Donovan Group Insights

What is the Language of Your District?

Your district communicates with stakeholders all the time. There’s a lot of content to keep up with—parent letters, website updates, social media posts, the list goes on. With so much content to create, district administrators often write a message, release it and move on to the next one. Language plays a larger role than you might realize, so it’s worth thinking more carefully about how your district phrases its communications.

Let’s look at how using effective language can benefit your school district.

Language can strengthen your district’s brand

Language is an integral part of your district’s brand. Oftentimes, what matters more isn’t what you say, but how you say it. Fine tuning the language in communications can help your district develop a unique brand image that accurately reflects its mission, values and overall identity.

The language should sound like your district. If your district’s name was removed from an email, flyer or newsletter, stakeholders should be able to tell exactly where the content came from. Language is more than a means of relaying information. It speaks volumes about who you are as a district.

Take a closer look at the language in your communications. What impression does it convey to stakeholders? Does the language represent the brand identity you want to be known for? These are questions to keep in mind as you create outward-facing content, both in the form of verbal and written communications.

Use language to bridge the communication gap

In addition to building your district’s brand, language is a powerful tool you can use to maintain strong relationships with stakeholders. When used effectively, language can bridge the gap between what you’re trying to say and how stakeholders receive that information. Language can help prevent stakeholders from misinterpreting your message, and choosing your words wisely will allow you to communicate in ways that stakeholders understand.

Create a common language that stakeholders and your district can use to communicate with each other. Finding that common ground is the basis for mutual trust, respect and transparency.

As you create content, think about how your audience might receive it. Is your message clear and unambiguous? Are you using words and phrases that resonate well with stakeholders? Every time your district communicates, you have to consider what sort of language will propel those all-important stakeholder relationships in the right direction.

Finding the right language takes time. With every piece of content, you’ll gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. By putting more thought into language, your district can develop its brand identity and establish good stakeholder relationships, one word at a time.

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