Friday, February 27, 2009

Don't Overlook the Future of Facebook

This is a great article on Facebook posted on February 19 that showcases the value and importance of Facebook. Facebook is everywhere, and while many might assume that it is only for kids, that could not be anything further from the truth. Businesses, human resource people, the media, and adults (parents), and even senior citizens (an important voting block for levies!) are using Facebook as part of their every day communications. This is a must-read article!

Check it out here

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Schedule Finalized for Conference Activities


Social Media Boot Camp – 1:30pm-5:00pm

Social "Networking" Event – 5:30pm – 7:00pm

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009

Continental Breakfast – 8:30am

Breakout Learning Sessions – 9:00am-12:00 noon

Achievement Awards Lunch – 12:30pm

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Breakout Learning Sessions Announced!

The breakout learning sessions for Friday, March 13, have been announced. Participants at the conference will have a chance to attend two of the following sessions:

“Broadcasting Your Message Through Podcasting”

Description –The traditional tools of communication remain relevant, but not as relevant as in the past. Print media, television news, and radio are all facing problems reaching an ever-fragmenting audience of constituents that a school district must reach. Podcasting is one of the forms of new media that can help reach a new generation of listeners. In this session you will explore how school districts can utilize podcasting to get your messages across, while also learning the best techniques to easily and effectively create them.

Facilitators - Tom Burton (Administration-Cuyahoga Valley Middle School), Margaret Bierman (PR-Bedford City Schools), Lisa Riegel (PR-Delaware Area Career Center)

2. “Keeping Your Troops Motivated in Tough Times”

Description - How to inspire your staff and strengthen staff morale even in the midst of tough economic times.

Facilitators – Debbie Alberico (PR-Middletown City Schools) and Julie Powell (SPONSOR – Metrics Marketing)

3. “Navigating the Social Network Obstacle Course”

Description – While even the Pope has called social networking a “gift for all humanity,” there are problems and concerns faced when utilizing the internet as a tool for marketing and communications. Many negative situations have developed within school districts related to the use of these social media tools. This session will discuss the potential problems that could arise and look at how to overcome them. Which social medium is right for your district’s communications and marketing plan?

Facilitators – Shane Haggerty (PR-Ohio Hi-Point Career Center) and Patti Grey (PR-Ohio Dept. of Education)

4. “Cleaning up the Mess Hall”

Description – Share the challenges that your district has faced and how you have met these challenges head on.

Facilitators – Ellen Ondrey (PR-Chardon Local Schools) and Melissa Fowler (PR-Dayton Public Schools)

5. “Generations”

Description – Every generation has its own way of communicating - whether it is smoke signals, postal pigeons, letters or email. With the rise of social networks, You Tube, chat, text messaging etc - we see new trends and thus a new "language" which raises the question - "how should you communicate– remember we were not all born in 1956!

Facilitators – Patti Koslo (PR-Nordonia Hills City Schools), Lee Cole (PR-Pickerington Local Schools) and Kari Basson (PR-Kettering City Schools)

6. “Facing the Media Who Are Entrenched in Social Media”

Description – You’re on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and You Tube. You’re embracing social media to publicize your school district and accomplish your communication goals. But where are the reporters who cover your schools? Are there newspapers, radio, and TV stations using the same social media to deliver your news to their audiences? Can you reach the reporters and help them cover your schools using the same social media tools? Tips and ideas for doing just that.

Facilitators – Chris Celek (Former Managing Editor for Cox Ohio Publishing’s Community Newspapers) , Jenny Birtle (PR-Mad River Local Schools) and Erika Daggett (PR-Sycamore Community Schools)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blogs in Plain English

This week's "Plain English" video is about blogs and blogging. At the conference, our day one boot camp will provide some insight into blogging and how it can be utilized within your districts.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Follow NSPRA/Ohio on Twitter!

Twitter is one social media tool that has grown by leaps and bounds in 2008 and continues to gain notoriety for its micro-blogging, 140 character only "tweets," brief messages read by those who choose to follow you. The above video from Common Craft helps you understand the purpose of Twitter.
NSPRA/Ohio is using Twitter to post frequent updates about the upcoming conference to be held in Columbus on March 12 and 13, 2009. You can sign-up for Twitter and have an account in just minutes! Our direct link to Twitter is You can also sign-up at and then search for us by typing in @nspraohio. The "@" symbol helps Twitter identify people or companies directly.
Twitter is not only a great place to communicate with friends, it is also a place people are conducting business, making connections, and growing professionally. Many corporations, politicians, non-profits, small businesses, and media members use Twitter. Barack Obama successfully utilized Twitter during his campaign. Airlines like Southwest and JetBlue utilize it to communicate flight status updates and other information to customers. Media types use it to get story ideas and to provide direct links to stories in their newspaper or television station or website. Schools are also using it, along with Education Week magazine and other educational resource providers. Want to follow some Ohio school districts? Check out these three to see how they use it for communications:
Once you sign-up, the easiest way to understand it is to start following others and see who they are following and who is following them. Start following some of these people. You will be surprised who is on Twitter! Following people in a career field or subject matter that you work within is certainly a great way to find professional resources and connections. Search for your local newspapers, TV stations, and websites, and you will likely find them on there. The Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Daily News, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, and Cincinnati Enquirer are just some major Ohio newspapers that utilize it.

Give it a shot and give it some time. Twitter is not easily understand at first. It might even seem like a waste of time, but sticking with it and increasing who you follow will help you learn why Twitter has become such a popular and useful social media tool.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Social Media in Plain English

As we prepare for our conference on social media, these videos, made popular by a company called Common Craft, make it easy to get a basic understanding of social media the various tools available for usage. We will post a new video each week that can educate you about all things social media.