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This week, I’m with some of my “peeps” at the National School Public Relations Association’s annual National Seminar.

These are the folks who handle the day-to-day communication for schools and districts across the nation.

As you can imagine, they have a lot on their plates…handling social media, parent handbooks, superintendent speeches, referendums, school-board meetings, back-to-school toolkits…gosh, I could go on and on.

They have a hard job even on a good day. 

And, sometimes they do it all themselves.

So, that got me thinking…what if everyone in the district knew a little bit about school communication and could give these hard-working heroes a hand? 

And so, here are three ways you can help your school or district’s communication department:

  1. Learn How to Recognize a Good Story

I remember one time I was walking through a school with a principal and she said, “Look at that classroom…those kids are composing music on their netbooks.” 

I was amazed! 

Look, people have no idea what’s going on in schools right now. Teachers are so creative and innovative, but they don’t recognize that all of the cool stuff they’re doing makes for compelling stories. It’s time to tell those stories and toot our own horns. 

It’s also time to talk about all of the positives going on in education. 

So, all you teachers, counselors, and education support professionals, take a look at what you’re doing with fresh eyes…and even if it seems ordinary to you remember, it’s good news to your community. 

And, then let your Comms folks know your story ideas. They’ll take it from there. 

  1. Craft Compelling Social Media Posts

The next time you’re scrolling through your social media and stop on a post, think about why that post attracted your attention. It was probably visual, showed some faces or action, maybe it was a video, maybe it was colorful. All of these elements make for good social media posts…so keep your eyes out for opportunities to snap pictures or capture sounds that bring the community into your classroom or school. And be sure to post those pictures or videos. 

Kids making robots, dressing up in storybook characters, reading morning announcements….it’s all good stuff that creates positive vibes in the community.

For more on the subject matter….see above. 

  1. Know When to Call in the Professionals

We all know…little things can quickly become big things. 

You can prevent issues (and more work) by reaching out to your comms people: 

  • If you need coaching on phone calls or email responses to parents or caregivers. 
  • If you come across something that’s brewing on social media or in your school.  
  • If reporters come knocking.

Bonus- these opportunities give your comms folks chances to flex their expertise and shine. 

I’ve always said, when communication is done well, it doesn’t call attention to itself. It seems effortless….even though it’s really not.

Keep that in mind the next time you see your school communication person or persons and give them a shout-out or a kind word or two. They deserve it for sure. 

Be safe,


Let’s connect!

    Patricia Weinzapfel

    Author, Educator, Journalist & K12 Communications Expert

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