Branding, Culture

3 presentations you can use with students, teachers and leaders for building better brands

How many of your students, teachers, and campus/district leaders truly think of your school or district as a brand?

Although school PR officials understand this, our students and staff members rarely think in terms of branding when it comes to K-12 education. When we say “branding” – they see McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nike. The reality is – we are all working together to build our school and district brands, but we’re also building our personal and leadership brands in the process.

Below are three presentations I developed to use with students in our communications classes and with staff members at our annual district professional development conference to help start those branding conversations. (Please feel free to make a copy to use for yourself!) Here are a few points I like to make during these presentations…

  • Many of us were taught not to “toot our own horn” … that it’s rude to brag, but if we don’t tell our story, no one will!
  • Your NAME is your brand. What do parents think when they see your name on their child’s schedule? Do they fist pump or cringe?
  • If you are unsatisfied with your personal or leadership brand … take this opportunity to RE-BRAND! Companies do it all the time – you can, too!
  • Invest time in your teacher website. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, then write a professional bio! This is often the first thing that stakeholders will read about you.
  • Understand that PR is EVERYONE’S job – not just mine. Each of you can impact our district brand, your campus brand, and each other’s brands. Use that power wisely!
Culture

An easy (FREE!) way to boost staff morale and improve organizational culture

Everyone likes to be told they’re doing a good job – especially teachers. They have one heck of a tough job, and it’s often a thankless one. Several years ago I saw an idea from Hays Consolidated ISD called the Hays High Five Program, which allows anyone from the district or community to recognize an HCISD employee.

Genius.

So, we started something similar in my district called the Cub Compliment and it has been a GREAT success! Here’s how it works…

  • ANYONE can fill out the form – parents, grandparents, colleagues, supervisors, community members, etc.
  • ANYONE can receive a Cub Compliment – teachers, paraprofessionals, maintenance staff, custodial staff, administrators, etc.
  • I used Autocrat (Google Sheets Add-on) to automatically create a printable certificate and email it to me when someone fills out the nomination form – SO easy! (Learn more about Autocrat here)
  • I edit the certificates for typos, print them and give them to our superintendent who signs them and writes a little note of encouragement.
  • The certificates are sent to the recipient via campus mail with a coupon for a treat from a local business partner.

I have seen DOZENS of Cub Compliment certificates hanging on bulletin boards by desks, framed on bookshelves, and tacked to classroom doors. It means something when someone thanks you for a job well done. It means A LOT when the person who signs your paycheck also signs the compliment certificate. We all want our bosses to know how hard we work, right?!

Since we started the program in September 2016, we have delivered 753 Cub Compliments! That’s 753 smiles. 753 pats on the back. 753 days made.

How are you recognizing the staff members in your organization who go above and beyond the call of duty?