Alongside new structural renovations to the school’s architecture, SIS also made additions to their administrative staff at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. As a means to build SIS’ brand image, a dedicated public relations (PR) position was created in order to engage the school and external community in more robust communication. Serena Park, SIS’ new Marketing and Communication Team Leader, will utilize multiple events and platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in order to advertise the school to potential future SIS students.
“In the past, SIS has been modest in promoting itself,” said Ms. Park. “I’m the one who will be promoting SIS with both external and internal communication channels. I’m introducing SIS to people who don’t know much about our school. I’m persuading them to come here and letting them know what exactly SIS is about.”
Ms. Park also hopes to employ media platforms to portray the day-to-day lifestyle of SIS students and staff. This not only includes major, recurring events such as Family Fun Day, prom, and graduation, but also everyday interactions between students. For instance, Ms. Park aims to highlight moments such as SIS elementary students welcoming a new classmate at his first recess, which was the third post of the new official school Instagram. Furthermore, Ms. Park will also be involved in organizing new communicative events at SIS. In order to increase dialogue between former SIS graduates and the current school community, Ms. Park will contribute to the organization of an alumni reunion event which is tentatively scheduled to take place sometime later this year.
“I’d like to have more active communication within our internal school community,” said Ms. Park. “Whether it be from students to faculty or students to administrative staff, we can collaborate to create more organic communicative channels. Sometimes our official school website could be one of these channels, other times it could be social media. As a high school student, you might not know much about what is going on among the faculty and administrative staff. Sometimes, high school students don’t know much about the middle school and elementary school right now. I want to change that.”
Aside from representing SIS to the outside world, Ms. Park also hopes to work within the SIS community itself. Ms. Park currently enlists the help of SIS staff and students through teacher PR forms. Similar to a work order, teachers can submit a request for media coverage on a specific event or topic by filling out a survey, which will then be reviewed by Ms. Park. This system may allow club advisors to request advertisements or exposure for club initiatives. In addition, Ms. Park welcomes student and staff contributions to PR efforts. Student graphic editors, photographers, and especially film editors are encouraged to submit their work to Ms. Park for consideration.
“Compelling stories often have some secret; they either have some penetrating insight or a unique twist,” said Ms. Park. “School narratives can sometimes be very conservative or one dimensional. In that sense, SIS students seem to be good at everything: studying, extracurriculars, music. I think this narrative might be too cliche. It may look as though our students are difficult to approach, even though they are not. There are funny and humorous moments that I would like to show outsiders about SIS students.”