Has your school joined the 21st century? If not, it is time! Gone are the days of just making sure that the front of your school is warm and welcoming, paper newsletters, and hand written notes home. It is time to create a presence on the Internet for your school. Beyond the requirements of what you should be putting on your school website, there are so many things to share with your community and the world! What parent would not love to see their child’s art displayed on the school website or shared on Facebook? Reach out and draw interest to your school!
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Branding your school allows you to market your school to your potential customers (students and parents) while reaping many benefits. Just a few of those benefits are:
- Parent communication/involvement
- School Pride
- Capture interest of great educators/applicants
- Put a positive spin on public education
- Make everyone wish they went to Brand ISD!
Tools to Brand Your School
There are many ways to brand your school. Of course, what is going on inside is just as important as what is being broadcast on the outside! To begin branding your school, I recommend a few key tools to get started:
- School Website – Make sure that this is full of important content. This should be the go to place for basic school information, ways to contact teachers and administrators, and updates on the school calendar. The majority of pages will not constantly change, but there should be periodic updates and items to draw people to your site. If you are still using FrontPage to build your school website, it is time for an overhaul!
- Facebook – Students may not spend a lot of time on Facebook, but their parents do! Facebook is a great place to share photos, quick updates, important messages, and more. Celebrate and inform should be your motto on Facebook. Be sure to have your school information, logo, and school pictures to identify and brand your school/district. Facebook can be managed by one person or shared with multiple account administrators.
- Twitter – Students do spend time on Twitter. In 140 words or less, send out important messages, updates, and celebrations. Of course everyone in Texas wants to know the latest update on the football game but don’t forget other important information such as important dates, number of National Merit finalists, UIL winners, and more. Be sure that you are reaching all groups within your school to create the best brand!
- Instagram – Students and parents are on Instagram. This is a great place to share pictures and informational graphics. Look for unique pictures or spins on events to capture the attention of parents and students. Don’t forget to post to your other social media accounts when sharing through Instagram.
As you move into the 21st century, don’t forget to do a few key things to protect your students, staff, and school!
- Check your policies. If you don’t have a social media policy, get one!
- Make sure that your student permission forms are up-to-date and include the sites you will be using!
- Check before you post! Can you post a picture of all of the students included? Can you include first name, first and last name, last name only?
- Do your research! What is the best way to set up your website and social media sites? What are well branded schools doing? Who should be allowed to contribute?
- Train your people! Before turning educators lose on social media, train them on the best ways to implement it in their classroom and/or school. Don’t assume anything! Make sure they know the policies, what can and can’t be done, and best practice. I have seen too many bad judgment calls on fellow educators social media sites. Don’t let your teachers be the ones making headlines!
It is time to get out there and Brand Your School! For more information, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.