PR for PRincipals...
What Parents Really Think About School Newsletters
Over the years, school principals and the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) have asked parents what they like and dislike about their school newsletters. Five "likes" have been identified:
- Calendar. A school calendar is the most powerful tool for information delivery. Make your newsletter's calendar look like a real calendar, with important school events highlighted. Your newsletter software package likely includes a calendar template. If not, Education World's calendar templates might be of use to you.
- Prioritized information. Information must be prioritized and categorized. Reading a newsletter is like reading a newspaper: people usually scan for information, so establish regular column headings to make your newsletter easy to scan.
- Concise information. Information must be concise. Use short articles, bulleted information, graphics, and pictures to make information delivery more effective.
- Principal's column. Many parents do not read the principal's column in its present form. Make your column easier to read by using language parents understand; developing and maintaining a consistent focus for the column; and providing positive, concrete ways for parents to be involved in their child's education. Education World's Newsletters 'R Us features can help you accomplish all those goals. Newsletters 'R Us offers ready-made content that you can simply copy and paste into your newsletter.
- e-Newsletter. Many parents might prefer the electronic delivery of school information. Doing that will require maintaining an email mailing list, developing a format or template, and making certain that parents who do not have email access receive a paper version of the newsletter.
Read more practical tips from George Pawlas
Pawlas on PR
See our archive of 41 more articles like this one.
More Articles by George Pawlas
Explore this series of nine articles by George Pawlas:
- Share the Pride: Six "Pride Statements" Get Year Off to a Great Start
- Getting the Most Out of Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Newsletters: An Essential Tool for Every Principal
- Building Positive Relationships With the Media
- The Benefits of Being an MBWA Principal
- More Tips for Great Newsletters
- 50 Million Students Can't Be Wrong: Improving Perceptions of Your School
- Support Personnel Are P.R. People Too
- Create a School Profile Brochure
Meet Dr. George E. Pawlas
George E. Pawlas has written the book on PR for school principals -- literally! In The Administrator's Guide to School-Community Relations, Pawlas presents a treasury of practical tips and strategies for principals. The book includes hundreds of principal-tested ideas, illustrations, and templates to help you
create successful school newsletters and other communication tools;
use the media to your school's advantage;
enhance parent and family involvement;
work with the community and local businesses;
deal with crisis situations; and
Pawlas has been an educator for nearly four decades. He has served as an elementary school teacher and principal, a district administrator, and a state education department consultant. Currently he is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Central Florida. In addition, Pawlas has authored dozens of articles and coauthored three editions of a book on educational supervision. He is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences.