35 Under 35 Class of 2020-21:Jared Revlett

Jared RevlettJared Revlett

Public Information Officer 
Owensboro (Ky.) Public Schools
Twitter: @OPS_PIO,  @OboroSchools

 

What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership, to me, is the ability to create partnerships that lead to innovative solutions that benefit the greater good. I love working with individuals from all walks of life to create programs, projects and more that benefit all parties involved and share those best practices with others. Leadership is about bringing people together toward a common goal. In school PR, we all are looking for new, innovative ways to make our districts shine.

What was the most fulfilling professional moment you have experienced?
Other than being named as one of  NSPRA's 35 Under 35 honorees, I would have to say that seeing my communication regarding COVID-19 exposures in our district be spread nationwide for others to use as a template was a rewarding experience. Although it was unfortunate that we were one of the first districts in the country to have a positive case during the end of the 2019-20 school year, it gave me the opportunity to set the standard for both internal and external communication surrounding a positive case. Seeing that information be shared with  and used by districts across the country  solidified that we doing the right thing to keep our stakeholders informed.

What are the most challenging and/or rewarding parts about working in school PR?
For me, the most rewarding part of the job is sharing the unique stories of our staff and students with those outside of our school district. We rely heavily on earned media and are fortunate to have several great media outlets in our community that put an emphasis on sharing the good stories in education and when those make headline news, it is fun to see the reaction. I think one of the most challenging parts of the job is being on call 24/7 while having to stay up-to-date on local and state politics, manage crises at the drop of a hat, and responding to less-than-pleasant Facebook comments. It's a difficult job, but the good parts far outweigh the challenging parts.

How have NSPRA and your state chapter guided you along the way?
I was involved with my state chapter,Kentucky School Public Relations Association (KYSPRA),  almost immediately upon taking the job. I soon took on a chapter leadership role as treasurer. When I joined KYSPRA, I didn't fully understand how many school PR people there were in Kentucky.  I quickly realized how valuable of a resource the members would be and continue to be. When I attended my first NSPRA Seminar in Washington, D.C. and made a ton of new connections, both in our region and across the country. It was fun swapping stories with others who have been through similar things and I enjoy keeping up with them to this day. I also found the Seminar sessions to be extremely useful and can't wait until we can be back together again to continue growing professionally!

What are your favorite work and personal apps?
Without question, Adobe Spark has been a game changer in our district in terms of a work-related app! I'm not at all a creative type when it comes to photo and video, but Adobe Spark (that I learned about at the NSPRA Seminar in Washington, D.C.) makes creating graphics and short videos a breeze and has helped generate a ton of traffic on our social media platforms. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I led a session on the program during the KYSPRA Fall Conference in October 2020 to help spread it to others in our state. 

From a personal standpoint, I enjoy the outdoors and hunting and the Spypoint app allows me to view trail cam footage of my hunting property without having to drive the 30 minutes out to the woods to check them. I also enjoy watching a lot of YouTube in my spare time to learn different things about my random hobbies. Some of my favorite YouTube creators  are Talon Sei, Niko's Wings, HowToBBQRight, and Peter McKinnon.

What book has inspired you professionally?
I am currently reading "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. It's about overcoming adversity and finding motivation deep inside yourself to accomplish all of your goals. This year has certainly been challenging, but it's finally getting to the point where I can refocus and set new goals for the upcoming year and I chose this book at the right time. Another one that I also recently completed was "Hillbilly Elegy " by J.D. Vance.  The book focuses on culture and crisis and how people from different walks of life react to events in their lives differently. This applies well to our district as we are extremely diverse in an urban setting and it helps put in perspective to think about how other people, even in our own community, can see and handle issues differently simply because of the culture surrounding them. 

What is a recent communications/media campaign you enjoyed – either one of your own or one you saw nationally?
I really enjoyed the teacher recruitment video campaign that Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD did for their district and that I learned about at the NSPRA Seminar. In fact, I brought it back to our Superintendent and we are going to be doing something very similar for our district in the near future and I will be using a lot of ideas from that campaign to help us recruit the best and brightest teachers in our area to our district.

What emerging trends in school public relations get you excited?
As selfish as this sounds, one positive that has come out of the entire COVID-19 pandemic is that superintendents and school board members were really awakened to just how important School PR professionals are to their districts. If anything, it certainly solidified the necessity of our position, especially during times of crisis and I look forward to being able to expand my role in the district to oversee School Safety as well as take on a more hands-on role with teacher and staff recruitment. Our position is becoming more than just earned media, social media and website design. There are opportunities to grow the position and really craft it to fit our unique abilities individually. I look forward to seeing what the future holds not only for myself, but for School PR professionals across the country.