The official title was Ten Heads, Ten Years, Ten Lessons: INH Class Members of ’06 Tell Their Tales
INH – meaning Institute for New Heads run by NAIS that year in Washington, DC.
Fast forward to 2016 and John Huber had the idea for sharing some collective wisdom and insight at the NAIS Annual conference in San Francisco.
The conference theme was storytelling. And it so evolved that we would each share a story speed-geek or pecha kucha style.
This means your time is strictly limited. It means your slides march forward with or without you. Great way to keep things moving and manage ten presentations in sixty minutes.
My fellow heads all had such interesting stories to tell so in the end I landed on the topic of reputation management and using the tools of social media to put a small school on the map in spite of troubling economic times.
You can see the whole presentation here as a Pdf minus of course the actual words. Too bad because those words were both enlightening and hilarious.
I was interested too in the stats of what happened to those 64 newly minted heads of school from the class of 2006. How many survived? Where were they now?
“Now it can be told”
In preparation for my portion I started to have some fun with the idea of clickbait.
And you’ve all seen clickbait – those tantalizingly and pseudo-sleazy headlines that tempt you into clicking even though you know it will at best be a big let-down.
Most independent schools are in perpetual enrollment mode. Word-of-mouth and online are key to that work. Schools need to drive potential families to their websites to see the amazing work they do.
If clickbait could work with celebrity meltdowns, miracle cures and facelift disasters why not life in school? Puppies and kittens bring viewers to commercial promotions so why not school-based clickbait as a lure for admissions and school reputation management?
Whenever there’s any kind of scandal or skullduggery in an independent school the media love to play up the idea of hidden secrets and the titillating truth behind the veil of privacy. Words like “elite” and “exclusive” get thrown about. The whole idea is of the sordid facts behind the facade of propriety. Why not exploit this public fascination with some school-based clickbait?
My first thought was that creating a few of these would be a great way to have fun at a faculty meeting. A bit of light relief and steam venting. Provide a few pictures of recognizable school absurdities and let the collective faculty imagination rip. We ran out of meeting time before that could happen. Too bad. Could have been a lot of fun for those so inclined to play and laugh at our collective selves.
So here then are a few (believe me there are many more) of my early solo samples. And none are intended to hurt or insult anyone.
Would any of them tempt you into a click to find the story lurking beneath the headline and the image?