The Socially Savvy Superintendent of Schools

Socially Savvy superintendents are effective in shaping the perception and communication surrounding their school district and community. Whether focused on internal audiences like staff, teachers and students or external audiences such as parents and the general public, the social superintendent is the most capable communicator of the school district's narrative.

Additional benefits derived by having a social superintendent, include a stronger relationship with the news media, staff feeling more informed, a perception that the superintendent is more approachable and accessible and an openness and sense of transparency that has a positive impact on morale and eventually, education results.

No leader can afford to lead as they did in the Industrial Age. This is a new era with new rules. All around us, the entire world is flattening, democratizing, and socializing. It’s quite possible that as the social age matures, there will be only two types of business leaders: social … and retired. (The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media,  HBR)

The data supporting the value derived from organizational leadership by a social superintendent (the "CEO") is overwhelming, yet data indicates slow adoption by the senior executive. 

Statistics 

Social CEOs are much more likely to be seen as good communicators than unsocial CEOs (55% vs. 38%, respectively). With fewer than half...describing their CEO as a good communicator, sociability helps change this perception. (Weber Shandwick)

Executives with social CEOs believe that the top recipients of their CEO’s social communications are employees (71%). (Weber Shandwick)

42 of the Fortune 500 CEOs were on Twitter in 2014, up from 28 in 2013. (2014 Social CEO Report)

25.4% of CEOs had LinkedIn accounts in 2014, down from 27.7% in 2013. (2014 Social CEO Report)

30% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a presence on at least one social channel. (Domo)

Communication is the sister of leadership.    - John Adair

 

Take Aways

Social superintendents are perceived as innovative and have a positive impact on their school district's information sharing and reputation.

Social superintendents put a face on and create a voice for the school district.

Social superintendents with trepidation about social should start their journey with a focus on internal communications, but then quickly find their external voice.