The majority of the 900-some students at Pittsburg High School are always on their phones and posting on social media accounts. Though our print broadsheet is a cornerstone of our program, it's not enough to keep our readers engaged in our news. Throughout my time on staff, I've made it my goal to establish a strong social media presence in order for us to stay connected with our students. We started this year off with a social media editor and a detailed plan for our Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram accounts — a first for our program.
Below, you will find all of my work and leadership in entrepreneurship for The Booster Redux.
Revamping social media
In addition to our website, I also revamped our social media accounts. I changed our bios, cover photos and started posting new stories and updates regularly on all of our accounts.
In January of last year, our Facebook profile picture hadn't been updated since 2012. The account was only being used for the occasional announcement. After redesigning the profile page, I started using it to promote the stories I was uploading on the website. Our insights began rapidly increasing, as shown by the Facebook reports below. Click each image to enlarge.
1. Analytics on the week of February 10-25 of 2018 before I
revamped the account and started actively posting.
2. Analytics on the week of March 14-20 of 2018, after
I revamped the account and started actively posting.
Below are some of our most popular Facebook posts that I have personally posted. Click on the images to view them on Facebook.
One of the most popular social media platforms our student body uses is Instagram. During my first three years on staff, we didn't have an Instagram. In the summer of last year, however, I decided that if our students used it so much, we had to be present on it. I created our account in June and we started regularly posting on it. Below is our Instagram feed. Click the photos to view each individual post.
Establishing a purpose
As I learned from presentations at the summer workshops I attended, each social media platform has a distinct purpose. At the beginning of the year, I sat down with my social media and managing editor, and we developed a list of different things that we would post onto each platform. Here is the model that we came up with, along with examples showing how it's been utilized. Click each image or video to view it.
2) Story promos
3) Live tweeting
1) Event coverage
Humans of Pittsburg High
For many years, I've been a big fan of Humans of New York. Though we don't live in the largest city in the nation, we still have a lot of unique individuals at our own school, and I thought it would be interesting if we featured them in the same way. My managing editor and I started the new Instagram page and titled it "Humans of Pittsburg High," which we all now refer to as HOP. We decided to have different staffers post two HOPS per week. The page has been great for building our social media presence, but it has also helped our staffers improve their interviewing skills.
Below is the PowerPoint I made and presented at the beginning of this year to introduce the newbies to HOP.
We strive to feature students and staff members who aren't as popular and don't get as much attention. Below are examples of some of our strongest and most popular HOPs. The first two were done by me.
Branding: Creating a logo
At the beginning of the school year, we had established a strong social media presence. However, we didn't have anything to recognize us by. I wanted our viewers to have a good first impression of us and I also wanted for us to have an identity. Thus, I asked my visual content editors to collaborate and create a logo for our publication. They waited until after we finished our new print style guide so the logo could be consistent with our style. You can view my editing process of the logo under the design tab of this website. In the gallery below, you can view an image of the logo itself, along with how it appears now on our social media platforms.
Fundraiser: Promotional videos
Aside from ad sales, there was another way I earned money for our publication this year, and it entailed using my own journalism skills. The volleyball team asked that I make their banquet video in exchange for a donation to our program. I also made a highlight video for the tennis team, which I was on. Though our publication didn't receive money for the tennis video, the players' families and friends saw it at the banquet, which promoted our program. I've also been asked to make the basketball team's highlight video for a donation this year, too. You can view my tennis and volleyball videos below.
Distribution: Changing printers
This year, we had to part ways with our printing press of many years moved to a new location. This meant that our newspaper would no longer be inserted into our local paper and we would have to find another way of distributing it to the community.
There were a couple of ways I handled this. First, to maintain our relationship with our readers, I wrote an article in the form of a letter to the community to explain the entire situation. I also used the article to elaborate on our social media and online presence. As for distribution, I had some of my staffers take copies of our issues to all of our local coffeehouses and libraries.
You can read my letter to the community, which printed in the October 2018 issue of The Booster Redux, by clicking the image of it below.