From websites to Facebook pages to Twitter feeds, county education associations are finding new ways to communicate with members through social media.
Morris County, which has a website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, has found online tools to be an excellent addition to their communications outreach. They update their website, mccea.com, regularly with useful information for members such as meetings, registration deadlines, and links to other sites. In addition, they have created a registration form for their professional development overnight workshop that can be completed and submitted online. They plan to expand their site to include a members’ only section.
“We’ve also found that Facebook has helped us connect with the public,” said Samantha Pavlakos, MCCEA Social Media/Public Relations chair. “We launched our page with photos from two local associations that organized dinners for their local communities that were affected by the hurricane and flooding our area experienced in August and September. We also have posted pictures from our Tenure Celebration, ESP Celebration, food drive collection, and bowling night.”
Bergen County set up a Facebook account two years ago but they have found that most members prefer getting their information about BCEA activities via emails, the website, and their phone chain.
“We will definitely continue to use Facebook and other social media to connect with members,” said Jennifer Clemen, BCEA Treasurer, “But it’s important that social media be part of multi-layered communication campaign.”
Middlesex County’s Facebook page has nearly 450 friends. The association uses the page to communicate about political and social issues, to invite people to participate in events such as their grade-in, and to share photos from events such as Fall Focus and the MCEA county retreat.
Gloucester County has been using Facebook to communicate with members for more than a year. Their Facebook “friends” include individual members, local association pages, and county and state association leaders. GCEA uses Facebook to communicate about upcoming workshops, legislation, lobbying efforts, and PRIDE events.
“Our Facebook page was especially useful during the pensions and benefits organizing campaign in June,” said GCEA 1st Vice President Ryan Griffin. “We gave our members up-to-the-minute updates on the bill as it was going through the legislative process, information on the rallies, transportation information to and from Trenton, and we uploaded many photos of our activities. Facebook was a great tool and we are hoping that many more members will connect with GCEA online.”
NJEA will be providing training at each of the Winter Leadership Conferences on how associations can use social media to connect with members.