Your school and its students are doing amazing things every day, but how many of those accomplishments are being shared with the community? Communicating with the public via local media, social media, events and PR giveaways makes people aware of some of the wonderful things going on at school, including: (PDF)
- Recent awards or grants
- Community events like parent education workshops
- Fundraising events and opportunities
- Stories about the school’s impact on the community
Maintain a small public relations team
Before you can communicate with your community, you need to know what you want to share, when you should share it, and who to share it with. Ask members of the school board or PTO to create a subcommittee to help make these important decisions. Thank volunteers for being part of the team with a school promotional item, like a keychain or a polo shirt.
Designate a staff member to manage pictures and quotes
A great photo can draw people into reading a newsletter, capture attention online or encourage a share on social media. Designate a staff member or parent to take pictures and capture quotes from events and store them on a USB drive. A file naming convention that uses folders, event names and dates makes it easy to locate and share important information.
Keep your social pages and website up to date
Once you’ve stored all those great quotes and photos, be sure to share them on your website and social media pages, along with upcoming events, recent awards and other pertinent information. Remind community members of your online presence with PR giveaways like a pen with an included screen cleaner that can be given out at orientation or events.
Connect with local media
It can be easy to forget that the “relations” in PR is built on relationships. Reach out to members of the media (newspapers, radio and TV) via email, social media or by meeting at a community event. Getting to know members of the media can help you understand what stories they are interested in, making it easier to connect when you have information to share.
Host show and tell nights and other community events
Bringing the community into your school opens doors to conversations about the good work your school is doing. Host an educational community event or show-and-tell to help build connections with current and future parents, supporters and other community members. Let them know about the event by mailing a calendar bookmark to remind them of the event date.
Connect to community
Connecting with the community on a regular basis allows people to see the important work your students and school are doing. By reaching out and sharing PR giveaways, you can make your neighbours proud.