School Communication Audits & Planning

The Donovan Group offers comprehensive audit and planning services, creating a sound, data-driven strategy to drive your communication efforts forward. Our audit and planning processes emphasize transparency and community engagement. The result is a comprehensive, month-by-month strategy that details measurable goals and actions.


We started partnering with them in February 2019. At the time, it was a leap of faith for me as a first-year superintendent and now, they are so embedded into what we do, I'm not sure what we'd do without them.

– Justin Stockdale, Dike-New Hartford (Iowa)

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Conducting a Communication Audit

Before establishing a communication plan, we typically suggest conducting a communication audit. This allows a school district to better understand stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization, get a sense of what stakeholders think about its current communication efforts, and determine which types of information are of particular interest to stakeholders. It also helps determine how stakeholders wish to be informed.

The communication audit process involves the following:

  • Communication Inventory

    As an initial step, an audit features a review of all of a school district’s current communication practices, including the methods used to reach stakeholders. Through this process, you can determine, in broad strokes, what is working well and potential areas of improvement.

  • Community & Staff Surveys

    A great method of gathering valuable feedback from stakeholders is to conduct a survey focused on the district’s current communication efforts. This allows you to capture baseline data related to how people come to think about the district, where they get their information, and the challenges they experience in obtaining news and information.

  • Interviews & Focus Groups

    Communication audits may also include focus groups. This can be a good option if there are issues or data points uncovered in the survey that need to be more closely examined.

Creating the Communication Plan

Once you have completed a communication audit, you will have the data and information you need to engage in comprehensive communication planning. We will work with district administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and other stakeholders to determine the right goals, objectives, key messages, and tactics to engage in effective communication moving forward.

​​At the completion of this process, the school district will have a 12-month plan focused on achieving a series of measurable goals, including a “road map” of monthly to-do items.

Case Studies

Roland Story Community School District Logo

Roland-Story Community School District

Roland-Story engaged the Donovan Group in 2018, seeking a thorough review of communications practices. The district organized a communications task force, and the Donovan Group guided that group through a series of meetings to evaluate the district’s strengths and challenges. That process included an audit, staff and community survey before culminating in a Digital Communications Guide that has standardized their communications.

Roland Story Community School District Logo

Let's Talk!

Get in touch with the Donovan Group to see how we can support your school communication and public relations efforts.