These are a few notes I jotted down on my iPhone using EverNote during our opening “networking” activity at the Oklahoma School Public Relations Association conference today at Quartz Mountain. This was the format: Everyone was given a slip of paper with a number and seven different numbers in a random order, which corresponded to tables in the room. Leaders read a question, and then each table had seven minutes for everyone to talk: 60 seconds per person. The leader used a stopwatch and announced when 60 seconds were up for each group. We rotated to seven different tables, although there was one person at each table who just stayed. This was a GREAT way to start the day, we got to know many new folks and also start discussing the issues on peoples’ minds today. SOME OF MY LATER REFLECTIONS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

Issues that came up right away as critical for public relations success in schools:
– Integrity
– Transparency
– Authenticity

Control issues for logo important in some cases
– stopping teachers from making their own flyers

Question: What one communications tool would you like to have if you were stranded on a desert island
– UK crank charger for phones are available now!
– we agreed a satellite phone or mirror would be excellent

Which is more important: face to face relationships or social networking

One participant: I’m not about to put up school facebook page, how can we control it?

Question setting up which is more important: face to face or social media
– I THINK THIS IS A FALSE DICHOTOMY. SOCIAL MEDIA IS ONE TO MANY AT TIMES, BUT IT IS ALSO FREQUENTLY ONE TO ONE AND IT’S ABOUT CONVERSATIONS AND TRANSPARENCY, NOT ABOUT TRADITIONAL BROADCAST COMMUNICATION.

We do polling so we are in control of what students voice

Rogers state, OU, used Twitter this past winter for alert messaging

How do you know the info is accurate? That is why you must trust a tv station

Program yammer instead of edmodo
– you can create groups for text alerts

Importance of telling your own story to higher ups

Vital importance of work metrics and project tracking, documenting individual contributions to projects

Importance of making relational connections with students, retreats, making connections

You cannot be friends with the media

It is always on the record, never think you are off the record

Great networking activity, labeled tables with numbers

Chamber of commerece has program for creating random numbers

Good question: Tell failure story

Lessons learned:
– ask more questions, figure out what people really want and need
– learning to say no, ties into justifying your existence
– instead of saying no, say “we can do that if….”
– idea of a triangle: time, quality, budget – client can control 2 of those, you get the other one
– be a good listener
– give selective advice to your superintendent, knowing when to give
– be the pulse of the community
– do more than what is expected of you

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