The Battle for Public Opinion
Increasingly, school officials – or their decisions – are the targets of vicious attacks and misinformation campaigns launched via e-mail, websites, and blogs. Fueled by talk radio, these attacks then spill over to mainstream news outlets. Pitching and placing news about district achievements will boost morale while building support for public schools.
Managing Your District Strategic Plans
Real change can happen in people-intensive businesses like education only if administrators win over the hearts, minds, and behaviors of their employees. Transformational leaders recognize and understand the power inherent in developing strong emotional bonds with their employees, and the role communication plays in creating those bonds.
New Media Use by School Employees
In the new Wild West of the Web, the notion that some things are best kept private or that few people are really interested in a minute-by-minute description of someone’s date or day seems positively Victorian. That could be why more district employees are stumbling into new media mishaps.
Tips on Finding and Keeping Good Teachers
By understanding the psychology of who becomes a teacher and why, administrators can recruit and retain better teachers without breaking the bank. If you focus exclusively on monetary incentives, you ignore a chief reason most teachers choose education: the ability to make a real and lasting difference in children’s lives.
Using Your School Calendar for Positive Press
Each school season can serve as the platform for telling public education’s story. The key is to strategically leverage these opportunities by researching and packaging stories in a way that makes it easy for news reporters to experience what really is happening in the nation’s public schools.
When Does School Communications Become Marketing?
Once the purview of the upper middle classes and the rich, school choice is in, thanks in part to more educated consumers and the expansion of charter schools and No Child Left Behind opt-out mandates. Increasingly, taxpayer dollars follow children. As a result, public schools are feeling more pressure to compete.
Columbine and Communication Changes
Good communication during a crisis has become a hallmark of strong leadership teams and a highly prized asset. Research shows that reputation recovery often hinges more on how well communications are handled than on the decisions made, actions taken, or whether the school or district is somehow to blame.
Communicating During a Crisis
Effective school-community relations can be defined as “Good behavior, well communicated.” To effectively communicate about safety issues, you must make sure your schools have well-developed and exercised safety and crisis plans and your staff is trained to implement them. What not to say can be as important as what to say.
Patching Media Leaks
Keeping closed-session matters private is a challenge for many school boards. The more people who know about something, the greater the likelihood of a leak. Ideally, school boards act as one and follow the same rules when handling sensitive matters. When this isn’t possible or practical, developing a leak strategy is essential.
Earning Better Press for Schools
We can get a whole lot smarter about how we pitch stories, craft press releases, package news, and grab attention. We can create what media guru Terry Abbott calls “an overwhelming fire hose of good news” about our students, teachers, parents, and schools. Public relations agencies do it every day.