Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Telling Your Story: Multigenerational Community Engagement and Social Media"

Session was borne out of a conversation I was evesdropping on (says Jim Hardy, MASC Field Director)
getting ready to go through an override vote: "How do we get the information out to everybody? Only 17% of our population has school-aged children. How do those who don't have kids get information?"

well, they could watch our meetings...Direct TV? Doesn't have it
streaming video? How many people watch those?
"How do we connect to everybody and connect to everybody in the community?"
"talking about things beyond 'this is our finances, here's what we're spending' to tell your story"
(Example) community session on PARCC testing to parents and students
asking a student to talk out the solution and how they got there:
"That to me was something that should have been taped and broadcast and put on websites"
very interactive session: great example of telling a story

"Generational communication differences represent a critical new aspect to community engagement"
your view depends on your generational perspective
there are different ways of breaking this up; this is one
depending on where you grew up (urban/rural), may change your generational perspective: urban is where perspectives started (up to about 25 years ago): same age may be at different ends of a generation
each generation has been influenced by many different things
communicating within your own family, even, is generational ("how was your day?" "you can read about it on my blog")
"is that really how families communicate now?"
when you're looking at communication strategies, you have to take that into consideration: different generations communcate in different ways

Associations and history
Greatest Generation (1901-1945)
now 70+ years old
(Broken up into GI generation who were adults in the Great Depression; Silent Generation who were children or after)
9.875% of the population right now
"their Depression was the Great One, their war was the Big one; their prosperity was Happy Days"
they are community minded; they vote; they're involved
took a job with one company and stayed there; increase in the labor movement
everything is cash; they save; they use things over and over again
"very much children of the Depression"

Boomers (1946-1964)
51-69 now; 24.7% of the country
These were the Hippies and the Yuppies
save the world;maturing during the war in Korea; protesting the war in Vietnam
Me Generation
buy now and use credit
"first part of the disengagement from community"
start of two income families
first TV generation "while they still had to get up to change the channel"
first generation no longer had telephone party lines
first divorce generation
people who created technology
"one of the largest generations in history"

Generation X (1965-85)
30 to 50 now; 25.8% of the population
more likely to be neighborhood engaged, rather than full community
later to marry; quicker to divorce
latchkey kids; very street smart because of that
in the technology transfer in education
"much more skeptical of corporations and government than previous generations"
rise of mass media/falling of Berlin Wall

Generation Y or Millennials (1978-1990)
btn 23-37; 16.9% of population
grew up in day care, camps; structured
want work to be fun and meaningful
respect authority; falling crime rates, falling teen pregnancy
"most highly educated group"
prefer to work in teams
unlimited access to information; see world as 24/7

Generation Z (1990-2007)
8-25; 17.1% of population
experienced technology from birth; changes in how children play
in 2006 were a record number of births in U.S. and majority were Hispanic
vast change in how technology is used
digital globalization

Next Generation (born after 2007)
less than 8; 35 million (about 1 million more boys)
have just started or are starting school

What should we know about them?
Greatest Generation: community taking care of each other
patriotic "they saved the world"
social security: building that safety net through the government
got their information from newspapers and news clips at the movie theater
Heroes: FDR, Churchill, Patton, MacArthur, Halsey, Superman, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio

Boomers: greatest period of economic prosperity
expansion of suburbia: focus on children ("be home when the streetlights come on")
Vietnam, assassinations
Civil Rights movement
McCarthy hearings; space race moon landing ("before the end of the decade" JFK)
Heroes: Ghandi, MLK, Kennedys, John Glenn, feminist movement

Gen X:
Watergate, Nixon resigns
Challenger disaster
latchkey kids; single parent homes; divorce
AIDS; health epidemic
harsh economic conditions
Glasnost; perestroika
Persian Gulf War
Heroes (?) Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, animation (Star Wars)

technology, TV talk shows
Desert Storm
Clinton Scandals
Oklahoma City bombing
first black president
LBGTQ expansion of rights
portability of technology
population of gamers
Michael Jordan; Princess Diana; Mother Teresa; Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong

Greatest Generation: patriotism, thrift, dedication, sacrifice, law & order, strong work ethic, risk averse, patience/ delayed reward, duty/honor/country, loyalty to organization
training & development: training takes time, gives big picture, long-term goals, share their experience, don't stereotype as technophobes
messages that motivate: "Your experience is respected here"
"it's important for us to hear what has and hasn't worked in the past"
"Your perserverence is valued and will be rewarded"

Boomer: positive, teamwork, health/wellness, personal gratification, promotion & recognition, youth and vitality, work and volunteerism
Training & development: near future ("long term is a short period away"), focus on challenges, focus on your role ("what do I do"), meetings & teams, development experience, business books & tapes
Messages: "you are important to our success"
"what is your vision"
"we recognize your unique and important contribution"
"You are valued"

Gen X: diversity, thinking globally, balance in life, computer literacy, personal development, fun, informal, independent, inititiave
training: focus on balance, resource list, different kinds of info, electronic support, brief (bullets & checklist), help them train for another job
Messages: "do it your way"
"We have the latest technology"
"there aren't a lot of rules here"
"we're not very corporate here"

Generation Y: optimism, civic duty, confidence, tradition, achievement, tradition, achievement, education important, strong ideals, idealism, one of most diverse generations
Training & development: take plenty of time, let them know what they do matters, communicate expectations, customer services & skills (haven't developed it, as they haven't had as many face-to-face generations), model the behavior you want to see, large teams with strong leadership
Messages: "we provide equal opportunities"
"your mentor is in his/her sixties" (opportunty for advancement)
"making a positive difference"
"You handled that situation well"

How each generation communicates:
(to keep in mind when communicating to community)

  • Greatest Generation: print media, TV news, reads books, write letters/send cards, face-to-face conversations ("they would never think of sending a text to wish their grandchild happy birthday")
  • Boomers: face-to-face conversation, focus groups/roundtables/community forums, strongly about procedures and chain of command, more formality in communication, not so much written, 
  • Generation X: last generation in which everyone was taught cursive, very good at email (they created it), tech savvy (actually know how it works), wants to know source of your information and that you can back it up, want to see that you have a plan B, electronic works ("if I want to know what the school budget is, I know that I can look it up online")
If one of your sources is going to be your website, you have to update your website:"have to, have to, have to!"
  • Gen Y: communication less formal, much shorter: text messages, Snapchat, social media, Twitter, visual generation thinks in pictures and images, best to start with outcomes ("they'll want to see the graphs on the executive summary page before they read the report"), fastest growing and most diverse group in the workplace, "if they have a question, they're not going to wait for the next school committee meeting", expect that they can go right into CEO's office (read: superintendent's) and settling things, not going to follow chain of command. ENORMOUS amount of space here for schools to fill in
Above info from "Bridging the Gap at Work"
And next generation isn't in the workplace yet...

Purpose: inform, consult, involve, collaborate

Inform: fact sheets, websites, open houses
Consult: public comment, focus groups, surveys, public meetings
Involve: workshops, deliberative polling
Collaborate: citizen advisory committee, synergy-building, participatory decision-making

If you're soliciting information, you need to be sure they're comfortable with the way that you're collecting the information
Point from group that the lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire" would go long way on history and heroes

In 1996, the average tenure of a superintendent was 20 years, and the average tenure of a school committee member was 6 terms.
In 2014, the average tenure of a superintendent is 3 years, and the average tenure of a school committee member is less than 1 term.

suggestion: set up a hashtag for your meeting, scroll it on the publicly displayed screen, for public response

Fastest growing and most diverse population: you either engage them or you lose them
 number of school committees using technology and remote participation is growing

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