Social Media Advocacy
Sharing your thoughts with your Senators or Representative on a routine basis will keep CTE in the front of their minds. By using advocacy as a tool, we can influence Congress to continue and improve successful programs like Perkins, ESEA, and the Workforce Investment Act.
Social media advocacy is one of the quickest and simplest ways to spread the CTE message to your Members of Congress. You can share about the benefits of your CTE program, activities your students are involved in, or your thoughts on key policy issues. You can even post pictures to illustrate your points.
ACTE Principles for Using Social Media
- Be personal. Share your story of CTE through your own voice instead of "broadcasting" the message. Let your messages reflect your personality, use humor, and be transparent about who is posting messages. The goal should be to become a credible source of CTE information.
- Keep your eye on the goal. Refrain from posting personal attacks or negative comments about anyone. Straying away from your core message and facts will cause the community to lose trust in you and diminish the attention your social media presence receives from your followers, policymakers and media.
- Facts not fiction. Staying credible means sharing quality information and refraining from posting exaggerated or false information about your program, CTE in general or policymakers.
- Be social. Conversation is a two-way street even online. Join topics and discussions with other people and organizations. The more you engage the CTE community and policymakers, the more the CTE message moves forward.
- Ask questions. If you have a question about engaging in social media advocacy, please feel free to reach out to ACTE's Public Policy Department with any questions you may have before engaging policy makers.
There are several ways to communicate about CTE through social media:
- Twitter: Share your story in 140 characters or less, and be sure to include hashtag #CareerTechEd.
- Facebook: Write your story on your legislator's Facebook wall. You can also post it on the ACTE Facebook wall or post on your own wall/status.
- LinkedIn: Discuss CTE classroom strategies and CTE public policy issues with your professional colleagues.
- Blog: Create and share your experiences on your own blog; send policymakers the link.
- Video: Create a video about your program, post it to YouTube and share it through Twitter or Facebook.
Find your Senators' and Representative's social media contact information here, and take a look at ACTE's tips for using Facebook, Twitter and blogs below to make your social media advocacy as effective as possible!
- Share information about your CTE program and student success in 140 characters or less.
- Link to press releases, photos or other information to provide more information.
- Tweet directly to your policymaker or members of the media to make sure your message is seen by the intended audience.
- Tweet the action you want your Members of Congress to take, such support CTE or visit your program.
- Use the CTE communities hashtags to be a part of the broader CTE conversation:
Sample Messages for Twitter
- By 2018 the US will need more than 4.7mill new workers with postsec certificates. #CareerTechEd can make that happen!
- CTE prepares students with college- and career-ready skills to be successful in today's economy. #CareerTechEd
- Funding for CTE programs are critical to keeping US's economy moving in the right direction. #CareerTechEd
- CTE plays a critical role in educating America's future workforce and improving the US's economy. #CareerTechEd
- #CareerTechEd will create our workforce of the future.
- America's economy and job growth depends on #CareerTechEd
- Post a short story of your CTE program or student success on your Facebook page.
- Share your CTE posts on your legislator's Facebook page and on the ACTE Facebook page.
- Ask your followers to share your content through Facebook.
- Share content from the ACTE Facebook page and from ACTE's CTE Policy Watch blog.
- Ensure your posts use proper spelling and grammar so your point is clear.
- Use photos when posting to Facebook whenever possible.
Sample Messages for Facebook
- CTE offers 14.4 million students a wide range of careers in entrepreneurship, automotive, architecture, carpentry, medical, food and fiber production, agribusiness, culinary arts, management and life skills, marketing, technology and engineering.
- A person with a CTE-related associate's degree or credential will earn an average of $5,000-$15,000 more a year than a person with a humanities or social sciences associate's degree-and those with credentials in high-demand fields such as healthcare can average almost $20,000 more a year.
- CTE prepares students for the rigor and expectations of postsecondary curricula, reduces the need for remediation, increases student motivation through added relevance, and streamlines the K-16 educational system to avoid duplication of courses.
- CTE programs support and retrain workers who are unemployed and underemployed, and will help to decrease the unemployment rate and improve the economy by ensuring a skilled, relevant and adaptable workforce can support current and future industries.
- Join ACTE's LinkedIn group!
- On either the ACTE page or your personal page, post a CTE article or success story and briefly summarize what you would like your fellow educators to learn from the piece while encouraging discussion on any unresolved questions.
- Post information about a current CTE public policy issue, such as a specific piece of legislation or CTE funding debate. Ask your colleagues for their thoughts on this news and how it affects their schools.
- Make your comments or commentary on your postings short and concise.
- Keep the information
on your LinkedIn account up to date as it establishes you as a CTE educator and
experienced professional in your field.
Share your experiences on your blog and send policymakers the link.
Teachers and Community Leaders
- Tell readers how your program uses Perkins funding and its impact in your community. For example, your community college receives $50,000 from Perkins and you have implemented a program to encourage males to enter health care careers. Because of this program, you have been able to train 30 more students each year and students from this program have a 95 percent success rate of landing a job. Outline the impact this has on your community, the return on investment CTE has in your state, and how the program is helping the economy and building a qualified workforce.
- CTE's impact on reducing the dropout rate and helping students continue on to postsecondary institutions or training.
- Tell readers how you develop new CTE programs that are filling workforce needs. If you are using Perkins funds, then describe how that funding has impacted the program.
- Tell readers why you are a CTE teacher.
- Tell readers about your favorite CTE classes to teach.
- Tell readers why you are a CTE student and the impact CTE has had on your education and career.
- Tell readers about the best CTE classes you've taken.
- Discuss the impact of CTE in your life including: technical and employability skills, how you are college- and career-ready, your involvement with Career and Technical Student Organizations, and how CTE courses effectively teach students the academic skills to be successful.