Name: J.D. Sumner
Position & Organization: District Communications Manager, Dougherty County School System
What do you enjoy most about school PR? The thing I love most about my job is the bridge we're able to build between our schools and our community. I love when I'm able to share a story about a school or even a student that challenges perceptions and builds advocacy and support in our community.
What project are you most proud of in your district/organization?
We're always looking at ways we can be innovative and effective in making sure that parents and the community stay informed about what's happening in their schools. Last year, we executed an active shooter drill that we had been planning for more than a year. During the planning process, I realized that, if a mass casualty event or large-scale event were to ever occur, we'd be overwhelmed trying to keep the public informed and manage internal communications. So we created the "Critical Incident Communication Team," which is made up of communicators from other local organizations who are empowered to share information but to also come to each other's aid in a time of crisis. During our event, I was able to quickly triple my staff size and ensure that various communications functions were being handled. (Click here for timeline of communications from that event
As a communicator on the move, my go-to app is Adobe Spark Post. I can create engaging graphics for social on the fly, resize them with one tap to post on various platforms and even animate them to kick them up a notch..