Who’s Got Next?

Last week, the school PR family lost a stalwart in Gary Marx, the former long-time associate executive director for communications for AASA, the School Superintendents Association. As we consider the legacy he left for our profession, I am left wondering who’s got next?

As a profession, we must encourage folks to make their mark in this era. School PR needs more than just tweeters: we need more thought leaders.

Increasingly, more school leaders are turning to social media to communicate with their stakeholders. Social media is a great avenue for connection, but it is not the only way.

A strategic approach to public relations incorporates multiple channels of communication in order to reach key audiences. It is no longer enough to raise awareness about our schools; we must seek engagement on behalf of positive outcomes for students. For me, that’s what gets missed in the advice to “tweet more.”

There are some concerned with the outputs of social success: followers, clicks, and likes. I am, too: I wonder if they are pursuing outcomes like building relationships in order to make a difference for students. If so, tweet that! Show the connection between your social activity and the substantive impact it had for students in your community.

Others are watching your example; use your platform as a school communicator to demonstrate this key leadership skill.

Tweets are fleeting. We need people challenging us to stay true to our strategic roots in a digital age.

So, I’ll ask it again: who’s got next?

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