Hello fellow PTA members,
I am currently on the PTA board at our school and am trying to get the PTA on Facebook. I wanted to ask a few questions of those of you with extensive experience putting your PTA on Facebook:
1) Many people at our school are excited about the idea but there are some concerns among the staff about privacy, photos, liability as well as some worries about possible public "flare-ups" between community members. Could you please tell me if you've had any problems with these issues and what proactive steps have you taken to prevent such issues? What is your FB policy re. photos and privacy? re. appropriate use of language, policy for posts in general?
2) What "flavor" of Facebook have you chosen for your PTA presence? Are you doing the standard Facebook page where anybody can 'like' your page? Or are you limiting access in any way? Are you able to moderate the postings of content and/or photos? What are the pros and cons of doing a regular FB page Vs. using Facebook Groups?
3) Have you been able to use Facebook to poll your members with surveys? I saw that in the Facebook Groups, there is a built-in tool, but not sure about the conventional FB page?
4) Have you used any measurements/analytics to assess the success of your FB presence? Any measurable success criteria?
5) Any other issues, good or bad, I should be aware of?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts, pointers and advice!
Our elementary school has a facebook group that people can join with permission from the administrators. We use it to communicate school events, requests for volunteers, etc. We have not tried surveys and so far have not had any issues using it.
Our school administration gave us a big fat NO on having a facebook page (we are a PK-2nd grade elementary). I think it is a great idea though. In addition to it, maintain an email mailing list for people who do not use facebook.
I think the reply by Lisa is a good one. Have it be a permission only group. I would be interested to know if there is a screening process they use though. Like having to give a students name and verify it though the school.
As far as photos go, our school has a photo waiver that we sign at the start of the school year giving the school permission to take and use photos on their website and newsletters. If your school has something like that, you can ask that they add a Facebook disclosure letting parents know the PTA could use their childs photo on the page and give them the option to opt out of that.
We are currently using facebook, anyone can join or "like" our page. We use it for announcements at this time. I would like to use it for photos of events we've sponsored but I am having trouble getting that through. I think a simple release form would be all that is needed.
We do not screen who joins, we want more memberships.
Many other PTA groups are using Facebook as well, have included photos, reminders, announcements, etc. You can view them by doing searches on facebook. The bottom line, we are in times of techonology, facebook is social media, good advertising, etc. I think it is a GREAT source.
I just started one for our middle school PTA. I left it so that only I can post things on the page, so it's more like a second webpage. I am afraid to allow others to post because we've had issues with Facebook in the district and students posting inappropriate things. (I don't think I trust all adults either!) I do think it's a great tool for communication. I also have a FB page for my local civic association, which I am less worried about.
National PTA website has some great tip sheets for using social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging)