Social media is a powerful thing and while students are posting and sharing they’re also, perhaps unwittingly, creating a personal brand. That needs some managing and a public relations course which ran at a Central Coast Primary showed students how to optimise their online profile.
The world-first pilot programme was launched at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School on 4 March.
With as many as 95% of eight- to eleven-year-olds accessing the internet and close to one in two accessing social media, children are building and promoting their online persona, the public relations course, which is usually reserved for tertiary level, aimed to equip the students with knowledge that preserves and enhances their reputation rather than hurting it.
Craig McNee, Principal, Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, Kincumber said, “It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of technology, however we want to take an alternate view and empower our students by educating them on the behaviours and actions that can lead them to a positive reputation.”
The course was initiated and designed by PR specialist and founder of InsideOut Public Relations, Nicole Reaney, who observed the challenges the online environment would pose to young people.
“The reality is, the adoption of technology by young people is not going to go away – and while yes there are risks, there are also positives to this societal shift. It’s important the conversation moves away from ‘technology’ and into education that prevents young people from compromising their image,” said Reaney.
“Taking the right steps early on and fostering a clean digital footprint, will reduce reputational risk and propel children in their personal, schooling and professional lives – from friendships, wellbeing, jobs, relationships and careers,” she said.
The course provides students with an understanding of personal brand, the behaviours that can lead to positive and negative reputations; and covers interactions with peers offline and online to minimise bullying and promote cyber-safety.
“Kincumber has always been forward-thinking in its curriculum and the adoption of this programme is a wonderful example of this,” John Hession, Education Officer: eLearning, Catholic Schools Office, Broken Bay, NSW.
For details or to register interest, email email@example.com.
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