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Articles tagged with public relations

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As rhetoric heats up, parsing legitimate concerns from intractable political or philosophical positions is getting more challenging. Misinformation abounds, spread worldwide 24/7 by bloggers and social media savants, writes ASBJ communications columnist Nora Carr in her latest installment for the magazine. 

Traditional political wisdom counsels school officials to reinforce their supporters, engage those in the middle, and ignore the negative 2 percent to 10 percent whose opinions will never change, continues Carr.

Unfortunately, with more than 70 percent of U.S. voters no longer directly connected to their public schools through their children, ignoring media-savvy activist groups is likely to backfire.

Before school officials spend limited time and political capital, Carr offers some pointers from savvy public relations and communications professionals on how districts can get in front of an issue before it overwhelms them, and ultimately inflicts harmful political damage.

Read Carr’s column here, though hurry as it’s available free only for a limited time.

Naomi Dillon|July 20th, 2011|Categories: Governance, School Boards, Crisis Management, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , |

Building relationships with community crucial to building support for public schools

ASBJA few months ago, the Brookings Institute released a report that had a pretty obvious conclusion to those of us in education and journalism: “Invisible: 1.4 Percent Coverage for Education is not Enough.

While the report’s main statistic—that education only gets 1.4 percent of coverage out of all the national and local newspapers the authors analyzed—has been questioned, some of its other conclusions are indisputable. One of those is that the depth of coverage is suffering as well.

In the March ASBJ, communications columnist Nora Carr shows why coverage matters. The U.S. population is aging, and about two-thirds of residents do not have school-aged children, and most of these have no connection to their local schools. Many of their beliefs center around their experiences with schools when they were students or their children attended. More news coverage is focused on policy (such as President Obama’s recent high school graduation events).

That’s why it’s so important to build relationships with reporters and find ways to get them tips about the good things—the heart and soul of education, as Carr says–that are happening each day in your schools. She points to Manuel High School in Indianapolis, where the superintendent let a local reporter have unfettered access. Some might call that a risky move, but it brought enormous rewards for the struggling school. Reporter Matthew Tully’s chronicle of the students and staff members stories has brought overwhelming community support for the school—more than 2,000 people attended its Christmas show, bringing $10,000 in donations.

Naomi Dillon|March 3rd, 2010|Categories: NSBA Publications, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |
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