by Ken DeSieghardt
There’s no way to adjust the prism through which you look back on 2020 and not get the same answer: This year that is about to (mercifully) end was a dud.
There’s also no way to enumerate all the damage of this year without leaving something or someone out unintentionally, so I won’t even try. Obviously, until the vaccine is readily available, COVID-19 will continue to be the Sword of Damocles hanging above all our heads.
Thinking about the coming year and beyond, do you believe that your school district, buildings, and staff will ever return, completely, to the “normal” that was in place before the Spring 2020 shutdown? I’m having my doubts.
In stakeholder research we have done for school districts in which we’ve asked questions about the school district’s response to COVID-19, the answers have been running about 50/50. Half of the respondents are thankful that the district is trying to keep their child safe, while the other half insists that kids should be in school because, after all, “This is ‘merica!”
All of this means that parents and non-parents alike now have different things come to mind when they think about your school district than would have floated to the surface of their consciousnesses just nine months ago. In other words, your brand likely changed, without you having a say in the matter.
Going forward, your choices are to let the marketplace dictate your brand, or to try and put out messages that influence brand beliefs in the current environment. Some of those could be ideas like these:
• We make decisions with safety and security in mind. Now, more than ever.
• Life is about adapting so you can succeed when things change. We’ll continue to do so.
• We want your child to succeed and will do everything we can to make that possible.
• The world has changed. Our mission has not.
You get the idea: We’re not going to stray from our mission, principles, etc. We’ll simply adapt and adjust how we deliver on those promises.