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Social media gives us the tools to direct our message instead of having it controlled for us.

“Given so much negative media about public education, schools can no longer leave public relations to chance. Social media allows schools to direct their followers to newspapers and TV segments featuring positive information. School districts can also use social media to highlight the hard work of their students and staff, and their school district’s accomplishments.” ~Dorie Clark, Forbes Magazine

The Simple Facts

  • 2/3 of all American Adults are using social networking sites, which systematically climbs by 7% yearly since Pew Research Center started tracking in 2005.
  • Visiting Social Sites is now the most popular online activity – Ahead of personal email, online video and searches.
  • Social media is like word of mouth on steroids.
  • Social media helps the new media find a better story to write.

“The school districts that will thrive will be the ones using social media to engage their community, and aggressively enhance and protect their reputation. The ones who do not will find themselves playing defense with an unengaged public and a healthy number of skeptics who may question the value of public education in their community.” ~Dorie Clark, Forbes Magazine

Unfortunately, most schools are still treating social media like a notice board, when in fact, it is so much more.  Social media can be used to:

  • Tell your school’s story
  • Protect and enhance your reputation
  • Promote your school
  • Showcase your outstanding teachers
  • Communicate to your parents
  • Engage with your community
  • Create trust and transparency
  • Advocate for your employees
  • Encourage your students
  • Improve education awareness

What do you need to do as a content manager to direct your school’s message? Here’s our top 12 list:

  1. Ask for help. We want you to succeed! If you need extra help we are happy to give you the training you need. Email us and we will schedule an appointment with you that will work with your schedule. Our contact information is on the right of this page.
  2. Be engaged. Social media is a conversation. See what is going on in the community and at other schools and join in the conversation. Follow the other schools in the district, share, like and comment.
  3. Listen. A conversation is a two way street. Listen to your community and be prompt in your responses. Set up Google Alerts so you can be alerted when your school is in the news.
  4. Be consistent. If you are not consistent, followers loose interest. One Facebook post daily, at least one tweet daily, update your website weekly and keep your calendar up to date. When you’re consistent you create trust and your audience will grow.
  5. Be in the know. Stay connected with what’s happening. You need to know what is happening in order to report on it. Make sure your teachers/staff know that you are the point of contact for social media. Also, make sure your PTA knows you handle the school’s social media.
  6. Get others involved. You can’t be everywhere all the time and you have other responsibilities. Get help! Ask teachers to send you pictures of classroom activities or field trips. Plead your case at a faculty meeting or send your teachers emails. Enlist the assistance of your principal to get faculty buy-in.
  7. Promote your social media sites. Your community needs to know you are on social media.
    • Be sure your teachers and staff know.
    • Include advertisements in email to parents.
    • Include advertisements in take home materials with students.
    • Post signs in the office and at the front of the school.
    • Include advertisements on your marquee.
    • Enlist the aid of your PTA president.
  8. Check up on your other school’s social media sites. If you have other social media sites at your school, check up on them regularly. It is your responsibility to make sure they are using their site appropriately. You can follow their page and set your alerts to be alerted whenever they have posted or just check in on their page occasionally.
  9. Follow correct media procedures. We love it when your school gets the attention they deserve! Should any media agency contact you about doing a story, please direct them to Caleb Price first.
  10. Share what you learn. Remember you’re not alone in this! This group of content managers is a wealth of opportunity and experience. Please share with each other what is working for your school. There is a content manager facebook group and an email group set up.  Also, make sure to take a moment and like and follow all the school pages throughout the district. Let’s show each other support! On the right is a button for the School Content Managers Directory. That directory has the Facebook and Twitter addresses for all the schools.
  11. Familiarize yourself with the district social media policy. The district social media policy can be found on our website here.
  12. Respond appropriately. Don’t remove a comment just because it is negative. These comments provide an opportunity to engage with your public, answer questions and clear up any misperceptions. However, comments should be removed if they violate any of the following guidelines:
    • Content shall not be threatening, abusive, obscene, indecent or objectionable.
    • Content shall not be offensive or hateful.
    • Content shall not include any vulgar content/language.
    • Content shall not be deceptive, false or misleading.
    • Content shall not violate the intellectual property rights of other.
    • Content shall not be illegal or promote any act that is illegal.
    • Content shall not reference a third-party website or be self-promoting spam.
    • Content shall not be any form of solicitation, including the advertisement of products, services, contests or charities not sanctioned by Provo City School District.
    • Personally identifying content shall be limited to one’s own name. Other personal information will not be posted, nor will direct references to students, employees or any other person associated with Provo City School District.
    • Content shall adhere to the policies and guidelines set forth by each social media site.

    If removal of a comment or post is necessary, follows these steps: Take a screen shot of the comment/post, delete comment/post and then email comment to Caleb at calebpr@provo.edu.  If you have any questions about whether a post should be removed, please contact Caleb.

Please let us know what we can do to help you tell your school’s story. Happy posting!

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