Real-life example on phone calls vs. emails to parents

The quickest way to brand your communications in a negative light … calling home for non-emergencies. True Story Had a parent email us in with livid anger, completely aghast at the number of calls he had received in a one-week period. He had two different snow day calls, a call about an assessment test coming … Continue reading Real-life example on phone calls vs. emails to parents

Adding brand to your sports programs

High school sports programs are one key area where school mission is missing almost entirely. Explain The high school sports programs I have seen are almost completely devoid of any mention of anything academic or cross-promotional. Sports programs could contain: Key upcoming events, like concerts and theater performances; Parent-night events like open houses and parent-teacher … Continue reading Adding brand to your sports programs

Podcasts as an extension of your content

For those thinking, dreaming, wistfully wondering about producing podcasts … If you are already using a voice recorder or a video camera when you interview teachers or students, you are really quite close to podcast material. Honestly, that’s what inspired me to get started, though now podcasts live (too often) as stand-alone pieces. The biggest … Continue reading Podcasts as an extension of your content

Crowdsourcing content adds more than a few team members to your department roster

For every staff member you have in your school district, that’s how big your communications team might be if you could just get that info out of them. But what does this mean? To effectively crowdsource, you need to identify a few key ways staff and community members can flush out your content. Is para-educator … Continue reading Crowdsourcing content adds more than a few team members to your department roster

Better emails – and please use the tools available to you

Better emails means better headlines, knowing the difference between informing and teasing, having great content that’s worthy of a read or click. Focus on telling stories about people, and the clicks will follow. Have a list of results for a contest? Interview a top student or two (in person, email Q&A, etc.) and I promise … Continue reading Better emails – and please use the tools available to you

Crisis communications without a template – or even a safety net

If you haven’t established a willingness to keep parents knowledgeable about what happens at school, you have a different type of crisis brewing. But over time, when communicated correctly (honestly, timely, thoughtfully), crisis communications builds trust. This makes the next crisis a little bit easier to handle. Crisis for school communications vary, but most of … Continue reading Crisis communications without a template – or even a safety net

Box Four: School communications grid

A plan to thoughtfully move your communications forward: Picture a board game with four boxes, and you yourself are the game piece. Box one Shut. It. Down. (Remember The West Wing? President Bartlett, shutting down the government because his opponents reneged on a deal? Yes! Anyway ...). In box one, you not only don’t share … Continue reading Box Four: School communications grid