I remember how nervous I was at the new teacher in-service in 1992. I was over the moon to have landed a job teaching German and wanted everyone to know that I was part of the team in Waukesha, WI.
If only Facebook had existed back then. You might have seen a picture like this from a trip I took with my students!!
Now that it’s 2021, it’s time to get those new staff members involved right away. So, I have a few questions for you:
How do you notify new staff members of your district’s social media storytelling efforts? New stories abound with every new face and you want to capitalize on them. Do you have a plan?
That’s why I’ve come to your rescue with a New Staff Checklist! The first day of school will be here before you know it, so take a moment to get your ducks in a row.
First, are you invited to the new staff meeting during in-service? If not, get your name on that list. This is the ideal time to stand in front of these newbies and tell them all the things. A seat at this table should be non-negotiable.
Now you might be wondering – what do I share with them? Read on!
- Share your district-wide social media channels. Show them what they look like.
- Ask new staff to get their phones out and follow the district’s channels.
- Take time to show screenshots or live feeds your social media channels on the screen behind you. Share details such as:
- The district hashtag
- How they can interact as fans
- The power of interaction on a page’s reach (not sure what I mean? Read this blog)
- Which stories belong on each platform. Remember, allowing new staff a peek into your process helps them understand the “why” behind using social media as a communication tool. This past blog has even more details: Back to School Checklist for Getting Staff Involved in Social Media.
- Cover any policies and procedures the district has adopted. Boring? Maybe, but absolutely necessary. If a “do not photograph” list exists, ensure that ALL staff (but especially new staff) know where to find it. Looking for some guidelines on policies? Check out these two blogs:
- Dos and Don’ts for School Staff Running Their Own Social Media Pages
- Staff Social Media Guidelines for Personal Use
- Share the system used to submit stories and photos. Give clear details and expectations. For example, if you are requiring that each staff member sends two stories each month, then make that clear to these newcomers. If you have a printable like this one -then, by all means, hand it out now! This is also the ideal moment to share a few great-performing posts. Use these examples so your new staff sees the types of posts that do well, the power of a great photo, and the love and support the community shows on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
- Here’s a little trick we use when launching a new district – ask your new staff members to send a test email right then and there! It’s such an easy thing to do but it’s also so sneaky, because once they’ve sent the word TEST to the email address, that email is logged into their phone forever. That makes it easy to send pics and stories in the future!
- Offer some technical tips and tricks such as how to send videos via Google Drive, sending pics in their highest resolution, ideas about close-up pics, or even a cool point-of-view photo. Never assume people know these things.
- Now for the really fun stuff – A New Staff Feature! Encourage your freshest district employees to get in on the fun by emailing them a few questions to answer and encouraging them to send in a personal photo or two. You know that these posts see TONS of engagement. Entice them by showing a few New Staff Feature posts from last year.
Last but not least, you know that new staff members will join your team all year long. Automate this checklist and have a standard email that each newbie receives as part of the onboarding process. Heck, you could even record yourself during the new staff in-service, upload it to YouTube, and share it with new staff. Here is a sample email you can send when newcomers join the team:
Welcome to the #ReedsburgPride team. I am the School PR person for our district. One of our communication goals is to celebrate our students and staff and connect our schools to the community using social media. Please use our system to submit photos and stories! Below are some tips and tricks to help you learn more about how to be a storyteller for RSD.
- Submit stories and photos to me at the social media email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Send photos and stories that showcase your students and their accomplishments. The world wants to see what is going on in your classroom.
- If you are on social media, be sure to follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I encourage you to like, double-tap, share, and comment on these posts.
Ok friends, I think you have it. Build your army of storytellers, one new staff member at a time!
A guest post from Heidi Feller, our Chief Inspirational Officer. She is a former teacher and district website/social media coordinator, but now she spends her days inspiring the #SocialSchool4EDU school partners with the encouragement they need to tell their story. In her own words, “Our teachers and students knock their socks off learning and growing each school day and the world needs to know about it!”