Updated 07/03/2012 06:20 PM
West Genesee recognized for social media presence
At a time when bullying seems rampant on sites like Facebook and YouTube, one Central New York district is being lauded for its presence on social media. West Genesee has received recognition from the National School Public Relations Association for the superintendent's blog and Twitter and the district's Facebook page. Our Kat De Maria has the story.
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CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- Many people who have met West Genesee School Superintendent Chris Brown know he's hip. He likes basketball and rock and roll and he's met Jimmy Fallon. If you don't believe me, it's all on his blog: One of the platforms that have earned Brown and the district national recognition for their social media presence.
"You've got to be comfortable with your community and comfortable with what information you're going to be putting out to your community. And I think it all comes back to transparency and wanting to be transparent," Brown said.
The blog, Notes from the Superintendent, features weekly posts. More frequent updates come on the Facebook page, administered by the public relations coordinator who also handles the paper and e-newsletters.
"It's kind of cool to be able to know we can go ahead and have something go out right here right now, it goes on to the web site, it goes on to Facebook, Dr. Brown tweets it out," said public relations coordinator Bonnie Russell.
Twitter is reserved for daily or emergency communications. Brown's account has 1,500 followers, including several hundred students. He says it's been critical, especially in situations like a bomb threat this spring. But he says Twitter also allows him to solicit feedback from students and interact personally and promptly with them.
"They know if something's going on and they need our help, they can get it immediately. Or if they just want to share good news or if they have questions about what's for lunch tomorrow or they want to know if practice is cancelled or whatever, they can use our social media presence to be able to answer that," Brown said.
Brown and Russell say students engage more with Twitter, whereas parents tend to respond better to Facebook. And let's not forget the blog, all of which together have made West Genesee a model for social media hipness.