Just keep swimming!

I was just replying to a Head Teacher’s question the other day and caught myself talking nonsense about fishing.  It seemed to fit the context of my email but let’s see if it travels.

As a little boy fishing on Bradshaw Brook in Bolton I clearly remember virtually praying I wasn’t going to catch a fish because if I did, well, I’d have to handle it.  Slimy, a bit smelly and frequently difficult to handle was my early experience.

I’m not deliberately making any connection to the physicality of engaging with parents via Facebook as a school but I’m sure you get my gist.  As tricky as it might seem you’ve got a real opportunity to engage parents and it’s a good idea to have some thoughts about how you’re going to get them into your net without a massive struggle and making too many waves.

There are always options

  1. make the net an attractive and comfortable place to be – there’s always going to be resistance from some to a change in direction or strategy when it comes to communication
  2. keep on course with a variety of updates and content additions that have added value because of their timeliness – add new online safety videos to our media tab; promote a community event; invite trusted local business to profile a special offer per month to parents.
  3. bring them on board as a content manager for the wall perhaps if they’re a trusted PTA or parent governor for a term then rotate and let someone else have a go as well as the regular page admin updates (careful thought here of course)

It seems that you know you’ve cracked it when Facebook is nothing special anymore.  It’s just another channel that has taken work away from the website and photocopier and made more solution focused conversation in the open waters a more regular event.  If you’ve found any strategies for manoeuvring your parent school community closer to a transformation using Facebook then do post a comment I’d love to hear about it.

As Dory said: “Just keep swimming!”

Footnote: See the Transtheoretical Model for more on ‘changes in behaviour’

This post contains many nautical references – feel free to count – there is no prize except a sense of well-being that comes from just knowing something :o)

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