October 24, 2017
Overwhelmed? Here’s how your school can stay on message
It’s hard to concentrate on a single goal in an environment of 24-hour news and social media. From the White House to your school, everyone can struggle at times. How do you move a project and its messaging forward, in harmony, from start to finish? Here are a few ways how your school can stay on message.
Guiding a project from start to finish is already tough enough, but keeping your school on message through the process only adds to the difficulty.
Just ask the White House.
President Trump and his administration are struggling as a slew of decision makers put forth conflicting messages and priorities.
Key platforms from the president’s campaign, such as healthcare and tax reform, are being bogged down by controversy. Right from the get go, there was Sean Spicer’s skirmish with reporters over the size of the inauguration crowd.
Perhaps the administration would be further along with its policy agenda if everyone was on the same page. What’s clear is that all organizations can take lessons from the situation in the White House by understanding the importance of aligning projects and messaging.
Keep everyone on the same page with goals, and the message will follow
A school district with a levy proposal, for example, should consider the following strategy:
First, establish a clear and cohesive strategy with all decision makers at the table.
What’s the goal? In this case, it may be raising money for what’s seen as a worthwhile and necessary cause, such as perhaps building a new auditorium.
From the start, consider how communications and messaging will be handled alongside the project itself.
Start thinking about who’s the audience and how the message should be portrayed. What should be the tone? How will it be disseminated?
As the plan is implemented, it’s crucial that the people behind the execution of the plan, say the superintendent and school board, are aligned with those handling communications and outreach.
Difficulties may arise if, for example, a public relations manager portrays an issue in a different light than what’s presented at a school board meeting. Explaining the disparities in messaging is just more work.
It’s crucial to think about how negative feedback may be handled, especially online.
Should each concerned stakeholder be dealt with individually on a social media platform, or should they be directed to a specific FAQ website? Have a plan in place to keep your school on message.
Lastly, be careful not to get bogged down by issues unrelated to the project.
Those can be handled in another forum.
By having a detailed game plan and complementary communications strategy in place, schools can be proactive rather than reactive. With everyone on the same page, your school project and message can move forward together in harmony.
Get Help with Implementation
Our team at Allerton Hill Consulting knows how to help schools stay on message. Whether it’s having a crisis communication plan in place or communicating news about an upcoming school levy, we’d be happy to help you create a communications strategy. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your school stay on message.