Yesterday I began a week-long series of posts that discuss the potential value of blogging by K-12 administrators. This series of posts stems from Chapter 4 of The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil. So… why blog as an administrator?
Reason 4: Marketing
Because they’re electronic, blogs are both faster and less costly than paper communications. If the savings in paper alone aren’t persuasive, administrators should consider additional advantages that blogs often have over other communication channels.
Web sites and paper newsletters are static, noninteractive, and often dated (who wants to read about something two weeks after it occurred?). E-mails, electronic newsletters, and/or listservs contribute to clogged inboxes and get caught by spam filters. In contrast, blogs are timely, interactive, and avoid some of the issues that accompany e-mail communications.
If done well, blogs can "create buzz [and] loyal customers" (p. 53). One of parents’ biggest criticisms of schools is that teachers and administrators don’t communicate often enough about the things that parents want to hear about. Blogs can be a great way to publicize the great things that are occurring in schools.
Reason 5: Public relations
As Weil notes, a blog is a great way to bypass local media and get "your own version of the story out there and to get feedback" (p. 52). This can be either proactive or reactive. If administrators only put out their spin after some incident occurs, the message will be much less effective. School communities are going to be much more receptive and trusting if an administrator has built up goodwill beforehand through an ongoing series of posts and dialogues about less important issues.
Frequent, transparent communication, with the opportunity to receive feedback through comments, is a strength of blogs that administrators can leverage to their school organization’s advantage.
We’re almost halfway done! Here’s the schedule for the rest of the week:
- Wednesday: community building and customer relations
- Thursday: branding and creating customer evangelists
- Friday: thought leadership, advocacy, and replacing the school web site
One of the biggest issues I see with adminstrator/school/teacher/student blogs is the training of patrons to use RSS. If on the receiving end it is just another website to the patrons, it will still be another website that gets checked once in awhile.
Kelly, this is an excellent point. I think the schools that integrate administrator / teacher blogs into their school web sites and/or parent portals (or at least provide a blatantly obvious link to the blog(s)) have the right idea because parents are going there for other reasons.