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George Pawlas's
PR for PRincipals...

Five Tips
For Building Strong
School-Community Relations


Although every school community has unique public relations needs, there are five suggestions that might apply in every school's community.

  • First, and most important, find out what the community knows about its schools. Use whatever means you can -- questionnaires, surveys, interviews, or neighborhood meetings -- to solicit information.
  • Second, once the public relations issues are identified, they should be prioritized. If serious problems exist, they must be addressed rather than denied or ignored.
  • To ensure success, the development of a plan to correct problems should be the next step. The involvement of others in the plan's development is essential. Use members of the school's internal and external publics. Use those "key communicators" to gather and to disseminate information about what is being done.
  • A fourth suggestion is to remember that in order for your school's public relations plan to be truly effective, the community must have opportunities to respond. Listening to their comments, concerns, and suggestions is an important step that is not often used effectively.
  • Relationships established with the media are an important element of the public relations plan too; the media can be used to share information about what is being done to correct problems and make improvements. Cultivate a strong relationship with the media during "good times" and it will be easier to gain the support you need when it comes time to spread the word about proactive efforts to make your school the best it can be.

Read more practical tips from George Pawlas

Pawlas on PR
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  • 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
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