“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” -Maya Angelou

Our office often hears the woes of principals after a parent or student has decided to lash out at them through social media. One principal reported that an entire Facebook group was dedicated to the students that he had purportedly expelled from his school.

Social media has empowered many to hide behind anonymity and make slanderous statements about leaders, and governments, and even some of our excellent schools. You know as well as I do, often these are disgruntled parents or students who disagreed with an action or policy of a school.

What can you do about it?

Social media often hangs on a balance. One negative review can be offset by one glowing testimonial. Clearly, if there are more positive reviews of a school, they can outweigh any negative comments that may be posted.

Recently, a school in Florida decided to tackle the issue head on. The Rock School of Gainesville, Florida took a screenshot of the negative statement and emailed it to all of their families with the following suggestion:

Someone Left Coal In Our Stocking…

Every so often, a prankster goes on our Google listing and leaves a fictitious review of our school, usually one star, and with either negative and absurd commentary or sometimes no comments at all. We recently got hit with five such reviews in a 30-minute period, all likely the same person. Unfortunately, these accounts can’t be traced or verified and Google does little to offer any help.

As a result, our school only has a 3.3 star rating even though the reviews from our actual parents are a solid five stars.

This Christmas season, the best gift you could give to The Rock School is to take a few minutes and go online and leave us a five-star rating and some positive feedback. (Please don’t respond to negative reviews, just write your own positive review.)

As we enter the 2018 admissions season in January, we want prospective parents to discover who we really are as a school community when they search online. Your efforts can help make it happen!

As a close to the email, a direct link took parents to the spot where they could leave the feedback. Remember, parents who are angry will take HOURS to find ways to hurt you. But families that are happy with your programs will often run out of patience if they cannot find links quickly.

This is one way to positively approach negative feedback and to get additional reviews on your social profiles. Be sure to watch your ratings for the following:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Great Schools
  • Private School Review