Honor Society Update: Being the Messenger

This age of digital and social media provides exciting new ways to spread the word about the extraordinary things your chapter and members are doing. In particular, social media provides a platform for sharing messages in an immediate and sometimes emotional way. 

At the end of the school year, allow time to take stock of your chapter’s accomplishments (as a whole or for individual members) and consider how you can reach a wider audience.

Why?

Everyone likes a feel-good story, so spread the word of your chapter’s accomplishments—it will help validate the important work you and your members are doing. 

Your students work hard racking up service hours knowing they are making important contributions to the social good, but they may feel like they are working in isolation. To extend their positive message to a wider audience, particularly when the work is innovative or particularly impactful, makes the work all the more meaningful. Plus, your principal has a responsibility to the community to ensure the school is a good neighbor. Frequently, the activities you oversee as a chapter adviser reflect the messages that your school leader needs to amplify to the community at large.

How?

For ideas on how to promote your chapter, check out the Adviser Resource Center online, particularly the content available through the “Promoting Your Chapter” section. These pages offer guidance on identifying media to approach, the do’s and don’ts for writing press releases, and ideas for leveraging social media, as well as some cautionary notes about social media safety.

Over the summer, why not consider an experience you’d like to share and make a contribution to one of the publications produced by the national office? This very publication, Advise, is always in search of “boots on the ground” perspectives. You walk the walk every day and likely have an important viewpoint to share that might be helpful to fellow advisers. Learn more by visiting the “Contribute to NASSP Publications” web page.

When?

The media is often hungry for news in the summer. Over your break, take a deep breath and reflect on your chapter’s achievements. Check with your principal and/or district communications office to ensure that you follow any prescribed media outreach protocols. With any such procedures in mind, consider how you can be the megaphone for shaping a positive message about “kids these days.” —

Sidebar: Speaking of Good News…

Each fall, the NASSP Student Programs Service Report is published to reveal the significant contributions made by chapters of the National Honor Societies and councils of the National Association of Student Councils. You may be interested to learn that in 2015–16, NHS and NJHS chapters reported:

  • 2.3 million hours of service, or 1,161 hours per chapter
  • 1,110 pounds of food collected on average per chapter
  • 88 pints of blood collected on average per chapter

The facts and figures you share through the survey help reinforce the powerful impact members of NASSP’s student programs are making around the world. We’re collecting responses through June 30 (you should have received an email with the survey link). Remember, you are making a difference!