Donovan Group Insights

Video Spotlights Your Professionals’ Passion

Your people are passionate about what they do. They walk into school ready to transform students’ lives with their talents, experience, wisdom and kindness. Every professional in your district, from teachers to staff to paraeducators to administrators, has a story to tell. You can help school professionals share their stories and passion with others through the power of video.

Let’s explore video as a storytelling medium and how you can use it to spotlight your school professionals’ passion.

The importance of spotlighting your professionals

You understand the personal sacrifices your teachers, staff, paraeducators and administrators make for your schools. Every day, they show up to work and selflessly give their all for the students. They offer their endless patience, kindness and compassion, and the only reward they ask for is seeing their students succeed. Your schools wouldn’t exist without them, and their impact on students’ lives is immeasurable. These outstanding professionals deserve some recognition!

Given everything they do for your district, it’s important that your school professionals feel appreciated. You can show your appreciation by spotlighting these professionals in front of the community, whether individually or as a collective group. When you spotlight your professionals, you’re showing that they matter and that their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Staff spotlights are a very simple thing district leaders can do to say “thank you” for their time, talents and dedication.

Staff spotlights also give community members a chance to learn more about your school professionals. Students and their families interact with teachers, staff and administrators on a daily basis. But what about everyone else in your community? Less involved stakeholders, such as seniors, non-parents, civic groups and elected officials, don’t know who’s running your schools. And yet, these professionals are shaping future generations of doctors, artists, engineers and innovators. School professionals impact not just students, but society as a whole. Community members should get to know your people!

Why use video to spotlight school professionals?

You understand why it’s so important to spotlight your school professionals. What’s equally important is choosing the right medium to tell your professionals’ stories. When you spotlight a school professional, you want as many people to hear their story as possible. The right medium will allow you to reach a broader audience and engage more stakeholders. For staff spotlights, the right medium to use is video.

Video excels at grabbing people’s attention. In fact, most stakeholders prefer to receive information through video rather than text alone. When stakeholders scroll through web pages, social media or an e-newsletter, video stands out far more than any other type of content. Video is associated with much higher levels of engagement, prompting people to not only stop and watch, but to spend more time viewing the content.

Video can also get messages across much faster and more efficiently. In as little as 30 seconds, a video can tell stakeholders about a professional’s role, experience, educational background and personal life outside of school. Text can relay these same pieces of information, but it means so much more to hear people’s stories from the people themselves. There’s no replacement for hearing the passion in someone’s voice as they describe what they love about working in education. Video is more efficient, yes, and it’s also more meaningful.

Compared with text and still images, video is better at forming connections between professionals and community members. Since video is a visual medium, stakeholders can actually see the faces of your school professionals. Stakeholders get to see their smiles, their expressions and their personalities. Visuals can convey just how passionate they are about pursuing a career in education. School professionals want to form real human connections with community members, and video has the power to make that happen.

Topics to include in your spotlight videos

Video content involves a bit more than simply talking in front of a camera. Before you hit the record button, school professionals should plan what they’re going to say ahead of time. Here are some talking points your professionals can use in their spotlight videos:

  • Their role in the district: Ask each professional to briefly summarize their role in the district. They should say their title, what their role entails, which school they work in and what a typical day looks like for them. This background information gives stakeholders a good idea of what your professionals are doing to contribute to the success of students.
  • Their educational background: School professionals can choose to state their credentials, such as degrees, alma maters, licensures and certifications. Parents, family members and other highly-involved stakeholders may want the reassurance that their children’s education is in the hands of experienced, qualified individuals.
  • Their favorite thing about the job: Give your professionals a chance to explain why they went into education in the first place. Encourage them to describe what they love about their position, and what they love about being a part of your school community. Stakeholders want to know their children are positively influenced by people who are not only qualified, but who are also passionate about what they do.
  • Their life outside of school: School professionals are more than teachers, paraeducators and administrators—they’re people, too! Ask your people to share a little bit about themselves, like their favorite sports team, how many children or pets they have, and what their hobbies and interests are outside of work. Odds are, your professionals and stakeholders will have plenty in common, which helps establish those personal connections.

When and where to leverage spotlight videos

The spotlight videos are filmed, edited and ready to go. Now, the trick is figuring out when and where you’re going to post them. Your school professionals do so much for the students, so you want as many stakeholders as possible to hear their stories. The time and place for posting videos is crucial, as these factors determine how many people see them (and click on them).

Here are some tips that will help you boost stakeholder engagement through video:

  • When: You can spotlight your professionals anytime! You don’t need an excuse or occasion to boast about the awesome people in your community. Spotlight videos are appreciated all year round, even during the summer. If you just hired a new teacher, paraeducator or administrator, post their spotlight video a few weeks before their official start date, so stakeholders have some time to get to know them first.
  • Where: Many of your district’s “owned” media channels lend themselves well to video content. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram make it easy to upload a short 60-second video for users to enjoy. You can also post spotlight videos to various pages on your district’s website, such as the home, about, careers and enrollment pages. There are even opportunities to showcase these videos in person, like during orientations, open houses or banquets.

Help your professionals share their passion

Every day, students witness firsthand the outstanding efforts of your school professionals. But students aren’t the only stakeholders who should see how amazing your people are! The rest of your community deserves to see it, too, and video is how you’re going to share professionals’ stories. Video is an effective storytelling medium with the ability to convey your professionals’ passion better than words on a page. So, turn on the camera and start sharing those stories!

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