Social Media and the Growing APS Mess

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This particular social media swirl is playing out on my territory, and promises to challenge me to TRY to keep up! But you know I’m the woman for that job.

So, let’s over-simplify until I can do a full (video) report on this matter: Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is in a big brewhaha of a mess. It’s a two-prong mess. I won’t go into full mess details here, as that’s the AJC’s job. But first is the CRCT cheating scandal, and second is the APS board’s probationary status.

All could come to a lovely head of face-to-face steam at tomorrow’s APS board meeting, open to the public at 4:30pm, FYI. At APS. (Stay tuned for that live eventing. I may live-stream here. Haven’t decided yet if I want to venture out from behind the laptop yet though. And come early to sign-in. Who knows what APS might do about the posted times.)

What’s fascinating, in that horrible fascinating way, is being able to watch the social media tactics and approaches (I’m loath to call them *strategies* as it’s all rather amateurish right now) present… almost in real time. Even I may not be able to follow it all. But I’m sure gonna try.

Let’s explore, with a handy scoring system, where we are so far:

1.) APS social media scorecard – 1. And they get a score of 1 (out of 10) only because they have at least established a Twitter feed for their sunny-side-up bits. Sorry, APS. But you haven’t even touched your Facebook page since the summer of 2009. Not much going on your website. And APS Superintendent Beverly Hall’s letter explaining the accredidation probationary status APS is now operating under arrived at homes via the Backpack Network. Call Hermione for a better spell soon, APS. Or you’ll be overwhelmed. If you’re not already.

2.) A Facebook Group called Atlanta School Board: Step Up or Step Down already has 266 members, and was pointed out to me by an APS teacher, so seems some APS teachers are banding together with APS parents. And heating-up neighborhood discussion boards and email chains and petitions. That’s good. I give ’em a 6. They’ve got a’ways to go to keep up with this other group that’s sprung from the PR mess though.

3.) ReCallAPS, so far, is posting fewer Facebook friends than the above group, but I’m certain they will catch-up and surpass. They’ve got a blog going already, and a Twitter feed; Twitter being what will fuel the fires the fastest. Their message seems wishy-washy though, so I’m just giving them a 5. For right now.

For what it’s worth, social media is everyone’s field to play in for communications – crisis or otherwise. Have at it. Make it work for you. Just know it’s a game you don’t want to be on the sidelines merely watching.

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