Why blog as an administrator? - Part 2
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
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
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