Presentation on theme: "JUST THE FACTS: TOOLS YOU CAN USE TO COMMUNICATE BOND INFORMATION OSBA SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS CONFERENCE JANUARY 27, 2010 Casey White Communications Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:
JUST THE FACTS: TOOLS YOU CAN USE TO COMMUNICATE BOND INFORMATION OSBA SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS CONFERENCE JANUARY 27, 2010 Casey White Communications Coordinator InterMountain Communications Umatilla-Morrow ESD, Pendleton
InterMountain Communications is a department within the Umatilla-Morrow ESD in Pendleton. We provide the following services to our 12 core school districts: Public/Media Relations Informational Bond Campaign Ghost Writing Social Networking Community Relations Graphic Design District Newsletters Videography District/School Web Sites Crisis Communications Spanish Translations Surveys Overview of Communication Services
Passed 83% of the bonds we worked on (5/6) & 30% of all school bonds in Oregon in Nov. 2008 Passed school bonds in Helix, Hermiston, Ione, & Pilot Rock school districts, & a local option tax in the Morrow County School District. Provided factual, impartial bond information to the public in the form of brochures, web sites, flyers, radio spots, etc. Bond Successes
Ways a District Can Communicate with the Public: Parent letters District/School building newsletters Web site (including blogs, announcements, calendar, etc.) Videos (posted on Web site, sent to media) District Communications
Press Releases to media (that hopefully result in news articles or feature stories) Guest columns/letters to the editor in local newspaper Radio (PSA’s, paid advertisements, Community Calendar) Social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Skype)
The School Board is a “face” for the District in the community. The community has elected you to make decisions about District policy and expects to be kept in the loop. Communication with the public from the Board is key in maintaining public trust with the District and in the Board’s decision-making. School Board’s Role in District Communication
Board Meetings Board agendas should be posted on the District’s Web site and sent to local media at least one week prior to meeting. Make sure to invite public to attend and provide comment. You can also post a reminder on Twitter & Facebook. Board meeting minutes should also be posted on the District Web site. If a local reporter is unable to attend the Board meeting, request the superintendent follow-up with the reporter to provide an overview of any important issues discussed at the Board meeting. How Board Can Communicate
School/Community Events Board members should make efforts to attend school- related events and talk with constituents (i.e., school plays, concerts, sporting events, carnivals, other activities). Board members should make an effort to be involved in the community, outside of the school district. This shows the community the Board does not live solely inside the “education bubble.” Talk with your constituents.
Media Write guest columns or letters to the editor to express opinions related to your District, or to highlight, support or express appreciation for a school group, parents, or event. Don’t be afraid to talk to reporters and provide comment for news reports. Media can be used to get out a message not otherwise heard. You can also designate the Board Chair to serve as media spokesperson.
The School Board should encourage the District to create and implement a District Communication Plan. Communication Audit – Several organizations provide this service, including the OSBA and National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). An audit examines all aspects of the District’s communication efforts and makes recommendations for improvements. Communication Plans
Communication Committee – A District Communication Committee should be made up of administrators, licensed and non-licensed staff and parents. The committee will develop a long-term communication plan for the District, to include how the District will communicate with staff, parents and community through the use of various forms of communication (letters, web, media, etc.) The committee should meet at least quarterly once the plan is developed to make sure plan is being used and discuss communication issues in the District.
Forging community partnerships with other community leaders, organizations and businesses can only help the school district. Encourage the District to become a member of the local chamber of commerce, Rotary club or other civic organizations. Host a “Breakfast with the Board,” in which community members, local leaders and other local partners can come to meet the board and chat about issues over coffee and donuts (or muffins, fruit, etc.). Encourage superintendent to also be present. Community Partnerships
Take every opportunity to thank those who have donated to the district or district programs/activities, whether personally, or publically through a recognition ceremony, appreciation letter to the editor, or newspaper ad. Invite community partners to school events. Ask local businesses if they will post school-related event posters in their storefronts.
Encourage your district to create a key communicator group Encourage students to seek after-school jobs with local businesses/organizations.
There are several resources for more assistance in District and Board communications: OSBA NSBA (National School Boards Association) OSPRA (Oregon School Public Relations Association) NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Need More Help?