The NSPRA community is packed with people who have dedicated their careers to school communications. Through a Thoughtexchange conversation, this community of professionals not only generates questions, but also the solutions. Read below to uncover the real-life solutions shared by participants.
"My district was recently featured prominently in several articles relating to the achievement gap. Despite making significant strides in school grades and student test scores, parents and community groups continue to have a negative opinion of our district. How do we showcase the good?"
"Feature an individual who makes a positive impact in our community. This is done by asking the community to anonymously nominate an individual to be featured. If the person accepts the nomination, I share his or her story and why he or she was nominated. The goal is that by sharing great stories, we share examples of how we are achieving our mission as a district."
"Keep it short - just a postcard will do it. Our community told us they did not hear enough good news from us but who had time/budget for multiple newletters? Solved that with 8.5 by 11, full color postcards focused on a few facts illustrated by great kids making meaningful contributions."
"I always feel as if I never have enough content or I am not kept away of things going on within the school buildings. There have been many occasions where I learn about something after the fact. How do I get other to remember I exist and to think of me? How do I get others to consistently provide content?"
"Sharing with rivals. Schools in my area are small and don't always have the resources to have communications people, photographers, etc., on their team so we cross teams. For example, at a multi-school event or competition, we take pictures of each other's students and send them to each other."
"Digital Media Team - expanding our social media reach. We deputized someone or a team of people at each school to manage its social media presence. This allowed for more content to be posted for parents and the community, and content that was more relevant than what was shared at the district level. We took a planned approach with measurable results."
"I would like to know more about video as a means of communication for the district, both skills needed, editing programs used, whether people post to Facebook, Youtube channels, etc. I want to start using video to market our district more, but not sure where all to start."
"Superintendent Selfies. 10 - 30 second clips of the district's head official interacting with students and staff. The leader provides a glimpse of life from their perspective, helping staff and community members feel connected. Selfies should be shared via social media (Vine, FB, Twitter, Snap Chat)."
"We utilize Facebook to highlight the positive learning experiences that students are having. We also use Facebook to show videos of our students."
"Offline Distribution of Information. It is easy and efficient to reach people digitally, but what are the best strategies to reaching people offline--people who aren't necessarily connected digitally or connected at all to the school district?"
"Senior Citizens Prom. It helps us reach those hard to reach voters without kids."
In the fast-paced world of communications, new challenges come up every day. A Thoughtexchange helps uncover unanswered questions that can then inspire professional development sessions. Learning topics are driven by the learners.
"How to most effectively leverage our district app? We want to bolster our two-way communication and are hoping to make our app interactive and encourage feedback from users. I would like to learn strategies to bolster stakeholder feedback and build our community's sense of efficacy."
"I would like to learn some effective strategies for infographics. Infographics make information more understandable and more memorable. This is a tool school PR professionals must master as we look for new ways to deliver information about schools."
"Measurement & KPI's. The marketplace has become flooded with vendors pitching new tools for PR/Social Media Metrics. Help me make sense of it all! What are the few REAL key performance indicators that school PR people can effectively measure--and use to make decisions/improvements. And do it the least expensive way."
"Measurement is difficult. Know of some innovative ideas. Don't know of anyone who has measured results in a reliable way for those initiatives."
"Outreach to culturally diverse populations. Interested in proven successful outreach strategies to engage culturally and racially diverse populations as well as keep them from looking elsewhere for school choice options."
"Attracting and retaining racially diverse employees. What are some proven methods used to attract and retain culturally diverse employees?"
Thoughtexchange provides group insight software and services that allow communities to have meaningful and productive online conversations. This simple, open ended process ensures everyone can contribute, everyone learns from one another and important ideas emerge.
We surface deep insights for decision leaders and, more importantly, for the participants.
We do this by enabling the people affected by decisions to share their thoughts, consider and value the perspectives of others, and learn from the entire group.
We are unique in creating robust data and detailed analysis from two or three simple, open-ended questions.
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