They started in early July this year. Those dreaded back-to-school commercials imploring parents to make sure their kids are equipped with the clothes, shoes and supplies that will help every student make the honor roll, right?
But what about you? Have you done your back-to-school shopping? I’m not talking about fashions here. Are you equipped to face the new school year using the latest resources for school communications?
Put away the summer reading, sunblock and other remnants of a well-deserved summer break (if you got one), and grab these three critical back-to-school supplies every good school communicator needs to hit the ground running with the trends and tips to improve school communications. Use these three guides and you just might make the school communications honor roll.
1. School Communications Planning Guide
This tried-and-true handbook, School Communication Planning Guide, published by the Campus Suite Academy, is a popular resource for school administrators seeking a practical, very workable guide to managing the increasingly challenging aspects of school communications.
It’s useful for everyone from your school superintendent to your school secretary but created especially for the communications lead. Based on the turnout a recent Campus Suite Academy webinar, How to Create a School Marketing Plan that Makes an Impact, presented by Trinette Marquis, it appears that schools are seeking help on becoming more strategic with their communications, and this guide is a good foundation for that.
The School Communication Planning Guide covers roles of the website, mobile app, social media, and push notifications and how to integrate and manage them all. It includes:
- The 'must-have' achievable goals to set for your school
- Tools to evaluate and measure effectiveness
- Sample plans, templates and additional resources
2. School Website Planning Guide
The next item for your back-to-school backpack is the School Website Planning Guide. Your website is your school communications hub, so it’s important you create a web foundation that will help you meet your communications goals. But a website doesn’t just happen – and if it does, you’re probably not planning it properly. This guide will help you get current with the technology and trends in what makes an effective school website.
For anyone involved in selecting or managing a school website, the School Website Planning Guide is a must. It covers all the bases and will assure you're on the right track for building the most important component of your school communications. It includes:
- Tips for surveying your users
- How to analyze your current website
- Design best practices for school websites
- Website planning worksheets and buying tools
While you’re at it, check out this free webinar video on-demand, 5 Steps to Planning a School Website that Really Engages, produced by the Campus Suite Academy.
3. School Social Media Guide
The third and final back-to-school supply you need is the School Social Media Guide. Many school administrators are at worst perplexed or afraid of social media and, at best, underutilizing this very powerful part of the school communications mix.
Social media pro Andrea Gribble, who recently hosted a Campus Suite Academy webinar, Facebook for Schools: How the Pros Do It, now offers three levels of professional service to schools seeking help with social media. And while we’re on the topic, you may want to check out this free school social media manager to save time and keep your school on your parents’ radar.
The School Social Media Guide will help your school district or private school get closer to your entire school community. It includes:
- How to build your school’s following
- Putting a social media strategy and structure in place
- How to generate good content consistently
- Free online tools to schedule and monitor social media
Fill your backpack with these back-to-school supplies every good school communicator should have, and you’ll hit the ground running this school year. So, are there any school communicator supplies you want to add to that back-to-school backpack?
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him @jay4schools.