Are You Capturing the Moment at Your School?

Capture the Moment
Since moving to Florida in 2001, I have taken my sons to Orlando to visit the theme parks well over 100 times. From Disney World to Universal Studios to Sea World—we have experience them all over and over again. This is one of the benefits of being able to purchase annual passes as a Florida resident.

Several years ago, on one of our drives back home from Orlando to St. Petersburg, I noticed that my odometer was about to turn over to 100,000. I told my sons, who were in the back seat, to look over the front seat to see the odometer change.

I also quickly pulled out my iPhone to take a picture of this momentous occasion (Warning: This is not necessarily recommended when driving). It’s not every day that your odometer changes over from 99,999 to 100,000 miles, in fact it only happens once in the lifetime of a car, and I wanted to capture this moment. It is also a good thing that my speedometer didn’t show that I was too far over the speed limit or this illustration may not have worked.

If I wouldn’t have taken a picture of my odometer, I wouldn’t have been able to capture this moment and share this experience with you.

As you think about marketing and telling your school’s story, you have the opportunity to capture the moment on your campus. In fact, you have many moments that occur everyday that are worth capturing. However, in my experience working with schools, many exceptional moments go by that are not captured. And in some cases, websites and social media channels remain silent.

Pictures and video vignettes provide powerful visuals that tell the story of your school. You can post these instantly on your school’s website, Facebook page, or other social media channel of choice.

One of the best things about the marketing approach today is that you don’t have to produce something that is polished and professional. We live in a world that is used to seeing homemade videos and pictures.

One of the best moments that have been captured in social media is an example from Lakeland Christian School. A few years ago, on November 4, a group of middle school students gathered around the flagpole to pray for the Presidential election that day. This was not scheduled as a marketing event. Rather, this event was planned by about 60 middle school students and demonstrated their concern for the country.

Seeing this event led by the students, an administrator captured this moment on a smartphone. The photo was sent to Sandy Johnson, the marketing and communications director. She, in turn, posted the photo and a caption on Facebook. Then, the post went viral with over 2830 likes, 174 shares and 137 comments.

As Sandy shared with me, “It was just a simple picture of middle school students praying for an election.” This captured moment in time resonated with the school’s audience on Facebook and their friends. The result was a captured moment shared on social media that went viral.

LCS Facebook Post

People want to see and experience an authentic moment captured in time.

People expect to see captured moments at your school.

As you consider ways to market your school, your strategy must include a focus on capturing the moment. While you may have this vision and be able to capture the moment around you, you need to expand your reach to include the involvement of the administration, faculty and staff.

When I have the opportunity to speak to administrators, faculty and staff at different schools, I like to challenge them to capture one moment every month in their area. If you have 50 employees, then you will have 50 moments to share (pretty simple math!). As they capture the moment and share the photo and caption with you, you will have a lot of content to use in your online storytelling effort. And, you never know when the next moment you capture will resonate with your audience and go viral.

The key is that you and your school’s community focus on capturing these moments in time. Otherwise, you will have missed many outstanding moments that happen every day in your school.

After all, you can’t be everywhere.

Are you capturing the moment and sharing this with your followers on Facebook and on other social media channels?

Does your school community–administration, faculty and staff–share this same vision by capturing moments in their area and sharing them with you?