Telling the story of your school district is beyond critical in today’s open and social environment. It is easy to see how telling the story of students, teachers, goals, successes, lessons, and opportunities is at the heart of any 21st Century organization. But like any component of education, communicating and telling the story of learning and leading takes careful thought, expedient action, decisions about the balancing of resources, and strategy to make the most of digital tools that can empower your communication strategies.
Telling the Story of Your School District: Types of Communication
Research suggests that there are seven types of communication from school districts:
- Sharing achievements
- Promoting events
- Critical school information
- Parent education opportunities and resources
- Community outreach and engagement
- Examples of progress towards vision
- Highlights of best practice in classrooms
Each of these types of communication for schools helps to tell the story of your school district in a holistic way that will support fundraising, encourage involvement, engage the community at all times (not just during times of conflict), and help the school district to own their story (before others do).
Telling the Story of Your School District: Tools
The most prolific types of communication used in telling the story of your school district are not as static and closed as they were even five years ago. Instead it is critical that districts use multiple media outlets to position the telling of the story of your school district. These need to include a blog or rolling news page on the district and associated school websites, email, social media, video, and cross-promotional outlets (like community foundations, local government, etc.).
As the rate of access on mobile devices tips to pervasive (most recent data showing that more than 65% of emails were open on a mobile device first) it is critical for schools and districts to use mobile ready tools that provide a clear, easy, and uncompromising experience with any media or text that is shared.
Telling the Story of Your School District: Data to Inform
To aide in improving efforts in telling the story of your school district, it is important that districts pay attention to not only updating communication channels frequently and updating communication preferences of stake holders yearly but also data related to most viewed channels, best time of dissemination, and most active content. Not only will this data support your efforts but it will also help to fine tune how and through what channels you begin telling the story of your school district.
Data from TRAx (centered on the Future Ready framework) can engage families, teachers, staff, and administrators and help you to build up and continue progress in telling the story of your school district in ways that demonstrate purpose and uphold your goals in community engagement.