“Productivity” and “efficiency” are two buzzwords in today’s working world. Everyone is trying to squeeze every ounce of production out of their to-do lists to keep up with the never-ending demands of their jobs.
School PR is no exception. In fact, I would argue that school communicators are under even greater pressure to handle more and more responsibilities within the same 40-hour (plus) workweek!
Today’s blog has a narrow focus. Instead of teaching you every performance-enhancing technique under the sun, I want to share one very specific approach that I believe will simplify your job!
It’s called batching your work – and while you can certainly use this for many aspects of your job, I’m going to talk about batching your social media tasks.
What is Batching?
Stephanie Sinz, my Chief People Officer, has a great analogy to explain batching:
Think of batching like meal prepping. Just like many families set aside a few hours every week to meal plan, grocery shop, and prep food for the week, school communicators can dedicate a set of time to churn out social media content for days, weeks, or even months ahead. This will give you more time to focus on day-to-day tasks!”
Put simply, batching is picking one repetitive task in your work and completing as many repetitions as possible in a set amount of time.
Why is Batching Helpful?
Consistency is the key component to celebrating your district. You will eliminate the worry of making sure your district is well represented, celebrated, and seen in the algorithms as well as ensuring you’re keeping social media channels always active. Batching allows you to look, feel and sound cohesive and consistent.”
Cut down the need to post “on-the-fly” and work ahead! There will always be last-minute events and quick turnaround projects. But when you plan ahead as much as possible, you reduce that nagging worry that hangs over your head… “Shoot, have I posted on social media today?”
How to Use Batching in School PR
When you batch, you can choose to batch an entire process or just part of it.
For example, #ThrowbackThursday posts typically perform really well for the schools I serve. You can take 30 minutes to snap as many yearbook photos as possible, then set aside 30 minutes another day to crop and sort them, and another 30 minutes to schedule them to post. (If that’s your project, by the way, here are 52 captions to make scheduling a snap!)
Alternatively, you could take enough yearbook photos to get you through one month, and then sort, edit, and schedule them all at once.
No matter your approach, the result is the same: Consistent, quality posts are ready to go on social media so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
Besides #ThrowbackThursday posts, there are a ton of things you can batch. Here are some ideas:
- Scheduling content. If you have a submission system, you’re probably getting emails throughout the day from colleagues sending in content. Acknowledge emails as they come in but it’s OK to set aside just one part of your day to actually schedule the posts. There’s no need to post it the minute you receive content!
- Choosing holidays. There’s practically a school-related holiday every day of the year. Scan through a master calendar like this one and choose all the holidays you’re going to celebrate, this year, and make a plan. You can even send out some emails or schedule calendar reminders to get the content started.
- Creating graphics. Hop into Canva and create graphics for all upcoming semester events or #MotivationalMonday quotes. Another batched task could be creating standard graphics like these to get you through the school year, simplifying any last-minute posts that pop up.
- Building features. Social media features such as staff spotlights or senior shout-outs are easy to create in batches. Send out the survey, first, then create the posts in batches as responses roll in.
- Delegate projects. You are just one person, and can’t be everywhere at once. Whether your school uses a social media calendar to get staff involved or you just need to get designated photo-snappers at upcoming events, spend an hour each month delegating to your content support team.
- Finding quotes. There are only so many ways to spice up a math class caption, so gather an arsenal of great education-related quotes to have at your disposal. Here are 20 from diverse voices to get you started.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
Steph has a bit more encouragement to share before we wrap up:
Creating a strong social media presence can be challenging; especially when this is one of the many roles of your position. Finding the time to create content daily can be tough. This is why social media batching is an essential part of the social media manager!”
So, what are you going to batch this week? What batching ideas popped into your head that weren’t covered in the list above? Let me know! Comment below or tweet at me on Twitter: @andreagribble.