As a school superintendent, establishing a strong personal brand is crucial for connecting with your community and gathering support for your district. Believe it or not, your enthusiasm for education is not the only thing you have to convey to your various stakeholders.
Through our work with dozens of superintendents over the years, we know that you don’t choose this role for the limelight. But the reality is that you have to be in the public eye.
So, let’s make sure people see the real you. Why? Because when people know you, they like you more. It’s science! A study in 2020 showed that people liked a candidate more, even when it was a well-known member of the opposite party of their own affiliation, when they knew personal stuff about them. The same goes for you!
Here’s how you can do it, too:
- Be yourself and have fun!
Your community already knows you have a heart for education. But they also want to know who you are! Have fun and show them the person behind the position, whether it’s your favorite sports team, your love of ice cream or your family dog. Add your personality to email newsletters and social media so everyone can connect with you.
- Stick to what matters
Students and staff should continue to be the center. Connecting your personal values, passions and pastimes to your district can go far in building trust and showing your authentic self. Are you a runner? Participate in field day or visit a track practice! What about an artist, amateur chef or avid DIY-er? There are dozens of ways to show those sides of yourself while celebrating and connecting with staff and students.
- Have an open-door policy (no, really)
Show others that you are a good listener and that you’re approachable. Getting keyboard warriors into your office can be an effective strategy to transition detractors to supporters. Consider all the ways you can interact in person with members of your community and put a plan in place to make it happen.
Interested in building a brand for yourself, but don’t know where to start? Our experts are happy to continue the conversation. For more information on how we can help, email us!