If Social Media is simply people having online conversations...http://www.flickr.com/photos/herculie/2370039001/
...then public schooldistricts should beconversing via Social Media.
Consider this... ● Social media accounts for ~ 25% of all time spent online over 35 minutes per hour – Nielsen ● In the US, there are 149M active Facebook users, 70% log in once a day – Ogilvy & BuddyMedia ● Social Networking accounts for 1 of every 6 minutes spent online – comScore ● 17% of US online consumers have created a Twitter account – ExactTarget ● 78.6% of consumers have joined a company’s community to get more information on the company – Universal McCann
Social Media integration is no longeroptional for PR pros ● Opportunity for positive community relations outweighs risks of unknown fears. ● It takes some professional courage to get it right. Two possible realities: 1. You started using social media, but youre not quite sure if youre doing it right. 2. Something is keeping you from using social media tools in your district communications.
Who do you want to reach? AudienceWhat do you want to accomplish? ObjectivesWhere can social media improve or supplementour programs, services, communications?StrategiesWhat’s our available budget/time? BarriersWhat opportunities to pilot? Tactics
How much time does it really take?http://www.flickr.com/photos/russmorris/407778776/
How much time does it really take? The short answer is, it depends on the day. ● 30-45 minutes of monitoring ● 15-25 minutes sharing content (Twitter, Facebook, Video, Photo galleries) ● 10-20 minutes of promoting ● 1-2 hours of writing or preparing new content (press releases, blog posts, etc.) Note: These times are flexible depending on the other needs of the day. Its still school PR.http://www.flickr.com/photos/russmorris/407778776/
Keep it simpleThink micro content creation forsocial channels. Micro contentdoesn’t have to be new content. Reuse, repurpose,remix, recycleGuiding principles of social media: Be human and be honest http://www.flickr. com/photos/handles/2748048479/
School District Blogging● Tell your good stories● Introduce ideas and plans● Invite writers from other areas● Feature writing● Official statements● Rumor control● Feedback through comments● Moderate comments● Be interesting● Photo and video storytelling http://yourmansfieldisd.blogspot.com/
School District Blogging● Blog as newsfeed● Press release posts● Reverse-chronological order● Built-in archive● RSS enabled● Sample Blogger --> http://sdusd-news.blogspot.com
School District Blogging● Wordpress --> http://kcsdblog.wordpress.com/
School District Blogging● Posterous --> http://ddschools.posterous.com/
School DistrictBlogging:Rumor Control ● Deeper community engagement ● Clarify misconceptions ● Correct false rumors ● Listening opportunity
School districts and Facebook● Easy to find Facebook link● Post useful links plus photos/videos● Have rules for moderation● "Tag" Campuses and other Pages (including media)● Facebook events; free and easy to encourage community to "Share"● Ask/answer questions● Reply to feedback as appropriate● You dont have to respond to everything
Polices & GuidelinesSet the rules of engagement...Remove posts that: ● Break the law or encourage others to do so ● Contain abusive or inappropriate language or statements ● Easily identify students and/or staff in defamatory, abusive, or generally negative terms ● Do not show proper consideration for others’ privacy or are considered likely to offend or provoke others ● Are spam ● Full Sample: http://bit.ly/1w30vT
Tips for school districts on Facebook ● Teach your Fans to tag your districts Page. ● Using the “tag” (the @ symbol), they can tag the district’s Facebook Page in their own status that goes out to their friends. ● Shows active community on the districts Page Wall (Only useful if youve opened up your Page Wall for community comments.)
Tips for school districts on FacebookGet into the Facebook feed: Getting people to "like" orcomment on your Facebook content improves the chancesthat more people will see it in their feed, an algorithmreferred to as “EdgeRank.” Those who use social media to only push out their schooldistricts messages miss the opportunity to have an engagingconversation with their online community.
Facebook Impressions and Feedback● Impressions: How many times a specific post was displayed within news feeds.● Feedback: The percent of fans “like” or comment on a specific post. If you want to know how good your stuff is, then focus on “Feedback.”
● Embed Facebook "Like" box on your website or blog● Get a unique or vanity Facebook URL address● Add URL to print collateral● Add URL to e-mail signatures
What happens when things go south for yourschool districts Facebook Page?Be prepared for some unintended consequences of having aschool district Facebook page:"The open nature of the Facebook commenting feature continues tocause regular disruption and place the district as a liable participant inissues related to sharing of private student information, defamation ofemployees and other abusive online behavior. In addition, MISD is notable to commit the administrative or campus staff time necessary toadequately moderate user content posted to these pages."Short-version: The liabilities were outweighing the benefits.http://nextcommunications.blogspot.com/2011/05/closing-school-districts-facebook-page.html
For school districts, Twitter can be... ● a cost-effective (free) option to accentuate existing messages; ● a broadcasting tool to announce relevant information to specific audiences; and ● a (brief) conversational tool to appropriately respond to relevant inquiries and follow-up questions or comments.
Putting Twitter to work ● Broadcast vs. conversationalist ● Twitter as pages ● Twitter as media pitches ● Tweets for on-the-go posting ● Backchannel for PR Pros ● Engaging the media ● #Hashtags School districts tweeting once per week or less do not provide enough value in the medium and quickly become obsolete.
Use video to tell your story ● Video content could be a key component of your communication strategy. ● Some find communicating through video easier than feature writing or long blog posts. ● Most would rather watch a video than read. ● Many options, but stick with YouTube or Vimeo. ● Both free with easily embeddable videos for blogs/websites and can be shared on Facebook. ● If possible, try to keep videos short (3-5 minutes) ● Remember to repurpose, share across multiple channelshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sharynmorrow/18753251/
Photo Galleries● Campus news/events pics● SmugMug, Flickr, Facebook, etc.● Community/parent submitted pics● Embeddable slideshows● Easily shared/linked● Useful when theres no time to fully cover an event with article● Parents enjoy seeing their kids● Seriously, tons of traffic
Documents● Beyond saving/storing files on your district site● Social publishing tools enable sharing/embedding● What could tools like these replace or augment for your school district?● Slideshare - the YouTube for presentations● Scribed - shared writings and documents
School District news-gathering viaGoogle Docs Forms<-- Heres what they see...
School District news-gathering viaGoogle Docs Forms<-- Heres what you get
As news is posted faster, the official version of events from your organization is vital.http://www.flickr.com/photos/bekahstargazing/318930460/
Press Releases and Newsrooms● Turn your traditional releases in social releases● Include shareable content (links, images, video, audio)● Using Word Docs or PDFs for pitches wastes time● Since journalists rely on e-mail as the preferred method of news pitches, dont make them download docs● Write things youd want to read ● Think hybrid approach for releases; focus on direct community outreach and journalist use● Have enough info available for anyone reading ● A district news blog could be a good/simple solution
News Releases● Simple, factual, and story-driven.● Timeliness and connection to major issues or controversies.● During challenges, get your side out quickly.● Use photos and video to help tell your story.● Factual, simple for Board meeting recaps.● Think like a publisher.● Media-Shmedia: Be Your Own Newsroom
"Companies that understandthey have to be the mediainstead of waiting for themedia to come to them will bethe winners moving forward."
Monitoring That’s just a wall, Gary. http://www.themonkeysyouordered.com/post/1061277890/may-15th-2007
Taking some next steps ● Mobile applications (iPhone, Android, etc.) ● Location-based tools like Foursquare & Gowalla ● Social media monitoring & sentiment analysis ● QR Codes (Quick Response) you could get creative with this technology
Once you start using social media ● Follow through and use the tools. ● You don’t have to use every tool. ● Avoid the shiny-object syndrome. ● Tailor your social strategy to fit your objectives. ● You need to have a thick skin. ● Not always going to be nice and friendly. ● Anticipate challenges. ● Have a plan in place to deal with detractors ● Foster a positive community experience. ● Keep learning and exploring...