Telling your story through video by Michael Kelly If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video could very well be worth a million. The numbers speak for them- selves. In the world of social media, video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined. There are more than 4 billion daily video views on YouTube. And more than 85 percent of the U.S. internet audience watches videos online. Simply put, video is everywhere. It’s one thing to make a video. It’s another thing to make a video that engages your audience. That is where storytell- ing comes into play. When done right, storytelling makes your message more engaging and more impactful. Stories are a shared experience. It’s a primal form of communi- cation. They allow us to engage more deeply with others while building a sense of connection and collaboration. So how do you share the story of your school or school district? For a long time, we relied on the media to do it for us. And while that’s still a viable option, it’s not the only option. The issue with allowing an outsider to tell your story is you no longer control the narrative. By working with your district’s communications department or seek- ing outside help from groups like ACSA, you are able to make sure your story is both authentic and engaging. You are able to project the voice of the educator as opposed to hoping a member of the media will do it for you. There is no shortage of positive stories in our public schools. We watch educators impact the lives of students on a daily basis. That work deserves to be recognized and shared with members of the community. Visual storytell- 14 Leadership ing creates a sense of trust. Parents are more likely to give of their time and their money if they know it will go to good use. And community members are more likely to vote for educational taxes and vouchers if they see the positive impact a school has on its students. The best stories engage all of the senses. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They make us sympathize. They make us feel. In 2014, ACSA launched the Every Student Succeeding video series, honoring 21 California students who have overcome tremendous adversity to get to where they are today. In many of these in of these stories, an educator played a positive role in the child’s success. From the librarian-turned-principal who taught a boy to read to the homeless student who credits his principal for saving his life, these stories have garnered international praise. Everyone has a story. Especially in education. The key now is to tell that story and build your brand. A creative and compelling video can change the hearts and minds of the viewers. By telling the story of our districts, schools and classrooms, we allow people to see the immeasur- able and wide-ranging positive impacts of education. And that alone is a story worth sharing. Michael Kelly works for ACSA’s Communications Department and is the producer, editor and reporter for ACSA’s Emmy-nominated Every Student Succeeding video series.