The administration of Carman-Ainsworth School District realized, early on, that they could increase their communication efficiency, effectiveness, and costs. The first step was to develop a strategic communications plan that moved the flyers and newsletters that they were printing, to the web.
Step 1 was to develop a strategic plan around best practices. Because this was over 6 years ago, that we started this engagement with Carman-Ainsworth, there wasn’t a lot of case studies out there that we could look at to get ideas for this project. Instead, we did an extensive analysis of different school districts across the US trying to find districts that were possibly excelling at any area of online excellence. Again, we were unable to find any district that really stood out as a best-practice. So, we put together a best-practice plan that Carman-Ainsworth is still using today!
There are 2 components to this online communication plan; email and social media. The monthly newsletters that were being printed and sent out are now being delivered on a more frequent basis, giving the students, parents and in some cases the community more timely and detailed information than they were getting before. And, at a substantial savings to the district.
Quite possibly one of the most unique aspects to the work that we continue to do with Carman-Ainsworth is social listening. Social listening is a process that has us “listening” across many social platforms for conversations, mentions, posts or any kind of chatter about the Carman-Ainsworth school district, it’s schools, or any other “keywords” that would be relevent.
This helps the school district have a real good understanding of what is being said about their schools and/or their programs. It also help the administration keep a pulse on the needs of the families that interact with the school district.