Winter Break comes at such a prime time. The days are shorter, the temps get colder and many have hit that point of throwing your hands up in the air and heading to Mexico to live in a tent on the beach (sounds nice, right?).
Here’s a short list of six things to knock out while the students are away and you get at least a little chance to get your head above the water line.
Seriously, now is the perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself and enjoy your family, the season, just kicking your feet up for a few days and letting your brain escape the day-to-day that is K12 PR. As our friends with #K12PRwell will tell you, it’s not being delinquent of your duties…it’s making sure that you’ve got something in the tank to give, because if you always burn the candle at both ends eventually you’ll run out of wick!
Work on your Content Plan
So the first half of the school year is behind you and Winter Break is a great time to look ahead and plan (wherever possible) your content for your Social Media, Newsletter, Magazine, Website, Video and more.
Here’s a great planning resource that I shared earlier this year from Erica Chandler (Affton Schools – MO) to help with your Social Planning (though I’m sure you could hack this for other planning as well).
Check out your upcoming calendar of events and get the important stuff down (spring break, graduation, testing, etc.) and then supplement it with the important (and not-so-important) national holidays – I mean, how can you not plan on highlighting National Pizza Day on Feb 9? These two calendars should help with some of those other dates too – EducationWorld & Andrew Hagen’s (Wayzata Schools – MN)
Play with some new gear
Now is a great time to do some Amazon hunting and check out some new gear for your office. With video being such an important component of your social, web and email content, why not make sure you’re playing with a full deck and be ready for Senior Day, Graduation, Spring sports and more.
Here’s a few items that have come recommended from your colleagues and other experts in the field that won’t break the bank:
Gimbal (hand-held, self-leveling stand/extender)
Budget Buster (under $500)– New Cameras
Tune in to some Podcasts
Seriously, some of your colleagues are putting out hella good content for you to catch up on and now is a great time to tie some podcast listening in with item #1 above. So kick back (or jump in the car for your holiday road trips) and get your learn on with a few of these great podcasts to help you hone in your K12 craft:
Ryan Foran (School PR Podcast) – MarketVolt is a Sponsor!
Erin McCann/Justin Dearing (School PR Happy Hour)
Shane Haggerty (Breaker Society)
Michelle Hickey/Steve King (Podcast For Creatives)
JP Prezzavento (The Bits & Bytes of Education)
Check out what’s been working
We’re so often focused on what’s up next, that we don’t usually take the time to look back and see what’s actually working. Winter Break comes at the perfect time – the halfway point – when you can look back at:
- Social Media posts to see what’s gotten the most likes/comments/share
- Newsletters and see what kind of content is getting the most click-throughs and what subject lines are getting the most opens
- Website stats to see if any pages are standing out as being viewed more than others (or being missed more than you expected)
That way you can tie that knowledge into item #2 above and plan for the back half of the school year to make an even greater impact.
Register for NSPRA
For real guys, being based here in St. Louis (the home of NSPRA 2020) we can’t wait to get you guys in town. We’ve got so many great things that you can do – with or without the family.
- The St. Louis Zoo – It’s consistently rated one of the best in America…oh yeah, and its FREE
- STL Science Center – Constantly updating exhibits (a sweet one of games/video games in there the last time I was in) along with an iMax theatre and a big ole T-Rex…oh yeah, and it’s FREE
- St. Louis Aquarium – This will be one of our newest attractions when you guys arrive as it opens on Christmas 2019. We can’t wait to see what this world-class facility brings. Did I mention that you won’t even have to walk outside to get to it from the NSPRA venue?
- The Cardinals/Ballpark Village – I mean, you can’t think of St. Louis and not think of the 11-time World Champs. Hopefully the boys are in town the week you guys are here, but they also have stadium tours and Ballpark Village is right across the street where you can visit the Cardinals Hall of Fame and check out some pretty sweet bars, restaurants and other cool things going on as that space continues to evolve.
- Gateway Arch – Speaking of iconic STL Landmarks! The newly renovated museum under the Arch is pretty spectacular, telling many stories of America’s march Westard and St. Louis’ role in that expansion. Plus who can miss a ride up that crazy “elevator” to the top of the Arch to catch that view!
- Some of the lesser-known attractions – There’s so much to do that other exciting things like Worldwide Technology Raceway for some lap racing, drag racing or super-fast go carting, the National Blues Museum, Forest Park (home to the Zoo, Science Center, History Museum, Art Museum and tons of scenery and walking trails), the City Museum – a “museum” like nothing else in the country and just rated “50 coolest places to visit in the world” – and other great music venues with shows available across the city every night.
- Food…yum – Over the last few years, St. Louis has consistently rated as one of the “can’t miss” food scenes in America. From BBQ to Italian and more up-and-coming hot spots than I can keep track of. Don’t forget to give toasted ravioli and some St. Louis style pizza (wafer thing crust with Provel cheese) a shot while you’re here.
- The Conference – I mean, did you think I forgot that part? Beyond what St. Louis has to bring, you won’t want to miss your choice of hundreds of sessions to choose from and around 1,000 of your closest K12 PR friends to bond with…and we’re ready for you!
So there you have it. Six key things to get accomplished over Winter Break and prepare yourself for the downhill race that is the back half of the school year.
ps…If looking at new email newsletter software is in the cards, don’t forget to add me to the list (during break or after). I’d love to share how MarketVolt is using features like SIS Syncing, targeted content, access for your schools and live training and support to change how email newsletters are used in the K12 space. You can learn more at K12.marketvolt.com.