What the education comms community is talking about now

In the first few days of the lockdown, we decided to host our popular #CommsED meetups on Twitter. The aim was to offer a virtual space for education comms and marketing specialists to support each other, share ideas and discuss approaches.
It was a stressful time for everyone, with the lockdown so new, so coming together was a helpful antidote to the strangeness. There was a great response and lots of lively discussions, with the lockdown taking centre stage. We talked about positive comms strategies to adopt in the current climate, tips for hosting online events and meetings, ways to stay in touch with audiences plus the best memes and jokes we’d all seen! We thought we’d share a few things that we learned.

At a time like this, finding the right tone is crucial. We discussed how we felt about companies sending marketing and sales materials to schools in the last week or so before closure with @karen_ozjones describing this activity as “tone deaf”.

The importance of being responsive to the needs of schools was also raised.

Tilly from Now Press Play summed this up well:

How can we cope with lockdown and school closures ourselves? How do we stay safe and still get the work done? This is especially challenging for people who are juggling childcare, getting to grips with new technology and navigating new comms challenges all at the same time. Tilly also shared a lovely way of coping.

Remote working was discussed a lot. Some companies, like Pobble, already had experience as Anna Whiteley explained.

Zoom came out as the video conferencing tool of choice but there were a lot of different experiences. It was also noted that broadcasters seemed to favour Skype.

Overall the message was to be adaptable.

We all agreed that it is important to accept that how and when you work might need to change. Spending some time researching the tools that work best for you is important.

Lots of people involved in the chat were also rethinking and developing their offers to schools. There were lots of examples of organisations working rapidly to develop new tools or features to meet the needs of existing customers.

Incidentally, at Pedroza Comms, we’ve found that all our clients are rethinking and developing their offers to schools too. We’ve rethought numerous PR plans, developed lots of angles and targeted new audiences.

Our advice is; don’t be afraid to put current projects on hold and change your direction temporarily. Make some time to step back and identify ways that you can adapt and develop your offer.

Join our next CommsED chat

We hope that you find these insights useful. Our next CommsED chat will take place on Twitter at 2 pm on the 6th of May. To get involved, search #CommsED on Twitter. If you need any support during this time, we’d love to chat. You can email us or tweet Anna @PedrozaComms or Susan @EdCommsPR

To find out more about our CommsED meetups, click here.