Sometimes, in an effort to improve the communications of a school or district, leaders will decide to adopt a new communications tool.

Often the thinking is, “We need to do a better job of communicating. Let’s try social media!”

While social media may be the answer, we must remember that focusing on a communications tool first is the wrong approach.

The better option when a school or district leader wishes to improve communications is to begin with planning.

This can be as simple as asking the four most critical communications questions:

  • What are my specific communications goals?
  • Who are my stakeholders?
  • What messages do I want to communicate to my stakeholders?
  • What tool should I use to communicate my messages to my stakeholders?

To apply this to our example, while social media is a great tool, it is not the only tool. A tool should be selected based on communications goals and the tool’s ability to convey messages to specific stakeholder groups.