Monday, June 28, 2010

Join Us in Chicago… Or At Home

A lot changes in 65 years, but FCCLA has always been a leading organization of its time. In 2010 we continue to embrace technology to include as many FCCLA members and advisers as possible in our National Leadership Conference (NLC).

Whether you’re with us in Chicago or enjoying your summer at home, FCCLA wants you to participate in NLC activities. FCCLA will be updating, blogging, and tweeting daily from Chicago.

If you're at the conference, we invite you to share your insights, ideas, and interesting take-aways with the FCCLA community through our interactive Media Center at the Hyatt Regency.

At home, follow Family, Career and Community Leaders of America on Facebook and Twitter and through our special NLC Blog, and, of course, right here on the Adviser Blog. Add your own insights and comments to participate in NLC from a distance.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Benefits of Social Media for FCCLA – Twitter

Once again, Marketing & Membership Assistant and social media guru, Lauren Rhodes is here. This time she offers tips for improving your chapter's Twitter presence.

What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it's not a social network, but it's an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.”  - Evan Williams

What is Twitter? Twitter is a “real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.” Twitter is a social networking and “micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.” Basically, Twitter is quickly becoming the most effective form of non-verbal communication, especially now that users have direct access to it 24/7 via cell phone applications.

Twitter is important for FCCLA chapters because it helps them communicate quickly and it’s in writing.  All of those following your chapter on Twitter can receive real-time updates and reference older posts. You can also stay up-to-date on your students, other teachers and chapters, causes and organizations, even National FCCLA, by following them on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Twitter may not be for everyone…yet. Many are still getting used to what Twitter is and how it integrates into our daily lives. However, it is only a matter of time before Twitter becomes as popular and widely used as Facebook – so, hold on, we’re only climbing up the hill of the roller-coaster.

Step 1: Ask your chapter if they are using Twitter.
If they are, wonderful! If they are not, talk to them about Twitter and see if your chapter is interested in pursuing this.

Step 2: Sign up for Twitter, create your profile, and start following!
If you already have a Facebook profile, creating a profile on Twitter is a walk in the park. Let one of your students, perhaps the VP of Public Relations, take the lead to create a profile. Let your chapter know when the page is up so they can start following it. Select organizations, causes, members of the community and school to follow on Twitter. Following others will help keep you in the loop. Who knows – you may hear about a scholarship or grant your chapter could qualify for!

Step 3: Tweet it!
Remember you only have 140 characters per tweet. You can tweet links to pages such as your Facebook page or Tweet events, school functions, and reminders. Start a spreadsheet of tweet ideas for several weeks in advance. I have one for the next month and I update it a week before the end of the month. If possible, download the Twitter application for your phone. This will enable you Tweet from your phone and be able to update your site anywhere!

Step 4: Tweet and monitor the site as frequently as possible.
By tweeting frequently, the information posted will show up in any members’ twitter page and this gives free publicity.  As an adviser for FCCLA it is important to supervise your chapter and make sure they are modeling the way and representing FCCLA respectfully.

These are some essential steps toward launching and maintaining Twitter page.  Feel free to post questions and discuss.  If you have any questions or comments you are not comfortable posting please contact me at

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Benefits of Social Media for FCCLA - Facebook

Continuing our series on social media, Lauren Rhodes, Marketing & Membership Assistant, tells us more about Facebook.

“Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.” – Erik Qualman

What is Facebook? Facebook is a “social networking web site that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.” Facebook's mission is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Facebook has more than 400 million active users and people spend over 500 billion minutes per month on the site – and it continues to grow, globally.

Step 1: Have a personal profile page that is used exclusively for you as an adviser.
Connect with your students, other teachers, advisers, FCCLA and other professional organizations. You may already have a personal profile page that you use on Facebook to stay connected to friends and family – do not use this page! Instead, create a profile for you as an adviser and a teacher. For example, Jane Doe has her own profile so she created another profile for Ms. Doe, who teaches at Some High School. She even created her own email address for this personal adviser profile,

Step 2: Start a group for your FCCLA chapter.
Starting a group on Facebook is easy and valuable for you as an adviser. It is a way to connect your chapter together in a forum that most of them use on a daily basis. You can post photos and video, send messages to the entire chapter with one click, send event invitations and reminders, create online surveys and quizzes, etc. If time is an issue, have a chapter officer (such as the VP of Public Relations) monitor and update the site.

Step 3: Post important information on you group site.
Put up links to important web sites: FCCLA homepage, chapter website (if you have one), school website, press releases, causes your chapter is supporting, etc. Model the way by posting encouraging chapter photos, videos, news stories, FCCLA information, etc. Communicate important announcements on the group’s wall and create upcoming events.

Step 4: Promote and recruit for your chapter.
Use Facebook to promote upcoming events and fundraisers by having your chapter members re-post events to all of their friends. This is done by selecting the “Share” box on the event page and is then re-posted on the individuals wall and news feed. Encourage your chapter to invite friends to join your chapter’s group - this will help introduce them to FCCLA, FACS, and your chapter.

Step 5: Update and monitor the site as frequently as possible.
No one likes to visit a website that isn't current. Updates should be posted regularly. By posting frequently, the information posted will show up in any members’ news feed and this gives free publicity. As an adviser it is important to supervise your chapter and make sure they are modeling the way and representing FCCLA respectfully.

These are some essential steps toward developing and maintaining presence on Facebook. Feel free to post questions and discuss or contact me at

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Publications Now Available!

New Officer Handbook

The Ultimate Officer Handbook & Training Manual will be unveiled at the 2010 National Leadership Conference! This new publication is a must-have for all FCCLA leaders! Use this manual as an instructional tool or textbook for teaching leadership in every Family and Consumer Sciences class. The training manual is available for only $15.

Get your FCCLA Lesson Planner!

The FCCLA Lesson Planner features 52 weeks of 7-day adviser planning pages, 12 months of FCCLA tips and adviser networking suggestions, the FCCLA Planning Process, a program of work template, and a Family and Consumer Sciences Accountability Matrix. Start the school year off right with the FCCLA Lesson Planner! The lesson planner is available for only $10.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Adviser-Spring/Summer Online Edition

The Adviser - Spring/ Summer

What you 'll find in this issue:
Fresh Start
An update from National FCCLA on membership, affiliation and information for the 2010 school year.

Extra! Extra!
Updates from state meetings across the nation!

Adviser -to-Adviser
What are FCCLA Advisers up to this summer?

Lesson Plan
A Lesson Plan for your Family and Consumer Sciences class focusing on leadership.

And much more...

Download the Spring/Summer issue of The Adviser!