#SchoolPR Insights

Commentary on school communications, marketing, public relations, referendum planning
and crisis communications from the team at the Donovan Group.

DOE: Districts May Apply ESSER Funds to Communication Efforts

While the article below applies to most states, we understand that there is less clarity on the availability and application of ESSER funds in others. This is the case in our home state of Wisconsin, where federal funding is currently at risk due to the actions of the Joint Committee on Finance. The latest U.S. Department of Education guidance offers clarity on how school districts can use the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to communicate with families, staff and...

read more

Communication Tools Every Principal Can Use

This article was originally published by the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.  When it comes to school communication, we often refer to the use of various tools. In fact, we often refer to an "invisible" toolbox that educational leaders use to communicate. As we continue to work through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is value in considering the various communication tools we have available to us—and to ensure we are using the right ones. We often speak and write...

read more

Getting into a Rhythm with Your Social Media Content

If you're in charge of your school or school district's social media content, you've likely run into a familiar problem. It can be difficult to get into a rhythm to consistently use social media to effectively tell your district's story. For one, it's tough to find the time. Your day-to-day demands can make it feel nearly impossible to post engaging social media content as often as you would like. Plus, when there's so much already on your plate, it's a challenge to come up with a topic for a...

read more

Alternative Graduation Ideas to Celebrate the Class of 2021

Last spring, we covered creative ideas to celebrate graduating seniors at a time when nearly all schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many schools and districts have now returned to full in-person instruction, others continue to use hybrid models or fully virtual models. This post features some ideas for celebrating graduating seniors at a time when social distancing still remains necessary. Live-streaming graduation ceremonies Although most high schools are holding some...

read more

How Does a School Communication Audit Work?

Before creating a communication plan, we often recommend that schools and districts conduct a communication audit. In many ways, an audit sets the stage for more meaningful communication planning.  Through a communication audit, you can gain a better understanding of stakeholders’ perceptions of your school or district, get a sense of what stakeholders think about your current communication efforts and determine which types of information are of particular interest to your stakeholders. It...

read more

Communicating About Wisconsin’s Phase 1B Vaccine Announcement

On Tuesday, January 26, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that most teachers, school staff and childcare providers will need to wait for several weeks to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While many schools and districts had expected the vaccine to be available to their staff members sooner than that, we are now hearing that it could be early March until Phase 1B takes effect. Based on our work with districts across Wisconsin, we have put together this template message...

read more

Our Next Step in Helping School Leaders Communicate During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of communicating clearly and effectively with families, students, staff and school communities.  That’s why we are excited to move forward with an effort to promote honest, transparent, equitable and public health-informed communication in response to COVID-19 resurgence and incidence in schools. Today, the Donovan Group and Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools, together with several key partners, have launched www.EngageEquitably.org. This...

read more

#EngageEquitably Helps Education Leaders Communicate More Effectively with Families, Communities

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with underlying inequities throughout our society and across school communities, have underscored how important it is for education leaders to use regular, proactive, and transparent communications with students, families, staff, and local communities. Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools (LAB) and national school communications firm the Donovan Group have created a new series of equity-focused communications resources to help school and...

read more

Tomorrow’s Crisis is Already Here

Earlier this year, Joe Donovan and I had the privilege of writing an article (“Prepare For Tomorrow’s Crisis Today”) for an edition of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s monthly magazine. Like you, we’ve been so busy that we didn’t get around to sharing it with you until now! We’ve all been living in some level of crisis mode since the pandemic began in March. As a national leader in crisis communications for schools and districts, the Donovan Group has been on the front lines of the...

read more

Tips for Filming a Simple Video Update for Your School Community

One of the simplest, yet engaging, ways you can share key information with your stakeholders is through a simple school video update. In fact, this is perhaps the most common type of school video. The subject—who is usually the superintendent or a principal—sits or stands in front of the camera and provides an brief update to their school community. Below are some tips for filming a simple school video update:   Create a script Know what you are going to say in your school video update...

read more