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A Detroit charter school opened its doors to a film crew, the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday. The reality show involves students, daily events and culture of the school. Detroit Service Learning Academy was named a School of Excellence by the Michigan Department of Education and serves 1,100 K-8 students. Most of these students are from low-income homes.

Principal Robert Davis said, “The show has reignited my personal belief that every student deserves a quality education that will provide them with infinite possibilities for their future.”

Although this choice may raise ethical concerns for some, Detroit Service Learning Academy makes a good point: A great school needs more than just a strong voice – a great school needs a face.

It is a challenge to establish an informative and educational, yet engaging and fun voice for anyone speaking or writing whether on social media platforms or in a lecture hall. EnrollMark has discussed the importance of voice within social media before. However, without a face, that voice becomes a bot, no matter how human it sounds.

Here are three things to consider when establishing a face for you online persona:

What do my avatars (or icons/pictures) look like? Am I just a logo?

Logos are terrific! They establish brand/school awareness necessary to any successful marketing strategy. However, a school needs faces in their other photographs, posts and TwitPics. Professionalism is essential, but social media is more casual than other communication platforms. It is not a newsletter or an official email. It is a place to have casual conversation between communities and schools.

Are we only communicating on our social platforms as the school? Or are teachers involved? Do administrators also respond and engage as themselves/their own social accounts?

Asking teachers and administrators to become personally involved in a school’s social presence is essential. It establishes more than just one leader as a voice and adds more faces to your social presence.

Do you have videos? What are they about?

Creating a YouTube channel is simple and Youtube.com attracts 490 million unique visitors per month. Take a look at other schools’ YouTube channels, see what is working for them. Recruitment videos and even films of school events, sports and projects can drive traffic to your website and social media platforms.

As you know, in education, catching and holding attention is key. These three simple tips for putting a face to your school and see how approachable it becomes.

However, if we take a look at Principal Davis’ decision to have a reality show inside Detroit Service Academy, we understand the concept behind his choice. He has put a face to his school – he’s put his school’s faces on television.

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