Allerton Hill Blog

for industry news, case studies, new media & communications strategies

Keyword Archives: media

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.


Posted in Allerton Hill News, Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education, Policy, Social Media
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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.


Posted in Campaigns, Community Outreach, Education
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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 »

Posted in 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. »

Posted in Community Outreach, Education, Social Media
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The Importance of the Traditional Media for Public Schools

May 13, 2013

In recent years, new technologies have revolutionized the ways that we think about the media and how we get our news. Innovations such as Twitter and “smart” mobile phones have made information faster, easier, and cheaper to consume. At the same time, customary media sources like newspapers and magazines have weathered declines in their readership and advertising revenues. The conventional wisdom has decreed that the established media’s days are numbered. In reality, though, talk of the “death of the American newspaper” is premature and overlooks some of the real advantages that traditional media sources have to offer.

First, while online platforms have increased their market share in recent years, the vast majority of Americans – 72%, according to the State of the First Amendment survey – still get their news from familiar media sources such as the TV, radio, or newspaper. More interesting still, a 2010 Pew study on news content and usage revealed that 95% of new information, meaning a story the reader was not previously aware of, came from traditional sources. This suggests social media is being used primarily to share content that has already been produced by their conventional counterparts, rather than as a vehicle for original journalism – making the two more like partners than rivals.

Second, traditional media sources benefit from their proximity to the public they serve. As members of the same communities, these journalists understand what is important to their neighbors and how best to reach them. Furthermore, conventional media outlets offer a standard of credibility and accountability for their output, and stake the reputation of their public brand on the quality of their work. The new media technology’s emphasis on transferring information as rapidly and freely as possible also creates the potential for that information to be inaccurate or incomplete.

For these reasons, traditional media sources have a great deal to offer in spite of the increased options for consumers in the media market. It has never been easier to write a guest editorial or submit content for publication in your traditional media outlets. Those seeking to stoke conversation and make positive changes in their community should look no further.

Posted in Community Outreach, Education