What a rough week to be doing PR for the Atlanta Public Schools system.
The governor has just released an extensive report describing a prolonged, widespread pattern of cheating and that “accuses (former Superintendent Beverly) Hall and her aides of repeatedly tampering with or hiding records that cast an unflattering light on the district.”
The school system’s official Twitter feed, by comparison, has been a ray of sunshine. Its followers are noticing.
“Kudos to @apsupdate for gutsy social media transparency during what must be an exhausting time for (communications) staff,” a tweeter named Erin M. Crews posted this afternoon.
In response, the schools feed posted, “Sigh. (You) have no idea. Following 12 Twitter search streams at this second. Many of us are parents here too. Pushing forward.”
A Tweeter named Adam Hall also noticed the candor coming out of the school system’s feed and posted, “Keep it transparent (and) this may be a moment of growth for an entire nation dearly in need of a reality check.”
The response: “Your tweet is music to our ears. We are truly standing in a moment of truth today. No excuses here.” The tweet ended with three hashtags: #transparency #aps #community.
Indeed, as the story unfolds, instead of offering defenses (or silence) the school system’s feed has steadily retweeted links to news coverage posted by the AJC and other media outlets and has consistently engaged with followers. The feed posted live excerpts from the news conference Gov. Nathan Deal held to deliver the report, in which he said there would be “consequences” for educators who cheated, and one interim Superintendent Erroll Davis later held during which he said those who cheated would not work in front of children again.
The employee who mans the feed isn’t publicly identified and hasn’t been there long.
“I believe this is week #4,” the employee told us via message. “Important to me that parents get all the info, so while today is brutal, it’s worth it.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org