Most school superintendents, as a public school district CEO, are aware of blogs, but may not have initiated their own. Is it time for your CEO to write a superintendent’s blog as a new priority for your school district communications plan?
Peter Aceto, president and CEO of Tangerine Bank, says in Forbes Brand Voice that the CEO should say “yes” to blogs. He points out, “If you are thinking this is about social media, you’re wrong. This is about finding a better way to lead, to govern, and to do business.”
How does that translate to the public school district CEO? A superintendent’s blog is one
communications tool that will allow district constituents to learn more about the superintendent, his style, and his perspectives. The potential readers include employees, students, parents, business representatives, elected officials, older citizens, and taxpayers.
If a superintendent wants to blog, the content will be easy to find. A topic may come from a recent parent question, a proposed boundary change, a new district policy, or a display of student work at a school. The superintendent’s blog may also feature human interest stories.
The Superintendent’s Blog Positives
Mark Stock, a former superintendent of schools and author of “The School Administrator’s Guide to Blogging,” thinks it is definitely time for superintendents to own the blog.
He says, “In these hyper short news cycles, blogging and other forms of technology can become effective tools. When the leadership embraces them instead of fearing them, we can deal successfully with the spread of misinformation.”
Stock tells superintendents that there are several reasons to start blogging.
- News can be released quickly.
- You can respond to traditional media.
- Your message can be accessed by readers on their schedule.
- You can build a sense of community.
- You can communicate during an emergency.
- You can monitor ongoing events.
As the school district communicator, your job is to publicize the superintendent’s blog to internal and external audiences.
The Superintendent’s Blog Concerns
Stock cautions about mistakes that superintendents should not make when blogging. The blog will not be popular if the superintendent writes lengthy pieces using educational jargon, posts irregularly, and does not link to others.
Stock also warns of the downsides to superintendent blogging. He says that written words can be misunderstood. Blogging takes time and can generate anonymous blog comments.
Before your superintendent starts to write, you may want to explore some superintendent blogs. Several superintendents who blog frequently include David Vinson, superintendent of Wylie Independent School District; Juan E. Cabrera, superintendent of El Paso Independent School District; and Dan Gutekanst, superintendent of Needham Public Schools in Needham, Massachusetts.
If the time is right, the superintendent’s blog could become a popular communications tool for your school district.