A guest post from LeAnne Bugay
Working in school public relations as a one-person show is tough.
You feel like you spend your days putting out fires instead of storytelling. Because of time constraints, you only post urgent announcements to social media instead of content that engages your school community.
That is how the Bellevue Public Schools Director of Communications, Amanda Oliver, felt as the only employee in her department. To expand her social media storytelling powers, she hired me, a graduating senior from the district, as a communications intern for the summer of 2020. My name is LeAnne Bugay.
The internship role was an instant success for both the school district and myself. The internship paid $12/hour, which matched the salary schedule for a summer paraprofessional. Now, the director is keeping the internship opportunity open for the foreseeable future! To help you learn more about hiring an intern, here are the top three benefits listed below.
Grow Your Dream Social Media Plan
Planning and designing social media content can be a time-consuming task, especially if you’re the only one in your department. But by hiring an intern and delegating that responsibility to them, you can grow your social media channels into what you’ve always imagined.
In my experience, a large part of my role was to manage Bellevue Public Schools’ social media channels. I spent a great deal of my time capturing candids inside the schools or designing custom graphics.
Because this was my major focus, I could strategize our content for weeks in advance to create a storytelling powerhouse that the director had always wanted. We received several compliments from staff and parents about the new look.
Here are some examples of my graphics:
Give a Student an Opportunity to Grow
When we think of interns, we typically think of college students or recent college graduates. But there are plenty of high school students in your school district who would be more than qualified to take on this internship.
Take a look at your high school population. Who is the journalism rockstar? Who is the marketing standout? Give them this chance to grow!
The director hired me because of my work in my high school’s journalism department and my plans to pursue media in college. This internship has elevated my skills in a short span of time. It also allowed me to realize how much my school district cares about the growth of its students.
Gain a Fresh Perspective
While your experience is important, it’s crucial to seek out other perspectives when it comes to telling the stories in your school district.
Not everyone digests information the same way or wants to see the same content. Some of your long-standing practices might even be a little outdated.
In my role, I frequently discussed social media content strategies with the director in which I shared my perspective of being a student and she shared her perspective of being a school public relations professional.
I was also more in tune with current social media trends while she was more in tune with the textbook public relations concepts.
Because of this new perspective, Bellevue Public Schools’ social media channels can better serve its stakeholders’ needs.
Hiring a communications intern is more than a step up for your district’s social media efforts. At the same time, you can support a student in your district and learn some of their perspectives.
I highly recommend hiring interns to any school public relations professional who feels like they never have enough time to curate the strategy they want. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you, LeAnne Bugay, for your insightful contribution to the #SocialSchool4EDU community! I am grateful to share this student’s perspective. And hey, if you’ve ever gotten value from one of my blogs or videos, I encourage you to join my (free!) newsletter list. It’s packed with tips, tricks, and inspiration.