Lessons from the Carpool Line

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As school routines are starting to take shape this August, I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate the procedures and emotions of carpooling. With 5 kids at 4 different campuses across the Triangle, opportunity abounds for this analysis. With all this time at my disposal, my mind started drawing parallels with my work in social media:

Communicate Often

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If the staff posted outside is not able to effectively relay messages to those in the building assisting the children, carpool deteriorates at an alarming rate.

Similarly, if the social media content manager does not notify their client about current promotions and online conversations, customers (and possibly the client) are quickly lost. The importance of being able to keep in contact continuously and frequently must be understood by both parties before the agreement and program plan is laid out.

Keep Things on Time

Reaching customers through social media is highly time-dependent. First, they must be available (“Must be Present to Win!”), and next, they must be open to the message. That timing is very sensitive and variable, and the effective social media manager must always be attuned to it.

Well thought-out and executed carpool timing keeps smiles abounding on the faces of the school staff, parents, and children.

Be Attentive

From the children’s point of view, staying attentive to their teachers directing them out of the classroom and to their cars not only makes for a more efficient carpool, it also makes for adults who are appreciative of the respect it imparts.

Chipmunk Being Attentive

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Staying attentive to both your client’s needs and their customer’s concerns makes a smooth road for everyone in the wild world of social media.

Remember your Manners

Patience with the children in the classroom after a long day, poise with other parents who are not always making the best judgements, and politeness to the staff, keeps everyone on an even keel.

Keeping the ship afloat in your relationship with your client, and enabling the good vibes between a business and its customers, is best propagated with the use of common polite and patient interactions. If you find your emotions getting the better of you, step away from the office until you can collect your composure and a fresh client-side perspective.

Plan for Success

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Without a calendar of planned media content, the social media manager will be left scrambling and fumbling when a client’s customers are ready to listen. A client is often not  available for a spontaneous promotion or idea, even those that are perfectly innovative and mind-blowing creative.

An unplanned carpool route, schedule, or faculty assignment is a sure disaster for any school, no matter the size or complexity. Carpool is not the time for improvisation.

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