Public Relations in Schools


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Public Relations in Schools

  1. 1. Effective Public Relations in Schools: No Longer a Luxury – A Necessity.<br />Tracey Quinn – Venta Preparatory School. Ottawa, Canada<br />
  2. 2. Why do weneed Public Relations in ourSchools?<br /><ul><li>The customer is always right?
  3. 3. Know your stakeholders
  4. 4. Define Limits/ Delicate Balance
  5. 5. “Perception is Reality” – Marshal McLuhan
  6. 6. Helicopter Parents</li></li></ul><li>ClarifyBoundaries:<br /><ul><li>Engage stakeholders using careful and effective communication/public relations to establish boundaries.
  7. 7. Define parents role within the school community.
  8. 8. Build understanding and a sense of trust.</li></li></ul><li>A Delicate Balance:<br /><ul><li>Delicate balance between parental engagement versus parental control.
  9. 9. Private schools as an educational institution and a business.
  10. 10. Parent confidence is vital.
  11. 11. Parent engagement - important</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>What do your parents perceive they are purchasing?
  12. 12. Embrace partnerships.
  13. 13. Parents look for information, reassurance and answers to questions they ask their kids.</li></li></ul><li>WhatisSchool Public Relations?<br />
  14. 14. WhatisSchool Public Relations?<br /><ul><li>“ Public relations is the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success or failure depends.” Effective Public Relations. 9th Edition. Cutlip, S. Center, A. and Broom, G. (2006) p. 5</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>“Educational public relations is a planned and systematic management function to help improve the program and services of an educational organization. It relies on a comprehensive two-way communication process involving both internal and external publics, with a goal of stimulating a better understanding of the role, objectives and accomplishments and, needs of the organization.” National School Public Relations Association.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>“School public relations used to be about getting positive messages out – it was a one-way communication street.</li></ul> Today, school public relations is less about conveying information than it is about establishing and promoting partnerships within the “community”. An effective school public relations plan provides value by giving people information parents can use, not just information that the school needs to convey about process. Effective public relations means schools ask for and receive information just as much as they transmit it.” The Power of Public Relations in Schools by Carlsmith and Railsback.<br />
  15. 15. Public Relations vs. Marketing<br /><ul><li>How is public relations different from marketing and admissions?
  16. 16. How are they the same?</li></li></ul><li>What is a Public Relations Plan?<br />
  17. 17. The Four Step Plan <br /><ul><li>Step 1: Define the public relations problem/goal/opportunity.</li></ul> Situation Analysis: “What’s happening now?”<br /><ul><li>Step 2: Planning and Programming. </li></ul> Strategy “What should we do and say and why?”<br /><ul><li>Step 3: Take Action and Communicate.Implementation: “How and when do we do it?”
  18. 18. Step 4: Evaluate the Program.</li></ul>MeasureableResults: “How did we do?” <br />
  19. 19. Step1: Defining the PR Plan<br /><ul><li>Situation Analysis: What is happening now?
  20. 20. Determine what you want to do.
  21. 21. Take information in.
  22. 22. Establish your goal. </li></ul> Sample Goal: Create a feeling of responsibility, making both boarding and day parents feel that their school involvement plays a vital role in their child’s success at the school as well as the success of the school.<br />
  23. 23. PR Research<br />PR research is a mix between qualitative and quantitative efforts. (SWOT Analysis)<br />Find out what your stakeholders are saying.<br />Take your own polls.<br />Get feedback from teachers.<br />Surveys<br />Seek out non-users<br />Content Analysis/Communication Audit<br />
  24. 24. 7. Benchmark.<br />Focus Groups.<br />Interviews.<br />Track parent questions.<br />With initial research in hand the planning stage can begin.<br />
  25. 25. Step 2: Planning and Programming<br /><ul><li>Strategy: “What should we do and say and how?”
  26. 26. Establish Communication Tactics in relation to your goal.
  27. 27. Tie your plan’s objectives to its activities.
  28. 28. This should be based on information uncovered in the research stage. </li></li></ul><li>
  29. 29. Choosing Tactics<br />What is a tactic? Tactics are the PR activities used to deliver your messages and channel feedback to you. They can be one-way or two-way communication. <br />In this phase, create a list of tactics you will use.<br />
  30. 30. Step 3: Take Action and Communciate!<br /><ul><li>The “plan” and tactics should be in writing.
  31. 31. Each tactic should have supporting details with deadlines.
  32. 32. Plan needs to be measurable and goal driven.</li></li></ul><li>Web 2.0<br />Web 2.0 should be included and act as a compliment to other tactics.<br />“Traditional” communication can’t be ignored.<br />However, Web 2.0 cannot be ignored.<br />Social media is a powerful tool in implementing your goal and getting feedback.<br />
  33. 33. It’s time to join the conversation.<br />
  34. 34. Whatis Web 2.0 anyway?<br /><ul><li>The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing and collaboration on the web.
  35. 35. For example, blogs, Facebook, Twitter.
  36. 36. It allows anyone, anywhere to join the conversation.</li></li></ul><li>Web 2.0<br />Suddenly the conversation is going on all around you.<br />Crucial to get involved.<br />It’s time to join the conversation to achieve your public relations goals.<br />
  37. 37. Video<br />Benefits of Video.<br />It’s Visual.<br />It’s Sticky.<br />It’s Emotional<br />It’s On-Demand<br />It’s Versatile.<br />
  38. 38. Use YouTube!<br />
  39. 39. This tool helps you determine whether your videos are achieving the intended PR goal.<br />Who is watching and for how long?<br />Are the right people the video designed to encourage attendance to your event?<br />
  40. 40. Gain Insight using YouTube Insight<br />
  41. 41.
  42. 42. Twitter<br />
  43. 43. A few things to remember...<br />If you are not listening, you can’t hear.<br />Make an informed decision to respond to negative comments or not.<br />Respond publicly.<br />
  44. 44. Facebook<br />
  45. 45. How do you use Facebook to achieve your PR goals?<br />Post news/videos.<br />Create invitations.<br />Don’t clutter the page.<br />Synchronize Facebook page with Twitter, school blog, YouTube, website.<br />
  46. 46. Monitor how your stakeholders use your Facebook page.<br />
  47. 47.
  48. 48. Blogs<br />Blogs are very quickly replacing traditional media as a reliable news source for many people.<br />Capture “real-estate”<br />Sign up with “Google Alerts”<br />Free and helps you monitor what is being said about your school.<br />
  49. 49. SKYPE<br />Communicate “face-to-face”<br />Important for boarding parents<br />Use Skype to gather qualitative data<br />
  50. 50. School Calendar<br />Categorize.<br />Synchronize<br />
  51. 51. E-Mail Newsletters<br />Don’t send 4 a day.<br />Design of e-mails plays an important role in access to information.<br />For example:<br /> - make space for important events in top right or left hand corner<br /><ul><li>Don’t include entire contents of newsletter
  52. 52. Track your readership</li></li></ul><li>Web-Based E-mail Marketing<br />Constant Contact:<br />
  53. 53.
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  55. 55.
  56. 56.
  57. 57.
  58. 58. RSS Feeds<br />Really Simple Syndication<br />Allows your stakeholders to link to news/updates from your school.<br />A lot of RSS feed generators are free. For example, IceRocket.<br /><br />
  59. 59.
  60. 60. Step 4: Evaluating the Program.<br /><ul><li>How did we do?
  61. 61. If your program is well-conceptualized this step will be easy.
  62. 62. If not – the evaluation Step will fall short.</li></li></ul><li>Blue – Preparation<br />Orange – Implementation<br />Red - Impact<br />Social and cultural change.<br />Number who repeat behaviour.<br />Number who behave as desired.<br />Number who change attitudes.<br />Number who change opinions.<br />Number who learn message content.<br />Number who attend to messages and activities.<br />Number who receive messages and activities.<br />Number of messages placed and activities implemented.<br />Number of messages sent and activities designed<br />Quality of message and activity presentations.<br />Appropriateness of message and activity content.<br />Adequacy of background information base for designing the program.<br />
  63. 63. 3 Stages to Evaluating a PR Program<br />Preparation Evaluation<br />Implementation Evaluation<br />Impact Evaluation.<br /> No evaluation is complete without addressing criteria at each level.<br />
  64. 64. Google Web Analytics<br /><br />This is a free service that will give you rich insight into your website traffic and PR plan effectiveness.<br />For example:<br />
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  69. 69. Social Media Measurement Matrix<br />Although social media is often free, your time and efforts are not.<br />The following Social Media Measurement Matrix helps facilitate side-by-side comparisons of your social media accounts as well as momentum over time.<br />
  70. 70.
  71. 71. Obstacles<br /><ul><li>Convincing staff and teachers
  72. 72. The cost
  73. 73. Giving lip service
  74. 74. Forgetting the audience
  75. 75. Doing too much.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Schools can’t ignore public relations.
  76. 76. School PR is less about transmitting information and more about listening and responding to the expectations and concerns of its’ stakeholders.
  77. 77. Public relations reflects reality.
  78. 78. “Perception is reality”</li></li></ul><li>Bibliography<br />1. Carlsmith, Laura., Railsback, Jennifer. (2001.) The Power of Public Relations in Schools. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Massachusetts<br />2. Cutlip, Scott M., Center, Allen H., Broom, Glen M. (2006). Effective Public Relations Ninth Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall: New Jersey.<br />3. Kowalski, Theodore J. (2004.) Public Relations in Schools Third Edition. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall: New Jersey.<br />4. Moore, Edward H. (2009.) School Public Relations for Student Success. Corwin: California.<br />5. Vining, Linda (2000.) Marketing Matters in schools. Centre for Marketing Schools: Australia.<br />6. Vining, Linda (2003.) Smart Ideas for School Marketers. Centre for Marketing Schools: Australia.<br />
  79. 79. On-LineResources<br />Affect Strategies.<br />Mashable – The Social Media Guide.<br />Dialogue On-Line: For Canada’s Independent Educators.<br />National Schools Public Relations Association.<br />Centre for Marketing Schools.<br />Education World.<br />