September 2015

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Become a Media Master with School Nutrition

As the school year officially kicks off, your district’s communications department just might be inundated with media requests to report on, photograph and video in the cafeteria. Are you ready to manage the media? For the second year, School Nutrition offers up best practices for making the most of your media coverage in the September 2015 issue. This year, SN focuses on how to do so inside the district, working with the communications department, social media accounts, school board and even student-run media to make a positive impact.

In " Are You Ready to Master Social Media?" Editor Patricia L. Fitzgerald talks to social media expert Dayle Hayes, who runs the School Meals that Rock Facebook account (among other social media outlets). Hayes gives the scoop on how to start small with a social media account and gradually grow the school nutrition department’s online identity to boost positive impressions of the program.

But, remember, you don’t have to go it alone! Most districts have a communications officer or department. In “ Don’t Fly Solo: Connect with Your Communications Copilot,” writer Elizabeth Cowles Johnson gives five steps to making the most of the resources offered by this person or program. Remember: School nutrition might not always be at the forefront of their minds, so you need to do what you can to remind them of all the positive things your department does for the school.

Another entity that might not always think of you and your staff: the School Board. Not only is it vital that the board is aware of the impact you make, but these meetings are also an appropriate place to connect with local reporters who cover the education beat. In “ Strike a Chord with the Board,” writer Elyssa Ganser talks to school nutrition leaders about how you can make the most of these important meetings.

Finally, turn to an oft-overlooked form of media—newspapers and TV programs that are run by students. You never know what students might print or air when left to their own devices, so be proactive about getting the message right, which is what writer Cecily Walters points out in “ Develop Your School Media Savvy.”

The September 2015 issue of School Nutrition also offers two fun, informative wrap-ups about May’s School Lunch Hero Day celebrations (does your school’s photo appear within this month’s pages) and the 2015 Annual National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Plus, it’s finally fall! Celebrate by menuing winter squashes, whether butternut or pumpkin—get an overview of all your options in " Good Gourd, That’s Delicious!" by writer Karly Kolaja. 

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