With all the discussion around school closures in the UK and around the world, keeping parents and stakeholders up-to-date on the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on your school is critical. Below are three online platforms to quickly and effectively reach your audience.
Your school website will always be a parent’s first point of contact. Be sure to update your site making it clear to visitors where they can access information on how the Coronavirus situation is affecting your day-to-day activities. A pop-up on your homepage can be very helpful, directing visitors to a dedicated webpage or blog outlining any school updates as well as providing details on how visitors can be notified of future updates i.e. notification registration.
Be sure not to overwhelm your readers with information. Be as clear and succinct as you can be. Where there are no straightforward answers, provide links to external resources but don’t over-do those and create more confusion. Likewise, although a PDF will allow you to share more content, keep in mind these are not responsive on a mobile or tablet so try to limit the number of PDFs attachments. Instead, consider more pages that can be easily updated and accessed by parents.
And of course, don’t forget to update your Open Day page to ensure visitors know the current status of any upcoming events.
Google My Business
If you’ve created or claimed a Google My Business (GMB) account you’ll want to update that as well. Your GMB account controls the ‘knowledge panel’ that is seen to the right of search results, so when a visitor searches for your school they’ll be sure to get the latest updates. A few of the areas you’ll want to consider updating:
- Create a GMB post to share your dedicated Coronavirus page or blog
- If your school hours have changed be sure to update those
- Update your phone number if you have a dedicated line for parents to call
- Open for business as usual? Consider revising your description to reflect that
As with Google My Business, you’ll want to share your Coronavirus page/blog across your social media platforms. Don’t shy away from the reality of the situation. Take a positive outlook and make it as easy as possible for current and prospective parents to find the answers they’re searching for. With both Twitter and Facebook, you can pin your post to the top of your feed. On Instagram, use a free tool such as linktr.ee to allow multiple links in your profile, adding a link to your update page.
A video message from the Head is also something you may also want to share on social. A heartfelt message can go a long way to providing the reassurance parents are looking for and set the tone for the situation going forward. (You can also add this to your GMB profile)
Regardless of how you’re updating parents and stakeholders at your school, it’s important to approach the situation with a sense of calm. We will get through this.
My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time. Feel free to contact me should you require any assistance in setting up or sharing your Coronavirus updates with parents and stakeholders.Contact Me