For education leaders the paradigm shift has been apparent. Building your own school brand to create awareness, attract new families and retain existing ones is necessary for growth in education. In the public sector environment where there are significant dollars associated with enrollment numbers. The rolling tide of that enrollment could mean increasing staff, planning for remodeling, expansion or on the other end of the spectrum, eliminating positions, closing buildings.
There is a reason why technology investment has been so popular. Not only does it help the students in a digital first era, but it helps build the school brand into one of “innovative and modern”. Parents are increasingly becoming more saavy about the type of EdTech schools use. Whether it is a notification system, a convenient parent portal, easily accessible website.
Here’s a lead-in from the article below: “An authentic leader brand can inspire a community to a create a whole school brand that unifies. A digital brand upgrade allows K12 leaders to take charge and craft an authentic image. The upgrade is part of the modern digital world. The digital age brings a comparable call to action for administrators, who must upgrade their leadership brand.”
In my experience an active branding message that schools should be transmitting is ‘Connectivity’. The term connectivity can symbolize community, communication, digital inclined. It could also allow you as a district to focus on messaging your compliance with EdFi in the participating states – a powerful sign of digital transparency and leadership. With connectivity you can focus on all aspects of the brand from administrative leadership to parent involvement and student engagement.
Districts devote nearly 80 percent of their budgets to personnel costs—leaving little wiggle room for administrators tasked with maintaining fiscal responsibility and boosting the quality of education in a time of nearly stagnant funding.
With a growing emphasis on student Digital Badging, its important to be cognizant of the ones giving the badges to the students. Teachers. Digital badging is something that is continually gaining more traction in the education space. For how diversified the teacher role has become you have to wonder how this trend really didn’t catch on sooner.
The teacher’s tool box has been and is continuing to expand. A large part due to developments in ed-tech, giving teachers access to new methods for better connecting with students. A teacher can use social media via Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram. They can create a blog environment or facilitate resources and discussions all on line. They can flip their classroom. The list goes on and on, but the question remains for the teachers going above and beyond their call duty. Are these high-performers getting the recognition they deserve?
If you feel their are some saavy ed-tech teachers at your school, academy, district I recommend taking a free opportunity to join in while this trend is on the rise and here to stay.
There are many innovative ways to stay relevant in the changing tide of public education. As more and more charter and/or private schools keep popping up on the nearest street corner we see an increasing demand to focus on what’s new, flashy, and in the airwaves. Does it always need to be what is new or flashy? No, but for the focus of this PR initiative utilizing communication expertise has resulted in a big increase for the district student count. Public school districts receive funding on a per student model. More students = more revenue for the district.
The concept of ‘Building Your School Brand’ could not be more imperative to schools than it is today. This is a great theory put to the test by Austin ISD in building their own unique brand and vocalizing that out to the community the district serves. Only time will tell if this can be a sustained model, but the current short term outlook yields results.
“Austin area taxpayers might want to consider if money spent on advertising and a huge communications staff this is tax money well spent. Austin ISD’s marketing success claim hinges on basic math. However, that claim ignores one very large factor: the Texas city’s growth rate accelerated during the time of the costly PR push.”
North Shore School District 112 is experiencing tremendous efficiencies in its business operations thanks to new leadership with a tech-driven approach. Christopher Wildman, District 112’s CFO, has led significant change over the last few months by strengthening the district’s business culture and maximizing the capabilities of Skyward’s School Business Suite, the district’s financial solution. As a result, the district has overcome budget challenges, increased internal communications, and transformed business operations.
Chris uses ed-tech to simplify the business office taking 12 bank accounts to 1. Less time spent reconciling, more time spent planning the future.
While the news media environment has changed, our goal as communications professionals hasn’t—create a simple, accurate and relevant message for quick delivery to parents, employees, students and community.
Messaging has changed from the traditional phone and occasional email into new reach. Through social media and all its power to parent/child school district portals.
All messaging should be concise and directed for interaction.
Thirty-eight Michigan schools targeted for possible closure could avoid that fate for at least 18 months under a new “partnership model” created by the state Department of Education that would retain local control but require outside support