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PR for PRincipals...

Build Communication With Breakfast Meetings, Newsletter Q&A's


One of the best ways to build support for your school with its key audiences is to gather plenty of firsthand information. That's easy to do if you ask then listen.

One effective strategy for gathering information is to schedule a breakfast meeting at school. Bring in a mix of parents, community leaders, staff, and the chairperson of your parent group for a series of monthly meetings. Plan a brief agenda that includes an opportunity for you to share what's been going on in the school. Then devote the remainder of the hour to listening to what participants have to say.

Another good way to open up communication between you and your key audiences is to include a question-and-answer section in your school newsletter. I asked parents to submit questions. I answered questions of a general nature -- questions that enabled me to relay information many people should have -- in the newsletter. Questions that were specific to individuals, and not of interest to the larger community, were answered directly so long as I could identify the questioner.

This same technique can be used on your school's Web site.

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