Providing practical tips for school public relations practitioners
Author: Jessica Johnston
Jessica is the director of communications for Brenham ISD, a small school district in Texas. She is a people-driven educator and a passionate believer in stakeholder engagement through positive communication. Jessica enjoys building her network through the use of social media, collaborating with other passionate educators, and sharing how the use of technology, social media, and digital marketing can transform the educational experience for all stakeholders.
Last week I attended the 2019 Texas School Public Relations Association conference, an amazing experience full of learning and leading together with my Texas school PR family! I had the pleasure of facilitating 4 roundtable sessions about branding, and presented a full session on culture and community. I took lots of notes during the discussions at the roundtable sessions and created a quick Google Docs flyer to share with you. I am also sharing the culture and community presentation in case you are looking for some new ideas. The presentation has links to all of our planning documents and materials for each initiative.
Come hear how one rural district is igniting systematic change and engaging a diverse community. Get simple strategies that break down barriers, change public perception, and build a community of public school supporters. No budget? No worries! Most of these strategies can be achieved with even the smallest departments and budgets. Leave this session with ideas you can implement immediately to maximize your resources and get a big return on your investment!
It was an AWESOME day at TSPRA19 and I am so thankful for the TSPRA organization, all of the event planners, and the sponsors. Amazing content, incredible attention to detail, and all of the little touches really made today’s experience one to remember. Here are my 10 favorite moments from today!
Getting a sweet new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses at the TSPRA President’s Reception for helping with conference planning. (Ok, that was technically from yesterday, but it was AWESOME!)
Lynne Wester (@DonorGuru) sharing her expertise during opening session this morning and telling the story of how Team Rubicon knocked it out of the park with donor follow-up efforts.
P.S. Lynn says you need to thank a donor 7 different times before you ask them for money again!
Hearing the “BOY” method for donor communications … “Because of you…” What a simple way to frame the message to communicate the importance of giving and show the impact it makes!
Being introduced to the “Anatomy of a Podcast” by Christie Goodman with IDRA. They’ve been podcasting since 2006! Check out their Classnotes Podcast.
bumper –> standard podcast intro –> episode intro –> transition music –> body –> transition music –> outro –> standard podcast exit
Learning about using Anchor for easily creating podcasts – definitely see some podcasting in my future!
Learning about Digital Juice subscription service for royalty-free content FOREVER.
P.S. They’re having a 50% off sale right now!!
Eating “tot-chos” and smores for lunch to fuel up for an afternoon of learning!
Getting another great idea from Cy-Fair ISD to use consistent hash-tagging (ex: #CFISDsafety or #CFISDfunrun) to help with branding and recognizability.
BY FAR, the best part of today was having Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) give a nice shoutout to Brenham ISD for our communication plan! Couldn’t believe my good fortune to be sitting in that session to see that! Click here to get our plan in Google Docs (just go to File > Make a Copy to create your own version.)
I saw the post and browsed the content, but didn’t really need it at the time. And then last week – I needed it! I needed to remove the background from a picture and I needed to do it quickly. So I found the post and tried remove.bg and HOLY COW! It’s literally one click to get the job done!
No matter where I go, I am always looking for ideas and inspiration. A couple of years ago I used the cover of the Chuy’s menu for typography inspiration for a recruiting postcard.
Last week, I spotted a sign at Whataburger that got me thinking about a social media graphic that could advertise some of our district programs.
I would also like to point out that I do most of these design jobs in Canva! It’s so easy to use, most of the elements I need are free, and the ones that I pay for are only $1. Easy and cheap … can’t beat it!
Where is the last strange place you found design inspiration?
I recently saw the below “communications scorecard” on the NSPRA Connect forum from the Pattonville School-Community Relations Team. (BTW, if you aren’t already taking advantage of the NSPRA Connect forum, I highly recommend it!)
Producing something like this for my superintendent and school board had already been on my mind, so I set out to recreate the beautiful template from Pattonville in a Google Doc format. I am pleased with the result and am happy to share the file so you can use it, too!
Many thanks to the Texas Council of Women School Executives for a wonderful session at this year’s annual conference! Below are the materials used in today’s “Are you brandED?” session. Please feel free to make a copy to use with your own staff. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and hope these materials might help you continue the discussions in your own organizations!
Last week I shared how the use of Google Keep transformed how I organize and prioritize daily tasks for maximum productivity. Some of you had questions about what that looks like, so this week I want to share how easy it is to get started using Google Keep, plus a little Chrome trick that can help you pull it all together.
Go to keep.google.com.
Make sure you’re logged into your Google account. Below is what your screen will look like if you don’t have any notes yet.
Create your first list or note.
It’s so much more than a list!
Google Keep is SO much more than just notes and lists. Check out the options by mousing over each little icon at the bottom of your list/note.
Remind me – get an email reminder with this information
Add a collaborator – helloooooo shared shopping lists 🙂
Change the color – my Fab Five list is red, so I can’t miss it
Add an image – great for screenshots to accompany the note
Archive – you can still recall archived notes/lists in left sidebar
Delete note – notes in your trash are permanently deleted after 7 days
Add label – great for organizing and searching
Add drawing – I gotta be honest … have never used this feature!
Make a copy – easily duplicate a note/list
Hide checkboxes – but WHHYYYY? Checking the box is all the fun!
Copy to Google Docs – cool feature, copies everything over to a Google Doc … this is helpful if your notes become too much for Google Keep and really need a Doc all their own.
Organize and prioritize notes and lists.
If you click the little push pin in the top right corner of your note/list, it will pin that note to the top of your collection. I use this trick + color coding to keep my lists organized and prioritized. You can click and drag your notes to put them in a specific order. My Fab Five list is always pinned to the far left corner since those tasks are my first priority.
Bonus trick: Set Google Keep as one of your startup pages in Google Chrome!
It’s easy to make lists and take notes, but you’re only as good as your follow through. I have found that setting startup pages in Google Chrome helps me start the day with everything I need for success.
To do this, go to your Chrome browser settings and scroll down until you see “On startup.” You can set your browser to open a specific set of pages every time you open your browser. I have mine set to open Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Keep. This simple trick removes one step for me when I begin my day and ensures that I attend to my Google Keep lists.