Meeting Agenda/Notes - November 10, 2017

No Attachments on agenda

November 10, 2017 Board Communications Committee Meeting
10:30 a.m. - Meeting Room A
Panoramam Village Administrative Center
240 Villa Crest Drive
State College, PA  16801

I.       Call to Order

II.      Purpose of the Meeting

III.    Communications / Handling Social Media

IV.      Public Comment

V.       Future Agenda Items

VI.      Adjournment


November 10, 2017 Board Communications Committee Meeting Notes
Panorama Village Administrative Center 
10:30 a.m. - Meeting Room A
240 Villa Crest Drive
State College, PA  16801

I.        Call to Order
Mr. Leous called the Board Communications Committee Meeting to order at 10:37 a.m.

Present:  Committee Members: Amber Concepcion, Jim Leous, Laurel Zydney
Absent: Penni Fishbaine
Others: Gretchen Brandt, Randy Brown, Mary Jenn Dorman, Nabil Mark, Kathleen Moore, Robert O’Donnell, Andrea Tapia

A copy of all materials distributed to committee members for discussion is included with the  official notes, unless otherwise indicated.

II.       Purpose of the Meeting
Mr. Leous introduced Dr. Andrea Tapia, Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology in the College of IST, Penn State University. Also joining the group was
Dr. Kathleen Moore, an expert on Crisis Communications and is now at James Madison. There was no presentation prepared, would just like to have a discussion/conversation about social media.

III.      Communications / Handling Social Media
Ms. Concepcion noted she had sent threads over the past couple months to Dr. Tapia.  Our District Facebook is more of a news stream of the District and Mr. Mark noted most comments are positive. The District page is not something the public can post on. We have almost 7,000 people that follow that page, and every school has a Facebook page that Mr. Mark controls. He spoke on the fact it is not always the building principal who is in charge of the page; the PTO’s feed information into the page but do not have access to the District page; and funneling information is really okay.

Dr. O’Donnell spoke on people having questions, as a parent, and asking the questions on Facebook instead of the District. We would like to help resolve questions and concerns and we do have a protocol in place, but they are not coming to see/ask us. He questioned what our strategy could be to be more helpful. Dr. Tapia spoke on our official pages being very good with no problems, they are like a modern newsletter, and there is nothing for parents to argue against. If this is the tone the District was working for, then the District has accomplished it well, but if the community wants to engage in conversation, they cannot do that. Therefore, many go to the parent pages and they can engage there. She responded to questions regarding board members engaging, spoke about two different stages, and the positive thing to do is quickly correct incorrect information, and create the right statement.

Dr. Tapia noted that currently there really is no engagement from the District on the Facebook page, just broadcasting. The need to have an “expert” manage social media for what is okay and what is NOT okay, need to give people paths, set clear rules, what they can and cannot do, and provided examples. Discussion occurred: People do want to be respectful, there are some voices strong, persistent and negative, others jump in to help and correct, and can not shy away from a difficult conversation. Community and/or parents may want to communicate on the District page and we need to let them know what comments will not be tolerated. Share rules of conduct and encourage to engage in a civil manner.

Dr. Tapia and Dr. Moore spoke on crisis environment, statements being made sooner than later, people do not even want to wait one hour, let people know we are aware, participating and waiting for correct information. Board members should only clarify facts, not comment or give opinion(s).

To begin engagement on the District Facebook page, they explained how to start with light and positive information, then bring up more in-depth items and ask what people think. Need to be proactive and not reactive. Dr. O’Donnell would like to reach students, parents, staff, alumni, etc. and use the right platform to do so. Dr. Tapia noted emails to parents have been good, students do not read email, parents are on Facebook, students use Snapchat or Instagram. For a crisis, you want to notify as fast as possible - text is the most effective choice and email is the slowest, people do not read email regularly. It is okay to be redundant. With the emergency system the District has, send all three: 1) Call, 2) Text, and 3) Email. It is always better to be over informed than uninformed.

Mr. Leous thanked both Dr. Moore (from James Madison) and Dr. Tapia for their time and appreciated their guidance and expertise for this matter. Dr. Tapia did note that Chris has a good tone on his phone messages.

IV.       Public Comment
There was no public comment.

V.        Future Agenda Items
There was no discussion on future agenda items at this time.

VI.       Adjournment
Mr. Leous adjourned the meeting of the Board Communications Committee Meeting at
12:01 p.m.

Submitted by,


Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary