Is Your Community Engaged?

By Calina Franz-Hernandez | February 21, 2020

Today’s parents are the mobile generation. They work long hours. They are regularly on the go. And they want to stay connected to their kids wherever they are. With everything they have on their plate, they need to access information quickly and easily. As a school, you have the power to do that! Help your families build stronger connections with one another by providing them a way to stay informed and involved in their kids’ progress, successes and challenges. 
How? Through digital media.
Shared media can help build a better connection with your families, grow their level of engagement and foster school pride.
As a key content creator at your school you are likely someone who frequently handles media from various sources such as teachers, professional photographers, including photos you take yourself. Do you find yourself creating quality content week after week but wonder if your community is actively engaging with it and in turn, your school? Let’s walk through one common task a creator may come across and what it can look like for you to be able to build and promote engagement through media.
You’ve been tasked with creating a highlight slideshow of your school’s basketball team who have recently won a big championship. As you browse through the media on your school database, you realize there are some great group shots of the basketball team from earlier in the year but there are no action shots of individual players and nothing from the recent game. Initially, you may reach out to the coaches and teachers in an attempt to gather more photos but don’t find what you are looking for. Imagine, instead, if you could simply jump into a shared album to quickly and easily find several great shots contributed from various people within your school, including parents
You may have considered crowdsourcing content from your parent community but due to time concerns, you put it out of mind. However, you can tap into this media treasure trove by encouraging families to contribute content to your photo management platform in tandem with your internal team’s efforts. Of course, getting your parents to contribute does take some time to build upon.
Here are a few ways you can start to encourage your community to get more involved:

  • Encourage parents to upload their own photos to share with the rest of the community. Parents who volunteer or frequently attend school events are great resources to approach when first beginning to roll out this program. Often times these types of users frequently become content champions who help promote the adoption and use of a new tool.
  • If possible with your chosen media platform, encourage parents to tag or curate content that relates directly to their kid(s). This will create a set of personalized content for parents to engage with and share with others. These practices also help make your content more searchable allowing you to be able to archive content more accurately.

There is a lot of power lying within this practice as it makes parents a more active participant in day to day school activities. It also allows parents a direct view into the classroom and their student’s life, further strengthening the connection between families and the school.

Don’t Forget – Lead by example – Whenever you are building something, you want to start off with a solid base. If your school is not sharing content, you cannot expect your families to do so for you. You want to entice your community to contribute by giving them quality media that excites and inspires them to want to join in. If you set the example and format of the kinds of content you would like to see, it makes it much easier for others to follow suit.
If your school has made the choice to use a particular media platform to organize and share its content, you need to be the one that pushes things forward until the level of engagement is high enough that things become autonomous. It will likely be a slow start but as more and more of your community gets involved, you will see these numbers start to grow!

Once you find the content you have been searching for, you curate your slideshow from your media management platform selecting one group shot, a few action shots from the winning game and some candids of the individual players including the MVP and share it out with your community via your social media platforms and the school’s weekly newsletter. Success! Or is it? How can you validate that what you are doing is working and worth the time and effort you and your community are putting in?
First, You should look at success as a gradual change and growth over time. Don’t look at the implementation and adoption of a media platform as a one year program where you either pass or fail. Numbers always vary from school to school. It’s not helpful to state that “X percent of uploads is success” as this does not mean a lack of success if a school doesn’t hit this specified number. For example, if one school hits 85% activation rate with 10,000 uploads this year, this is an amazing achievement and we would define them as having successfully engaged their community. However, if another school has been struggling to engage their community for the past 5 years yet this year, all of a sudden, they have a 30% activation rate with 3000 uploads, we would also define this as successful. This is because the data is showing a positive progress from where they were to where they are now. It is a slow and steady race where if you continue to put in the time and effort, you will continue to see growth and evolve your school’s story.
Here are a few questions to check in and define success for yourself:

  • Where did you succeed?
  • Where can you improve?
  • Are you seeing more people on your system?
  • Is there follow through on your prompts to engage with a piece of media or platform?

Fun Fact: One success we do want to mention as we have seen it with many schools as they progress down this path is the amount of time required to manage their media platform decreases as their communities become more self-sufficient with the platform managers only having to check in occasionally to ensure things are running smoothly.

If you are an existing Vidigami school, we hope you were able to learn something new and find this information helpful! If you would like to learn more about any of the mentioned features in more detail, feel free to reach out to your Client Success Specialist and we would be happy to help! If you are not yet a Vidigami customer and would like to learn more about our product, we welcome you to reach out to us here.

About Calina Franz-Hernandez: As Vidigami’s Client Success Education Manager, Calina is hyper-focused on users’ needs and feedback, providing them hands-on training and support to build solid, trusted relationships. She continuously learns from each school to develop valuable resources and content, engaging and educating key users and their communities to help them achieve their goals.