Media feature

Keesha Hughes answers questions via email regarding communicating through Perry Township’s social media

Q: What is involved in your process for keeping students updated through the Perry Township social media? 

A: “The process of keeping students and their families updated involves assessing what type of information is likely most important to them. For example, students and their parents like to know about policy changes, administrator hirings/promotions, student achievements, district awards and significant events. In the context of the pandemic, we try to put information such as meal service, remote learning calendar, internet service providers, etc. to hopefully ease uncertainties of families who are trying to adjust to this unprecedented time. While we consider Parent Square to be the primary information channel, we consider social media to be a close second.”


Q: Are there multiple people who help put out these tweets through the different platforms?

A: The district’s social media is run by two people who post content. No one else is authorized to post on the district’s social media channels.”


Q: Do you gather information from the same sources? 

A: “Because the two of us can’t physically attend every event or announcement, we rely on a variety of sources for our social media content. Teachers and principals send photographs of special events and programs that they feel are “newsworthy.” Sometimes, if they forget to tell us about an event, we will borrow the photo and post from their school’s social media so we can share it on our district channels. “Sometimes, we will read a news release from an external source and discover that a student or staff member has received a unique recognition. Then we will call up the school and say “Hey can you find out if they took a photo at the event, or can you snap a photo of them and send it to us so we can share the announcement?” The bottom line is we rely on our school community to be our eyes and ears to tell us about awesome things that happen so we can gather detailed information and photos to share on social media.”


Q: What are the struggles in conveying information through social media for the district, and when is it helpful? 

A: “One challenge of sharing info on social media is the public’s lack of understanding that we can only post the stories that we know about. So if we share a special recognition awarded to a student at X school, someone might comment “Why didn’t you cover the student who received it at Y school?” The answer is always “We can’t post about it if we don’t know about it.” That’s why it’s so important for teachers and administrators in the school to keep the folks at PTEC in the loop. “A second challenge is the space restrictions. Sometimes information is too long for social media, particularly Twitter, and we will have to create a link to the website with the rest of the information. While we would love for everyone to follow the link, we know that not everyone will.”