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Keyword Archives: edchat

Effective media relationships ensure your message is heard

December 5, 2015

There is more to working with the media than simply responding to questions.  You need to develop a cooperative relationship, and become a valued resource.

When you are on good terms with the local media, they can become an important tool in your district’s communications toolbox.  The media can enhance your image, or they can destroy it.  A relationship built on mutual respect benefits everyone.

To build a solid relationship, it is helpful to understand what the media looks for in a source.  Some tips:

  • Tell the truth, no matter how much it hurts. One needs to look no further than the current presidential race to understand that lies warrant headlines. The truth is rarely as interesting. This does not mean, however, that you must reveal every ugly truth or fact that will have a negative impact on your district. Sometimes, it is better to say nothing. But when you do speak, tell the truth.

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Posted in Allerton Hill News, Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Policy, Social Media
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Letters to the editor: get your message heard

December 2, 2015

Looking for a simple way to get your message heard?  Write a letter to the editor!

Letters to the editor are probably the best read section of a publication.  Whether you chose to contact a newsletter, newspaper, or magazine, letters to the editor are great ways to:

Complain, about unbalanced coverage, poorly conceived content or illogical editorials.

Set the record straight, about ill-conceived articles, inaccurate information, or unproven misperceptions.

Express a strong reaction, to community events, news coverage, and taxpayer issues.

Explore ideas, about life, community needs, and politics.

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Posted in Allerton Hill News, Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Policy, Social Media
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Soft grants can fund school projects

November 16, 2015

While many districts actively compete in formal grant programs, they often ignore a more lucrative source of funds:  celebrities.

Many high-earning celebrities, including actors, directors, writers, entertainers, sports stars, talk show hosts, broadcasters and others sponsor charities, donate items for fundraising auctions, or make pledges to crowdfunding campaigns.  Still others engage in “soft grants,” donating funds to projects that capture their interest.  Soft grants tend to have no application process.  All that is involved is a public or private appeal, and hopefully a check.

In fact, the award of a soft grant may depend more on the publicity value of the donation or whether it strokes the celebrity ego.  Sometimes, a specific project may pull at a celebrity’s heart strings and compel him or her to open their wallets. At other times, a grant may be awarded to boost a tarnished image, or heighten a public profile. But in the end, it is the recipient who benefits most.

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Posted in Budget & Finance, Campaigns
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Newsletters provide big opportunities

November 14, 2015

That “old-fashioned” newsletter is still an important tool in your communications arsenal.

The value of a newsletter is four-fold:

  • It permits a school district to communicate about multiple subjects at one time.
  • It provides flexibility in distribution (digital and print), enabling a broader reach.  Those without access to a computer and the Internet, such as some senior citizens, still have access to information in print form.
  • The advent of multiple platforms on the Internet, and the increasing deluge of junk mail, has created “information clutter.” With regular publication, a newsletter provides an opportunity to consistently reinforce key messages.
  • Newsletters provide an opportunity to reinforce your brand through consistent messaging. Featuring your brand, for example, “Striving for excellence,” at the bottom of each page drives the message home.

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Posted in Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education
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Pick your target and aim: Effective communications

November 12, 2015

Some school communications programs throw tax dollars out the window. Not intentionally, perhaps, but that money is wasted nonetheless.

Those programs are failing to effectively target key audiences.

Identifying who needs to hear your message is only part of the communications process. You must also ensure that they receive and understand your message. That means embracing learning styles, and developing strategies that target each.

According to the Bepko Learning Center at Indiana University, there are three basic learning styles:

  • Visual: Learning is best accomplished by using objects that can be viewed, such as graphs, charts, pictures, or words.  Learning occurs in a closed environment without distractions.  Information that provides a big picture, and then focuses on details, works best.  Bright colors and large numbers also enhance the learning experience. Experts say about 65 percent of all people are visual learners.
  • Auditory:  Information is retained through hearing and speaking.  Often auditory learners prefer to be told information, rather than reading it.  Repeating information may also be important. This type of learner benefits from group settings, where information can be read out loud, discussed, and repeated in several different ways.  Music enhances the learning experience.  Experts say about 30 percent of all people are auditory learners.
  • Kinesthetic:  For this group, information is best learned through demonstrations, experiments, and field work.  Learners benefit from an explanation of how something is done, accompanied by an actual demonstration.  They also learn more effectively if engaged in physical activity while information is conveyed, for example, standing rather than sitting. Most kinesthetic learners are also visual or auditory learners. But those skills are enhanced by the physical activity.

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Posted in Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Policy
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Are You Following the Social Media Rule of Thirds?

November 7, 2015

It’s tempting for businesses to exclusively share their content to drive sales or marketing, neglecting authentic engagement. It takes discipline to share content from like-minded businesses or industry thought leaders. By following social media’s so-called “Rule of Thirds,” you will be sure you’re sharing content that attracts and maintains an engaged following.

What is Social Media’s Rule of Thirds?

⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.

⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.

⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.

Sharing your own branded content should come naturally. It’s the other two thirds that may be a challenge. Let’s talk about why sharing professional and personal content is equally important.

 Click here to continue reading this article on Hootsuite.com »

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Posted in Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Social Media
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West Clermont advocates for public schools

October 29, 2015

There was a full house at the West Clermont Public School Advocacy kickoff meeting, held Oct. 14 in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Center at Glen Este High School.

The meeting was led by West Clermont Local School District Superintendent Keith Kline, who encouraged school staff, parents, students and community members to learn more about the effect that charter schools have on public education.

“As you know, public education has been under fire for a long time now. Funding continues to dwindle, we send more and more of our resources to poorly performing, for-profit charter schools and the entire teaching profession continues to be demeaned,” Kline said in an email.

He added, “While there has been some movement in Columbus around charter school accountability, there are still major issues around funding, evaluation of teachers, the burden of assessments and the destruction of public education as we know it. Enough is enough!”

 

 Click here to continue reading this article on The Clermont Sun »

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Posted in Budget & Finance, Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Policy
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School administrators seek to engage Dublin’s older residents

October 28, 2015

Typical among school districts, about 65 percent of Dublin’s residents don’t have children in the district, say Dublin schools administrators.

So how does a school district keep empty-nesters involved and invested? Feed them, and promise live entertainment.

On Monday, 34 senior citizens gathered at the district’s Central Office at 7030 Coffman Rd. to visit the buffet line, chat with friends and hear what’s going on with their grandchildren’s schools directly from the Dublin administrators.

The Senior Council Advisory Committee, which convenes four times a year, started about seven years ago. At first, the district had to recruit seniors, but soon the group grew by word of mouth.

Superintendent Todd Hoadley said it isn’t directly about passing levies, but “this is like deposits into the bank of good will.”

 Click here to continue reading this article on The Columbus Dispatch »

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Posted in Community Outreach, Education, Land Use, Social Media
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Why School Superintendents Should Act More Like CEOs

September 3, 2015

Public School SuperintendentThe pressure on public schools today is immense. Public Schools are expected to be all things to all people. Provide top scores on testing, be accountable for every penny of tax dollars being spent and solve all the social problems our society faces. This pressure has meant the job of superintendent has gone from difficult to nearly impossible.

One of the main critiques of schools that I hear is that they need to be “more like the private sector” when they are running their school districts. This is true in one regard. Superintendents need to start acting like the CEOs they are instead of the educator that many were trained to be.

The job of school superintendent can be brutal. It includes long hours at the office, high levels of public scrutiny, a labor face to keep engaged and building a management team that meets high-level expectations, all while over seeing a multimillion-dollar budget.

 Read the Rest of This Article by Allerton Hill's Joel Gagne on Huffington Post » »

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Posted in Allerton Hill News, Budget & Finance, Education
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AHC on Social Media, Part 1: The 4 C’s

August 13, 2015

As the 2015-16 school season starts, this is a great time to reassess and ramp up your social media efforts as a school district. For the next 7 Fridays, I will be sharing some general information about social media platforms, best practices for maximum impact and strategies for staying current and sane while managing an ever-evolving world of communities.

First, let’s talk about more general best practices and concepts to keep in mind regardless of the size of your social media following or which platforms you are using.

Your intentions and usage should always reflect The 4 C’s of Social Media:
Content
Conversations
Community
and Connections

 

Content.

Use social media to get information out! Whether you are making sure people know about an upcoming school holiday, promoting the fall choir concert or encouraging people to get out the vote, social media will get information in front of people’s eyes in an immediate and unavoidable capacity. Both Business Insider and UBM Tech’s Social Media @Work report that as of 2013, over 60% of all internet users go to social media for part or all of their news. Why not make sure YOUR news is being read at the same time?

(Content should be presented in a way that best reflects the medium you are using. Images work great on many platforms but need to be optimized for each network. Hashtags also serve different purposes on different networks. We’ll talk more about what goes where next week.)

 

Conversations.

It is not enough just to post regularly – daily! – across your social networks. Take the time to read and respond to comments and direct messages in a timely fashion. If someone comments on your wall, respond to them publicly as well. Chances are, others have the same question – and it will also encourage more comments and growing conversations! Be sure to address concerns and questions in a thoughtful and specific manner. If you don’t know an answer, promise to provide one and then follow up! This also means, of course, that anyone who is representing your school district on social media accounts must have easy access to information from top sources.

That being said, you should never engage with abusive or troll behavior. Any posts to your wall can reflect on you negatively if you they are not dealt with quickly and decisively without inciting further negativity or an escalation of an argument. Any comments that are defamatory towards your students or staff, that contain hate speech or that are antagonizing the conversation should be quickly deleted AFTER you take a screenshot of the offending comment and save it for future offline discussions and to protect your account’s integrity. Multiple offenders should be blocked from participating on your page.

 

Community.

There is a reason social media platforms are called networks. You should not only be posting your own content on your own accounts. Take the time to engage with students, parents and community members on their own page. This will prove that you are open to more conversations and are participating in social media as a community member and not using it as a bullhorn.

Obviously, you shouldn’t be chatting about last Friday’s party at a student’s house on Facebook or “liking” a student’s selfies on Instagram. But re-tweeting a student’s excitement about an upcoming football game or sharing a community organization’s calendar of events will show that you are paying attention and will earn you more followers.

 

Connections.

Are you looking for volunteers for your next blood drive? Do you need more intern applications? Are you looking for student contributions to your school Facebook page? Just ask! Social media should be an extension of your day-to-day community and should serve as a way to connect people with your school’s message and your needs. A “backpack express” note will only reach the parents who read it but a Facebook post has the potential to be shared across networks and find the right people to fill your needs.

 

For more general thoughts on how to approach your social media strategy, you can refer to this guide of “Do’s And Don’ts” for social media best practices:
(click to view image in full size)Allerton Hill Consulting Social Media Best Practices & Tips Guide

 

 

Next week (21 August): What goes where? Determining which social media networks are best for what kinds of content and engagement.

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Posted in Social Media
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