Instead of being deemed “Old School,” the Wake County Public School System has gained thousands of followers on its Twitter account, @WCPSS. Several county school systems across the country have Twitter accounts, but the account has gained national exposure thanks to the Buzzfeed.com article “16 Sassy Tweets From The Nation’s 16th Largest School District.”
Early tweets from the account were formal and professional, often dealing with complaints from parents or giving up-to-the-minute news regarding school business and closings.
However, posts from early 2013 indicate a change in writing from proper to personal. the communications team behind @WCPSS has given the account a unique personality and voice.
The Wake County Public School System’s account has found a way to connect with the students plugged in to the digital age. With the recent winter weather, many students and parents were tweeting the school system’s account in hopes of an early update. To offset the thousands of tweets asking for an update, the account asked followers to send in photos of snow messages and in return the account would retweet the photo for all the followers to see.
Another tool to gain attention from the locals and increase student body pride, the @WCPSS account has announced a mural project made up of the photos of students with their college acceptance letters. It is the communication team’s intention to comprise all of the photos to show off their seniors taking the next step in education. Again, the account retweets the photos submitted and extends congratulations to the elated teens.
Many student followers tweet saying the communication team is not connecting with the younger generation. Efforts taken on behalf of the team prove otherwise. Throughout the feed, proper use of “memes,” symbols or ideas culturally based transmitted virally on the interweb, show proficiency in the mindset of 21st century teenagers. For one, they use the classic “You get a car, you get a car, everyone gets a car!” quote from Oprah to announce another snow day.
As a result of the snow day announcement, many tweets expressed a desire to take @WCPSS to prom. The witty anonymous tweeter had the expected sassy response.
The account still receives negative tweets from parents and students despite its immense popularity. Being true to the humorous side, the Twitter’s team handles each message with decorum as it attempts to answer the angry questions or calm the irritated follower.
The idea of creating an account for a school system was unheard of at the beginning of the social media era, but now it is expected so people can get information at the click of the ‘Refresh’ button. The Wake County Public School System stands out by providing easy access to crucial news and keeps its followers entertained and looking for updates. This account is diligent in connecting with the user by focusing on the needs of the individual follower. The parent looking for answers about a schedule has a listening ear who will offer support and an immediate response; the student proud of an accomplishment has a fan rooting for his or her success. Followers find a personality in this account instead of the common robotic voice found in most company’s media outlets. The idea of posting a question and getting a human response instead of an automatic message is a comforting and welcoming concept other systems should take note of. As one follower stated, Wake County has “schooled” all of its followers on Twitter.