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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®

Advocacy Toolkit

Social Media Advocacy

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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, ESSA, and WIOA. 

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 a condensed version, and be sure to include hashtag #CareerTechEd or #PerkinsCTE. You can also tweet at @ACTEcareertech and @CTEMedia.
  • Facebook: Write your story on your legislator's Facebook wall. You can also post it on ACTE's Facebook page or post as your own status update.
  • 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 by searching for them the platform. Try to use a policymakers' official, not campaign, accounts. Below are more ACTE tips for using Facebook, Twitter and blogs below to maximize your social media advocacy efforts!


Twitter 

  • 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 photos whenever possible to draw attention to the post. 
  • Link to ACTE's policy positions on key CTE related issues on the ACTE website.
  • Use the CTE community's hashtags to be a part of the broader CTE conversation, including:  


Facebook

  • 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.
  • Use photos whenever possible to draw attention to the post. 


LinkedIn

  • Join ACTE's main LinkedIn group and a separate group for Middle School career exploration.
  • 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.
  • Keep the information on your LinkedIn account up to date as it establishes you as a CTE educator and experienced professional in your field. 
 


Blog Ideas

Share your experiences on your blog and send policymakers the link. Below is a non-exhaustive list of topics you could cover:

Educators and Administrators

  • How you develop new CTE programs that are filling workforce needs. If you are using Perkins funds, describe how that funding has impacted the program.
  • How your program uses Perkins funding and its impact in your community. For example, say your community college receives $50,000 from Perkins and you have implemented a program to encourage women to enter STEM 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.
  • Why you are a CTE teacher.
  • Your favorite CTE classes to teach and why.

Students

  • Why you are a CTE student and the impact CTE has had on your education and career.
  • Your favorite CTE class and why.
  • The impact of CTE in your life including: technical and employability skills, how you are college- and career-ready, your involvement with CTSOs, and how CTE courses effectively teach students the academic skills to be successful.

Business Leaders

  • Why CTE and workforce development is important to your business.
  • Relevant issues your business fases, including skills shortages and how CTE can help.
  • Examples of how your business partners with local schools.
  • (Click here for a business leader's guide to congressional CTE advocacy)
 

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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.

 

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