When no time is the best time

1002525_41466855They had the same problem with this. Most members of the National School Public Relations Association Ohio chapter are one-person shops, the boss and staff rolled into one with more good ideas and good projects than time to get them done. So last month, during a breakout session at their annual conference, suggesting they add social networking to work with news media and their communities was a tough sell.

With nearly 50 school P.R. experts in the room, I could see a lot of doubt on their faces. Some were not shy about sharing how difficult it is to add one more thing to already-long to-do lists.

“How do I fit this in?” was the question of the morning.

Here’s how. Don’t make social media a major campaign. Start small.

Pick one social networking site and spend 5 to 10 minutes in the morning to create short updates about what’s happening at your school today and tomorrow.

Link to related events information on your existing web site.

Tell people how to participate or obtain more information from e-mail newsletters you’re already producing.

Then check back on the site later in the day. Spend another 5 to 10 minutes responding to comments or questions from people in your school community.

Better yet, reach out and comment or offer information to someone new.

Here’s why this is worthwhile:

You’re already spending time on printed newsletters and your school web site. Whether anyone reads or responds to that information is a crapshoot. When they see it — or if they see it at all — is out of your control. But on social networking sites, you’re reaching people who have chosen to spend time there. They’re actively looking for information and people with whom they can connect. They’re engaged.

You can be, too.

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