You\'ve Got the Power


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Core of presentation to Public School Boards\' Association of Alberta, June 2011

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You\'ve Got the Power

  1. 1. ! Proven PR Tools to Build School District Reputation—And Support Student Success!
  2. 2. You’ve Got the Power! Brian Woodland, APR Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships Peel District School Board Mississauga, Ontario (905) 890-1010, ext 2812 [email_address] See more on LinkedIn
  3. 6. <ul><li>What’s Changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Information explosion/constant radical change </li></ul><ul><li>Skills revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated/discerning public “Where is June Cleaver?” </li></ul><ul><li>Societal issues - violence, funding, demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Personal experience/reality GAP </li></ul>
  4. 9. The translation? “ The entire future of the civilized world rests on how well we do in public schools today”
  5. 10. Survey says Health care and education are the top two issues of public concern
  6. 12. The Brian Woodland rule: Everything really wonderful that happens in a community, and everything really terrible that happens in a community, connects back to a school
  7. 13. <ul><li>What’s Changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Information explosion/constant radical change </li></ul><ul><li>Skills revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated/discerning public “Where is June Cleaver?” </li></ul><ul><li>Societal issues - violence, funding, demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Personal experience/reality GAP </li></ul>
  8. 14. <ul><li>What’s Changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Information explosion/constant radical change </li></ul><ul><li>Skills revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated/discerning public “Where is June Cleaver?” </li></ul><ul><li>Societal issues - violence, funding, demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Personal experience/reality GAP </li></ul>
  9. 18. <ul><li>So what is the bottom line? </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of Super parents </li></ul><ul><li>also known as hyper parents or high maintenance parents </li></ul>
  10. 20. My child
  11. 22. Half of preschooler parents believe their kids are above average. The number jumps to a dazzling 72% for parents of teens. Source: Macleans
  12. 29. “ Why should I have my kid come to your school?” Learning About Schools: What Parents Need to Know and How They Can Find Out, Prof. P. Coleman
  13. 30. Why should my child come to your school? <ul><li>high educational standards </li></ul><ul><li>high graduate rate </li></ul><ul><li>we help students make a difference </li></ul><ul><li>full range of extra curricular activities </li></ul><ul><li>warm supportive and challenging </li></ul><ul><li>vibrant, caring community of learners </li></ul><ul><li>exceptional staff </li></ul><ul><li>great technology focus </li></ul><ul><li>nurturing and respectful </li></ul><ul><li>diverse community </li></ul>
  14. 31. The source? <ul><li>Private Schools A special interest supplement The Globe and Mail, Monday, October 18, 2004. </li></ul>
  15. 32. The best source? <ul><li>YOU! What are your top 5? </li></ul>
  16. 33. <ul><li>What’s Changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Information explosion/constant radical change </li></ul><ul><li>Skills revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated/discerning public “Where is June Cleaver?” </li></ul><ul><li>Societal issues - violence, funding, demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Personal experience/reality GAP </li></ul>
  17. 36. When the oasis dries up the animals look at each other differently
  18. 37. <ul><li>What’s Changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Information explosion/constant radical change </li></ul><ul><li>Skills revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated/discerning public “Where is June Cleaver?” </li></ul><ul><li>Societal issues - violence, funding, demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Personal experience/reality GAP </li></ul>
  19. 40. Do you practice quality response?
  20. 41. <ul><li>What is quality response? </li></ul><ul><li>When things go wrong—what do we do at school and education centre? </li></ul><ul><li>If not our fault we are still judged </li></ul><ul><li>It is at the core of reputation management </li></ul><ul><li>Not just the “big bad” but also the “little bad” </li></ul><ul><li>Judged on process and product – watch... </li></ul>
  21. 42. The Capri Hotel… -room not clean -power blackout
  22. 45. Survey says … How many of you have a district PR person?
  23. 46. Not this…
  24. 47. <ul><li>Question: What is the role and value of your school district PR person? </li></ul>
  25. 52. There is a key difference between a communications plan and this...
  26. 54. Only one of them is actually magic !
  27. 55.   On ounce of prevention…   <ul><li>Unless communications is: </li></ul><ul><li>A voice at the table </li></ul><ul><li>Focussed on learning </li></ul><ul><li>Part of the learning team </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated into the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Seen as more than a frill or budget cut fodder </li></ul><ul><li>Then they cannot manage hot issues </li></ul>
  28. 57. <ul><li>The communication department’s work is focused on service to schools and their staff Janet McDougald </li></ul><ul><li>Chair of the Board </li></ul><ul><li>Peel District School Board </li></ul>
  29. 58. Where does your communicator belong: Business? Education?
  30. 59. Late breaking news…I do not have a strategic communications plan!
  31. 64. <ul><li>Phi Delta Kappa says schools with high confidence ratings: </li></ul><ul><li>have clear goals, and they communicate these goals clearly within the school and to the community </li></ul><ul><li>have high quality curriculum and extracurricular programs - they are seen to have “extras” over and above what the “average” school offers </li></ul><ul><li>are safe and orderly </li></ul><ul><li>have significant parent and community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>exhibit openness, warmth and caring </li></ul><ul><li>systematically do “need sensing” to find out what parents and others in the community want from schools </li></ul><ul><li>work hard at building and retaining public confidence </li></ul>
  32. 66. Hierarchy of Effective Communications 1. One-to-one, face-to-face 2. Small group discussion/meeting 3. Speaking before a large group 4. Phone conversation 5. Handwritten, personal note 6. Typewritten, personal letter not generated by computer 7. Computer generated or word-processing-generated “personal letter” 8. Mass-produced, non-personal letter 9. Brochure or pamphlet sent out as a “direct mail” piece 10. Article in organizational newsletter, magazine, tabloid 11. News carried in popular press 12. Advertising in newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, posters 13. Other less effective forms of communication (billboards, skywriters, etc.)
  33. 67. <ul><li>That means … director and PR person have less power over public image than does the average school secretary or custodian </li></ul>
  34. 69. Your frontline people have enormous power… Do they use it for good, or for evil?
  35. 70. What is the voice in your schools and offices?
  36. 71. Are there people in your schools or offices who slam the door on others?
  37. 72. Sign of the times Catering for elegant social events
  38. 73. Sign of the times Our specialty—do-it-yourself roast a whole pig parties!!
  39. 74. There is no inside/outside voice “ everything is great!” and “ everything is a disaster” cannot co-exist !
  40. 75. The voice checklist <ul><li>Do you speak with one clear voice? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have the information you need to tell the story? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the one clear voice cranky ? Negative ? Hostile ? </li></ul><ul><li>What could help? </li></ul>
  41. 76. Do you have a psychic vampire…
  42. 78. Think about your school district <ul><li>Do you have a “fall in the salad” person? </li></ul>
  43. 80. Leaders? <ul><li>Do you as leaders understand your personal power over reputation? </li></ul>
  44. 81. Gremmar? Grammer? Gremmer? What is the voice of your school board?
  45. 82. Pick the right PR tool for the right job
  46. 83. The 5 Power Tools
  47. 84. 1 Do a good job
  48. 85. The BIG picture <ul><li>What public relations can’t do--NSPRA </li></ul><ul><li>The 90-7-3 rule </li></ul><ul><li>90% of reputation is based on quality service </li></ul><ul><li>7% on listening </li></ul><ul><li>3% on telling </li></ul>
  49. 86. The BIG picture It’s a simple rule to get good PR-- Always do a good job!
  50. 95. 2 Connect PR to learning
  51. 98. <ul><li>Within 10 percentage points, what per cent of recent research studies indicate that parents DO have an important impact on children’s school achievement? What percentage DO NOT? </li></ul><ul><li>DO 100% DO NOT 0% </li></ul>
  52. 99. <ul><li>A Michigan study of student test scores found one factor that stood out as “The most frequently recurring theme of high-scoring districts.” What was it? </li></ul><ul><li>Intensive involvement of parents in their children’s schooling. </li></ul>
  53. 100. <ul><li>Research is clear that the vast majority of parents want to help their child be successful in school. What are the three key reasons they say they do not? </li></ul><ul><li>1. No time 2. Don’t know what to do </li></ul><ul><li>3. Language </li></ul>
  54. 101. Who we are <ul><li>Peel District School Board </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 2 new students new to Canada </li></ul><ul><li>over past three years, registered 10,000 </li></ul><ul><li>students new to Canada in past three years </li></ul><ul><li>90% of newcomer families don’t speak or </li></ul><ul><li>read English </li></ul><ul><li>47% of student population speaks language </li></ul><ul><li>other than English at home </li></ul>
  55. 103. Survey says -When it is left for parents to initiate contacts with the school, those contacts are likely to be antagonistic or unpleasant -A common problem or crisis can cause parents to organize for action -when parents get together for one purpose they continue to stay together and find other issues Report on parent involvement, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education (1991)
  56. 111. Quick Tip: Make sure the bad news comes from you … quickly!
  57. 112. 3 WOW service
  58. 116. Moving to WOW Give a corporate example for: Pathetic Adequate WOW!
  59. 118. Moving to WOW Give a personal example for: Pathetic Adequate WOW!
  60. 119. 4 Power of three
  61. 123. Would your dictionary definition of you include words like “positive”, “kind”, “nice&quot;, or are you…
  62. 125. Let your smile be your….
  63. 126. Your task To be a district Power of Three leader
  64. 127. 5 Trumpet good news