By Thomas de Wolff '20 for The Record
Mrs. Abigail Peche is the newest member of the Priory Communications Department, serving as the Director of Communications and Public Relations. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about what her new job entails and her plans to bring Priory into the digital age, while at the same time keeping it true to its roots.
As the Head of the Communications Department, Mrs. Peche says that, “My job is to choose strategies for showing the best side of Priory. Social media will be a key part of this moving forward.” Mrs. Peche is a fan of using video as a medium of communication, especially on Instagram stories and YouTube, “to showcase Priory’s story and voice, whether that’s through graphics, displays, imagery, pictures, or videos, in order to present an authentic look into life at Priory.”
Some of Mrs. Peche’s major goals for this year are to increase Priory’s visibility across social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. “Twitter is an influential platform, which I’d like to use specifically for distributing messages from people like Father Cuthbert to the Priory community. It’s incredibly useful, since you can post videos and share information easily.”
Previously, Mrs. Peche has worked at Villanova University, which she calls a “similar environment to Priory.” This was due to the emphasis of Villanova’s Augustinian roots throughout all aspects of campus life, something which she aims to replicate at Priory with its “12 Hallmarks of a Benedictine Education.” Mrs. Peche says, “Priory is more than a school, it’s its own brand, and I’d like to really promote that. I’ll be working closely with the Admissions Office, the Advancement Office, and the Alumni Office to do that.”
Behind the scenes, Mr. Oslica will be managing the social media engagement aspect of promoting the Priory brand and putting the school on the digital map. I asked Mrs. Peche what her motto would be to describe the work that she does. She replied, “Moving forward, my motto is ‘Go social, or go home.’ That’s the key.”
Mrs. Peche would particularly like to display what daily life is like for each grade at Priory through a form "landing page," which would be an extension of the Priory website for prospective students to see what Priory students of all grades are doing. "Sports communicators, publicizing student activities, that’s another great resource to build on as well,” she says. Mrs. Peche explained that the more engaged Priory students are with Priory’s social media and internet profiles, the more exposure Priory receives from Google’s algorithms when people search for terms relating to St. Louis high schools.
Mrs. Peche has ambitious ideas for what the future holds and for the expansion of the Communications Office's role as well. “In the future, maybe as part of my ‘five-year plan,’ we could bring in a sports broadcast channel, kind of a ‘school ESPN channel’ of sorts.” Other area high schools such as SLUH have already successfully implemented this idea with their “SLUH Student Network,” or SSN.
Again, Mrs. Peche reiterates the need to “go social or go home.” “We’re kind of playing catch-up here in some areas. We’ve got a rich variety of activities on campus, but we need to show them off to the same degree if we want to keep up.” Overall, Mrs. Peche is very excited to get to work improving and expanding Priory’s digital footprint. It appears that much of what is in store will involve the students in some form or another. “I’ve received a lot of support from people in the administration, such as Father Cuthbert,” she says, “but what I’d like most is for the students to really participate in what we’re doing here.”