How Schools Can Help the Media Tell Their Stories

By Nora Carr

Giving a reporter unfettered access to a struggling school probably isn’t most administrators’ notion of a great public relations idea. Yet that’s exactly what the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) agreed to do -- with stunning results.

Since Manual High opened its doors in August, Matthew Tully, the Indianapolis Star political columnist, has told the school’s story. The portrait that’s emerging -- a mix of hope and despair as students and staff overcome often overwhelming odds -- has riveted and galvanized the community.

When Tully urged readers to support Manual High by attending its annual Christmas Spectacular, a standing room crowd of more than 2,000 showed and showered the school with $10,000 in donations.

For a school that had lost its self-esteem along with its football team, yearbook, and many college prep classes, the outpouring of support is reinvigorating. It’s also reassuring students and staff that the community cares.

Would you like to continue reading?
Subscribers please click here to continue reading. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to purchase this article or to obtain a subscription to ASBJ.