Frank DiPasquale 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Looking Good This past April, SNA officially unveiled its new Strategic Framework, a critical document that will be used to direct the Association’s projects and priorities in the coming years. As I noted in April’s “First Word” column, I’d like to use this space to introduce each of the five “pillars” that comprise the Strategic Framework. After focusing on the Education & Professional Development Pillar last time, this month, let’s take a look at Public Image. To meet the defined goals of this Pillar, “SNA will enhance the credibility and professionalism of school nutrition programs and the Association nationwide by promoting the benefits of school meals; the expertise of school nutrition professionals; and providing clarity regarding the complexities of the profession.” The Association’s leadership identified four specific outcomes: ■ Increase awareness among the general public, policymakers, educators and the media of the key roles SNA, its members and school nutrition programs play in contributing to a positive learning environment and improved education outcomes. ■ Create the next generation of school nutrition professionals by enhancing the image and promoting the benefits the school nutrition profession among students in dietetics, culinary and related fields. ■ Reinventing the image of school nutrition professionals to reflect their dedication to our nation’s children and their commitment to providing safe and healthy meals. ■ Enhance brand awareness of SNA. SNA works to be proactive in raising the public image of school nutrition. In looking forward, the Headquarters team has developed a comprehensive media plan designed to positively influence the national media discussion about school meals. In addition, a network of expert spokespeople helps SNA to respond quickly and often preemptively when sensitive issues arise in the media. Other projects underway include a turnkey kit to promote our programs to school boards and administrators, plus business and political leaders. Changes to the member website will improve the way we promote the benefits of this profession and engage students to consider this career option. And our leadership in Chefs Move to Schools has prompted others to see us with new eyes. On the social media front, the numbers of our Facebook and Twitter followers continue to rise; Tray Talk soon will get its own Facebook page; and we have contracted with several “mommy bloggers” to attend the upcoming ANC and report on the innovative improvements being made to school meal offerings. You know better than anyone the longstanding battle that this Association and its members have waged to fight negative stereotypes and change outdated perceptions. I believe that SNA has made genuine progress in dispelling myths and raising awareness. But we cannot relax in this important endeavor, which is why the Strategic Planning Committee identified it as an essential priority.
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