We all know that good public relations is a great way to bring positive attention to a school or district. But we also know that finding the funding and time to commit to a PR campaign is often not easy to do. Still, there are some very creative ways to address public relations for your school without even spending a dime.
Assess your phone etiquette
Your school’s or district’s reputation has a lot to do with how others feel when they interact with faculty and staff. All it takes is one lousy hello on the other end of the phone to turn someone off. Make sure all employees who answer the phones are courteous. Let your school spirit flow through each phone call so callers have a good feeling when they hang up.
Communicate with parents
Don’t take parent communication for granted. Consider the mom or dad who is unable to be an active participant in the PTA or the parent who just cannot be physically present at a school. Give parents an opportunity to keep up with what’s going on by publishing information through a school newsletter or on a school website.
Keep information current
No one wants outdated information. And after just a few offenses, parents and community members will stop keeping up with the information you share. Monitor the content on your school website and designate a committee to remove information that is no longer relevant.
Get in touch with your local reporters
Invite reporters out to do a news segment on your school. You might not always get lucky, but it’s certainly worth a shot to invite your local reporters out to bring some attention to your school. And if you don’t have anything newsworthy happening, be proactive and plan a community event.
Be prepared for crisis
Don’t wait for a crisis to happen to figure out how to address the media. Create an action plan with your administrators. Choose a spokesperson who can answer all questions. Maintain a crisis assessment and information worksheet. You can use the worksheet to communicate things like important contact numbers, what steps have already been taken and what resources are still needed. The worksheet will help you answer all the essential questions without unknowingly leaving something off in a panic.
Communicate with parents
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we often take parent communication for granted. Consider the parent who is unable to be an active participant in the PTA, and the parent who just cannot be physically present at the school all the time. Give parents an opportunity to keep up with what’s going on at the school by sending out info through a school newsletter or a school website.