicate within a diverse range of school districts.

There are numerous examples of grass-roots organizations and movements that have used social media for messaging and action. These should show what schools and school districts are capable of. The potential for direct contact and engagement between community members to bring about social change has been proved and can be used for campaigns in school districts.

The communications revolution brings a glaring need for school districts to audit their communications and build a communications plan to make sure they fit the times. Luckily, some school districts have already begun this important process before they are pushed into the 21st century, kicking-and-screaming by parents, students and community members of younger generations. As school districts and education professionals embrace these new tools, they will need to be proactive about developing a comprehensive communications plan, combining the traditional methods with modern channels like social media.

This was originally published on SmartBlog on Education.

 This was originally published on SmartBlog. »

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Posted in Community Outreach, Education, Social Media
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