District Administration November 2017 - 24

PRMatters
Branding 101
An introduction to building your personal and professional brand in a digital world
By Trish Rubin

L

eaders know the necessity of upgrading digital devices. The longer we put it off, the more likely
a system will fail. The upgrade is part of
the modern digital world.
The digital age brings a comparable
call to action for administrators, who
must upgrade their leadership brand.
Maintaining trust is a key reason for
a brand upgrade. Our stakeholders-the
students, parents and community-are
digitally connected and savvy. It is a time
of transparency-everyone in your community has a device and they will use
it to define you in your role. A digital
brand upgrade allows K12 leaders to take
charge and craft an authentic image.
The digital age is not the time to be
humble. "Upgrade and define before
being defined by others" is a mantra for
today's organizational leader.
And, an authentic leader brand can
inspire a community to a create a whole
school brand that unifies.
Harnessing the power of brand
For years, business has used brand
power for selling. In education, we call
it BrandED. An educational brand positions schools in their best light, using
strategies that communicate the school's
achievements beyond the view of test
results or graduation rates.
Upgrading with digital social tools
(Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the like) that were once used
primarily by business is critical for our
connected schools.
Brand spreads the word of the great

DAmag.me/branding
24 November 2017

Brand is a power tool
of identity. It creates
connecting feelings of
belonging and a culture
of loyalty.
things a school does every day. Brand is a
power tool of identity. It creates feelings
of belonging and a culture of loyalty.
In business, brand clarity leads to a
satisfying buying experience and loyal
customers. Schools must adapt this concept of positive educational experience
that brings satisfaction and achievement. Our schools are places where the
social and emotional need to belong is
key to well-being. A school leader who
understands brand power is not only
ready to "Just do it," but is ready to
"Just do it well, and share it!"
Getting started
School brand building starts with the
leader's ability to create their personal
brand. The leader must become the
model of the movement.
Reflect on your own experience as
a consumer so that you can identify
your own satisfying brand experiences.
(Are you Starbucks-loyal or part of the
Dunkin' nation? Why do you belong to
any consumer tribe?)
After recognizing the power of brand
in your life, shift to making your own
brand identity the engine for connection in your school-just as your favorite brands have created belonging and
connection for you.
Start the brand conversation by
identifying and advancing what brand

means in our connected lives.
Explain the power brand has as a
vehicle of storytelling. Start practicing
your powerful ability to spread the good
word about why your school is unique
and remarkable.
Storyteller-in-chief
Relying on a one-way brandless system
of traditional communication in newsletters, forms and static websites is obsolete. We are no longer simply conveying
information as leaders, we are engaging
our audience in a conversation.
Brand is about promotion. As you
take on the role of brand "storyteller-inchief," look to amplify real, ongoing stories and messages that can be shared by
word of mouth and on digital channels.
Your trusted emerging brand presence
promotes authenticity and demonstrates
a promise to deliver satisfaction to all
who experience the school.
Don't wait. Brand is a "DIY" strategic upgrade that starts with you. Your
model of your personal professional
brand, informed by your own brand
experience, can initiate a school brand
project. Leaders can craft their brand
without a Madison Avenue advertising
budget. They can model branding tools
and strategies and inspire like-minded
"brand pioneers" (the stakeholders mentioned above) to build the school brand.
They use the business world's concept
of brand to impact the educational
community with the pride of a committed digital-age school leader. DA
Trish Rubin consults with clients in education,
business and the nonprofit sector to build
brand awareness. She is coauthor of BrandED:
Tell Your Story, Build Relationships and
Empower Learning.
District Administration


http://www.DAmag.me/branding

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration November 2017

District Administration November 2017 - Cover1
District Administration November 2017 - Cover2
District Administration November 2017 - 1
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