Wednesday, April 21, 2010

If ATEK falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Musings on why ATEK isn't communicating with the expat community . . .

Okay, so ATEK is getting a bit of renewed Kbloggage lately and a few of my friends on facebook are also talking about them too.

But I would like to pose the following question: If ATEK falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

Where I'm coming from is that if I don't visit the ATEK website regularly (which I don't), and I'm not a member (which I'm not), then I pretty much don't hear anything about ATEK and what they're up to.

Some might suggest that if I want to hear updates (I'm indifferent . . . okay, slightly curious at times) that I should just join ATEK and then I'd be on their email list . . . but I don't want to; I'd also point out that expat teachers like myself who are sitting on the fence in terms of 'to join or not to join ATEK' might be persuaded to join if regular communication and press releases were posted on a mainstream expat Internet web site or blog as opposed to only on ATEK's website.

ATEK's lack of press releases has resulted in me getting my information from Chris in South Korea and Roboseyo's blogs--which I find really bizarre because neither of them are press officers for ATEK yet they seem to be filling in this ginormous void that ATEK doesn't seem too concerned about . . . or maybe doesn't know about . . . or . . . meh, whatever.

It's sad that ATEK doesn't have an active blog (I think a former press officer used to, but it disappeared when he did) because I would add it to my side bar and definitely would have clicked on this story, ATEK adding new legal assurance program--but this story isn't coming from ATEK, it's coming from Chris in South Korea's blog. Chris, being the good guy he is, blogged about the information he received in an ATEK membership email about the development--so, it seems like if you're not a member you can't be privy to what ATEK is doing unless you join them, visit their website, or know someone on the inside . . . help me out if I'm missing any other options for getting info . . .

The legal assurance program is something substantial, something positive, something big (at least in my mind it is) that ATEK has produced that can and likely will make a big difference for foreign teachers who run into contract problems with their employers, and other legal situations they need help in. Yet there has been no Korean English news media press release, and foreign teachers in Korea will likely for the most part learn about the story via a blogger who to my knowledge has no official connections or role with ATEK other than as a member . . .

Instead of producing their own media press releases that reach as wide an audience of native teachers as possible ATEK seems to be relying on its website as their primary communication medium--which I personally think is a big mistake. How can ATEK expand its membership when it is failing to communicate and reach out to native teachers through mainstream channels?

UPDATE: Julianne and I were chatting about my ATEK post tonight during dinner, and she pointed out the following problem: It is now April 21st and neither Julianne nor myself remember seeing a major publicity and recruitment campaign put on by ATEK to inform newly arrived in Korea native teachers about membership and other relevant info. You'd think that if increasing membership numbers is the primary focus of ATEK right now that there would have been a major media campaign at the end of February and throughout March . . . was there one? I mean, other than on ATEK's site itself?

Here are some questions I posed and did a little research on . . .

Does ATEK have a Twitter feed? No.

I did a search on Twitter and came up with nothing. I did a search on Google and came up with nothing. (If there is one please post the link in the comments for this post and I'll add an update too.)

Does ATEK have a facebook group for communication and sharing information? Yes/No.

A facebook search for "ATEK" produces 81 results . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

Click on the link below to see pictures and read more at Kimchi Icecream: The Second Serving . . . . I've moved over to and will be blogging there from now on.

If ATEK falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Musings on why ATEK isn't communicating with the expat community . . .


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