When a school goes viral
When you’re able to interact with parents via Facebook at the relative drop of a hat it takes a high level of emotional intelligence from a Social Team to weigh up the landscape before updating on something that may families.
When engagement really heats up, say after a parent shares a lovely letter that school has sent home with SATS results (yes that letter inspired by Kimberly Hurd) it’s a real test of any school’s steel to keep control of the message and not let the meaning become skewed in the glare of the attention that comes with going viral.
Barrowford School were in a hurricane force media storm full of firsts. Rachel and Amy had had no professional media training to help them deal with ‘live’ news interviews via satellite, telephone interviews with radio celeb DJ’s like Vaness Feltz & R4’s Woman’s hour; yet unsurprisingly they excelled even when ITV tried to begin to plant a negative seed.
As the media amplified the story it circled the globe reaching arguably millions of people who almost without exception were inspired and invigorated by the letter.
However there are always, and this is a scientific name, nutters.
These people come from a dark place and share a lens on the world. It seems that it’s their job to de-rail and distract from the core message.
It’s when these people surface with ill formed views, that the school gets the opportunity to see it’s own parental community demonstrate their emotional intelligence as a collective and whether it’s (brand) values have been shared and accepted by the parent community
The school had no need to worry about their parental community who have been nurtured for a number of years by the school’s “rounded and grounded” approach to. So, when a couple of people came along who hadn’t reckoned on the core beliefs of the school community being quite so solid it was really quite special to see those people neutralised in pretty short order by that same community while showing real composure stemming from their belief and faith in the school.