This is the final day of my thread on the potential value of blogging by K-12 administrators. Today I'll address issues related to thought leadership, advocacy, and potentially replacing part of the school web site. Previous posts covered news sharing, progress monitoring, and status alerts; marketing and public relations; community building and customer relations; and branding and creating customer evangelists. This series of posts stems from Chapter 4 of The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil. So... why blog as an administrator?
Reason 10: Thought leadership
A blog can be a great place to put thoughts out there for the community to chew on. Is a school considering a new initiative or an important change? Does the school want feedback on a particular topic or issue? The principal could post some information and questions on the blog and solicit community participation. This is similar to setting up a meeting with an advisory board or interested group of stakeholders, except that the potential reach is much greater since everyone in the school community can see and participate in the conversation, not just the few individuals who might attend a face-to-face meeting.
Reason 11: Advocacy
A blog also can be a good place to advocate for certain actions. For example, if state legislators were considering legislation that might negatively impact schools in some way, a principal could post a message encouraging stakeholders to become informed about the issue and let their local legislator know their opinion about the matter. Similarly, a blog can be a great place to foster community support for an upcoming levy or referendum. Regular progress updates can keep community members informed and help facilitate increased voter participation and support for the referendum.
Reason 12: Replacing the school web site
Finally, some schools are utilizing blogs to replace key sections of their web sites. Sometimes blogs replace the school's home page; other times they're a prominent link from the home page. Blogs would be a great tool for FAQs, for ongoing updates about athletic and other extracurricular programs, to replace teachers' classroom newsletters to parents, to post news about upcoming or past events, etc. Blogs also can be used for internal communications to staff.
That's it! Twelve reasons why an administrator's blog might be a good thing for a school organization. Increasing numbers of corporate leaders are seeing the value of blogging - maybe it's time your school or district considered it too!