While we have no control over when and where severe weather strikes, we do have control over our preparedness levels. Does your severe weather communications plan include social media? We talk a lot about what a powerful tool social media can be for engaging parents and your school communities at large throughout the year, but it’s important to remember that social media is also a powerful tool in your toolbox when thinking through your school closure communications strategy.
Social media is a great way to get important information out quickly and to ensure that as many of your stakeholders see it as possible. In addition to alerting news channels and posting on your website about weather-related school closings, post a notice to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to quickly notify families. Because so many of us are active on social media, these alerts often reach people faster than other methods.
And as many of us learned in October, social media alerts can be especially vital during severe weather. Because of widespread power outages caused by our recent winter storms, many families weren’t able to simply turn on the television in the morning for news about school closures. But even when the lights are off and the internet is down, most people still have access to their cell phone data and will be checking social media for updates. In times of severe weather, it might be the only place they can get them.
Below are a few tips to consider as you draft your social media updates.
Severe weather closure notifications are just another one of many instances where social media can be an invaluable tool for engaging with your school community. Please reach out to our team if you need coaching on using social media effectively and efficiently. We’re here to help!
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I’m Jamila MacArthur, and I’m excited to join the amazing Teaching & Learning team as the director.