In an effort to stay current on emerging trends within the realm of digital communications, marketing and public relations, I read a variety of articles, blogs and news sites, from both “experts” and “average joes,” about once a month. Doing this not only benefits me as a communications professional, but allows me to better serve my District and our families. According to my latest round of research, here are some things communicators (including marketers and PR professionals) should be aware of as we head into the second half of 2014:
- The Shift to Mobile: I cannot agree with this more. Although school PR/communications is a niche segment in the greater PR/marketing/communications stratosphere, the reality is that, given many of the recent legislative changes, families are school shopping, and have more educational options available, than any other time in American history. As such, websites and social media pages need to mobile friendly so that any parent (or other consumer for that matter) shopping during his/her lunch hour has the ability to quickly, easily and effectively get the information needed to make a decision. Landing on a web page that isn’t mobile friendly could cause a potential parent (or customer) to give up on your school, company or brand entirely.
- “Join Our Cloud:” Although this trend doesn’t directly impact school districts looking to attract new students/families, it can be used to assist employees. A cloud space for teachers can be a great way for them to store work and share collaboratively, a major plus given the amount of work many districts are facing as they work to rollout and implement the Common Core State Standards.
- A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: Instagram is exploding with popularity, and its use of hashtags are a great way for companies, organizations and brads to interact with potential new customers and show-off their products. (I’ve used Instagram hashtags to search for everything from centerpieces to wedding dresses throughout my wedding planning process.) However, the value of photos doesn’t end with Instagram: Pinterest continues to be popular, and, somewhat surprisingly, some articles I’ve read suggest that an individuals’ photo is one of the most important parts of a LinkedIn profile. (Confession: after reading that, I instantly updated my LinkedIn profile photo.) I’ve continued to expand my district’s Instagram page in throughout the past year, and will continue to do so moving forward.
*Photo from http://heidicohen.com/.