Principals have so much to offer students, parents, the community, staff members, fellow principals and colleagues. Principals can give and contribute by sharing their experiences, knowledge, and insight. Principals are complex talented leaders that are committed, passionate visionaries that can empower, inspire, and motive their audiences. There are dynamic and relevant topics that principals can blog about. Some of these include blogs about school culture, mandates and policies, educational trends, philosophies and beliefs, professional development topics, and transparent and reflective blog posts.
Audience & Purpose
Principals have four potential audiences. Principals can direct their blog posts to student and parents, the community, staff members, and principals and area superintendents. Each of these audiences can have a specific purpose for each blog post. For example, administrators can blog to students and parents about school culture, mandates and policies, educational trends, school news, nuts and bolts, and celebrations. An administrator may have similar blog post to share with the community, but may do so using a different platform than that used to reach students and parents. Administrators may use the school website to reach students and parents, but use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to reach the community.
Principals will have much different content to share with their staff members. This may blog posts about their philosophies and beliefs, school issues, curriculum topics, data and instruction, technology integration, and professional development topics. Lastly, principals will blog very differently when they target fellow principals and area superintendents.These blog posts will probably be very transparent and reflective.
Blogging Best Practices
There are many options for best practices related to principals blogging. Here are five that I derived from the book Hacking Leadership.
1. Plan – there are many things to plan. Plan about the topics for blog posts, the platform you will use, the frequency of your posts, and the schedule you will follow.
2. Constant Flow – there is one shortcoming that will cause your audience to fall away and that is not posting on a regimented schedule. You will have followers. They will be looking forward to your posts. You do not want to be inconsistent. Select a specific day to post on and always post on that day or days.
3. Dynamic & Relevant – capture your audience by relating to them. A dynamic post will include multimedia and new content that your audience can relate to and apply.
4. Transparent & Reflective – This may be a challenge for admin. What I mean is that there are times when an administrator should not be transparent or reflective. When we reflect, we talk about what we learned and sometimes admit we made mistakes. This may not be something a principal would want to include in a blog post to student, parents, or the community; however, there may be times when this would be appropriate. Admin will mostly be transparent and reflective with their area superintendents, but could be inspiring to their staff members.
5. Reply – blogging gives your audience the opportunity to comment to your blog posts. Reply to the comments to spur discourse. This will hook your audience and communicate to them that you are engaged with them and present.
Digital Tools and Platforms for Blogging
In the WCPSS there are two options for principals. Admin can use Schoolwires or Blogger. This is not the venue to get discuss the technical details of these two platforms. I recommend you contact your area DLC to support you in your blogging expeditions.