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Oct. 11, 2011

C-RCS joins the social networking revolution

Like us on FacebookFacebook currently has more than 800 million current users, about half of whom log on daily, and more than 2 billion posts are liked and commented on per day. Twitter has more than 175 million registered users sending nearly 180 million Tweets per day and is averaging 460,000 new members daily.

And C-RCS can count itself among those numbers.

Follow us on TwitterC-RCS now has official pages on Facebook and Twitter and will be using these sites as another avenue for communication with parents and residents.

“We want to take advantage of every means of communication available to us,” Superintendent Lynn Macan said. “Social media is another tool to help us share information and initiate conversations with the community.”

District officials are making a concerted effort to increase communication through ConnectEd, direct communication with parents, the district website, social media sites, community and staff e-newsletters, and the local media.

“By offering many avenues of communication, we hope to reach the broadest audience in the medium of their preference,” Macan said.

Another advantage to using social media for communication is that these sites can be accessed on smartphones through applications or Internet-ready devices. Smartphone use in the U.S. increased 10 percent last quarter, with more than 82.2 million smartphones in use.

“People may not be able to access the district website while they are at work, but they may be able to access Facebook and Twitter,” Macan said.

Macan stressed that information will never be distributed by only one source. Information will be shared through many tools in an effort to inform the highest number of people.

The district’s Facebook account, which was established in August but not scheduled to fully launch until school started, proved to be a valuable tool during Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, giving the district and residents a platform to share information about the shelter, available aid, where to go for help, etc.

In the five days after Irene, the C-RCS Facebook page went from 21 to more than 250 “likes” as parents and residents turned to social media outlets for news.

Social media also gives the district another opportunity for two-way communication with the community. People can comment on Facebook posts or post to the C-RCS Facebook page and reply to Tweets on Twitter.

“We welcome and encourage questions, comments and dialogue both online and off,” Macan said. “All the comments posted on our social media sites are read, and we make every effort to respond to questions in a timely manner.”

Along with creating social media profiles, the district is offering a way for website users to share school news with others. The top of every website page now includes “share buttons,” which give visitors the opportunity to save, print, email and share stories from the district website. By clicking on the share button, readers can send a website story to their Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, LinkedIn or more than 300 other online accounts.

“The way the world shares information is changing,” Macan said. “We want to make sure C-RCS information is available to all that want access to it in as many formats as possible.”

Facebook and Twitter are free social media networking sites. You do not need to have an account at either site to read C-RCS information, though you do need to create a profile in order to reply or comment on the sites. All that is needed to sign up for either site is a valid email address. Click here for information on creating a free Facebook profile and here for information on creating a free Twitter account.