Tips for School Leaders on Positive Public Relations
As a school leader, when you are handling so many responsibilities, it is easy to forget that public relations or customer service also helps to improve school climate. Positive Public Relation handling plays an important role for promoting a brand. Even for schools, promoting them as a Brand is essential. What the public thinks of your school will directly impact the number of students it attracts for enrollments.
Here are some tips to use for positive PR to manage public perception.
Start with making good decisions
No matter the size of your school community or the amount of resources you can dedicate to PR, every good public relations outreach begins with the decisions you make on a daily basis. A bad decision will result in a negative impression.
Give context to decisions
Giving context to a decision helps people understand why you had to take that particular step. Including general public is also beneficial because it explains your position. People, staff and others, can be quite understanding if you share your predicament too.
Let us understand this with a simple analogy, the one-side-of-the-moon example. No matter how much you look at the moon, you can only see the one side visible to the earth. You may understand the reasons behind a complicated decision but others may not get the details surrounding your choices. When it is possible to share the context, you build stronger consensus.
Prioritize your contacts
During a school crisis or emergency, it is important to know who needs to be prioritized in contact and feedback. If there has been a tragedy, prioritize contact with parents, board members, admins, people closest to victim, and faculty. Then share condolences via social media. You can talk to the local media later. Depending on the scenario, consider how you honor your priority audience through your contacts.
Using social media, and not forgetting other media
Learn how to utilize social media effectively. At the same time, don’t forget to use traditional forms of PR as well, including press releases, newsletters, word-of-mouth, or whatever ways have worked for you before.
News and media centers thrive because we all want to know first. Do not get carried away with the use of press. And we can still be about the business of promoting positive messages by making good decisions, contextualizing, communicating with honor, and embracing social media as well as traditional outlets.
Schools provide the most important service there is: education. And we can still be about the business of promoting positive messages by making good decisions, contextualizing, communicating with honor, and embracing social media as well as traditional outlets.
This article is inspired by and contains excerpts from Connected Principals website.