You've done it: you've made it to the second half of the school year! When you think back on all your district's events and causes for celebration thus far, ask yourself: do you consistently inform your stakeholders about the great things going on in your schools, or is all the positive news kept within the school building's walls? If the latter, now might be a good time to re-evaluate your district's communication strategy.
What's the point?
- You are the chief storytellers of your district. Whether you are the superintendent, an administrator, a classroom teacher or a custodian doesn't matter. What matters is that you and your fellow staff members, who are on the front lines, know better than anyone the success stories that happen every day in your buildings. And if you don't tell those stories, who will?
- Furthermore, it's critical that you are part of the conversation that is going on regardless. If you don't take to social media, for example, you have no way to control any part of the message that is being shared. This is often where incorrect information and those dreaded rumors run rampant. If you don't have a presence there, you cannot correct the public with accurate information.
- Your community wants to hear specific examples of how the schools are providing their children with high-quality, well-rounded educational experiences. Again, if you don't share those, how will they know?
So what do we need to do?
- Review the methods you currently use to disseminate information. Are you still tied to sending home letters with students, hoping they reach parents' hands? Do you often hear rumblings from parents that they had no idea about an upcoming event or wish you would have given them more notice? If so, it's time to take a hard look at how and the frequency with which you are sharing information.
- Survey your community and find out how they would like to receive information. Don't waste your valuable time updating a site that nobody checks. We've all heard the phrase "meet them where they are." Take it to heart! If your community is on Facebook, it's time to join and use the tool as a resource to educate and inform your community.
- If you need training on a particular communication outlet like social media or digital newsletters, ask! We are happy to help start you down the road to becoming master communicators, increasing community trust and building active partnerships.
We have lots of ideas on how to keep your community engaged, informed and excited about all the wonderful things you are doing for your students. Even better? These strategies won't take a lot of extra time that--let's face it--you do not have. So let us know how we can help you. Don't wait any longer; your community is eager to celebrate your successes with you!