If a recent professional development conference for school public relations managers is any indication, how to make the most out of using their school website and social media accounts appears to be a pressing issue for many schools.
The Campus Suite Academy took its educational series on the road last month at the Ohio School Public Relations Association (OHSPRA) Spring Conference: Share Your Story. Joined by co-presenter Josephine McKenrick, communications director for Mariemont City Schools, Campus Suite’s Steve Williams (steve@campusSuite.com) led the live and lively discussion on Telling Your Story On the Web and Social Media.
“What we're learning is that school districts and private schools are all over the board when it comes to how they’re using their websites and social media to reach their school community,” said Williams.
Many schools – whether for lack of the personnel resources, tools or expertise – are woefully underutilizing the power of the web and social media to tell their school stories. Some schools view their websites as passive information sources rather than vibrant communications hubs that can feed content via other online channels directly or indirectly to parents, staff and students.
“Through our webinars and presentations, we’re finding some schools are quite savvy in using online communication channels to reach parents,” Williams said. “But that isn’t the case for many. They know they need a more useful website and they ought to have a school Facebook page, but they need some help on where to go from there.”
Williams says that many schools suffer from a combination of not keeping up with the technology, being somewhat intimidated by the technology, and not integrating the online channels that are critical to engaging parents these days.
Part of the Campus Suite Academy OHSPRA presentation included pointers on how to get more out of your website, and putting popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to work for schools. McKenrick shared examples of how Mariemont, a four-school district located in suburban Cincinnati, utilizes Facebook, Twitter, a district blog and a dedicated video channel.
Common website and social media issues:
How to handle negative comments on social media for both minor and serious
Establishing a social media policy
How to streamline the time with tools and process
Where to find relevant content to share on social media
Enlisting a team to assist in managing the social media
Adding Instagram to your social media strategy
McKenrick has authored a helpful article on using online channels to reinforce your school brand. The Campus Suite Academy recently conducted a live webinar on How to Build a Social Media Program at your School. To view a free recorded version of that webinar, click here.
About the Campus Suite Academy
The Campus Suite Academy is among the many resources offered to school communicators, IT professionals and other school administrators searching for tips on web communications. Part of the professional development arm of Campus Suite, the resources offered through the Academy include a library of blog articles and newsletters, and live and archived webinars school administrators can attend for continuing education credit.
Click below for a free School Social Media Guide.
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him @jay4schools.