Date of Award
Master of Corporate Communication
Definition: School community r elations is effective communication between the school district, the individual schools and the public. Good school public relations seeks to gain the public's favorable attention by building goodwill and understanding about the work, mission and activities of the school district.
The Issue: Today's school communicator wears many hats. Unlike some corporate public relations offices that are segmented by tasks and talents such as media coordination, publications and development, the school communications office, even when that office consists of one person, must be expert in all areas.
Many of today's school communication offices now work in the areas of media relations/publicity, legislative affairs, issues management, research/demographics, publications/graphics/printing, marketing, advertising, special events, volunteerism, business partnerships and PR counseling. It sometimes includes grant development and acquisitions, and the community school program and services. In addition, tax levy and bond issues are often the responsibility of the school communicator, and the Missouri State Legislature has now added a big annual reporting requirement, which takes an enormous amount of time for the school communications officer to produce. Technology has added the production and maintenance of the district's web pages - many times now the responsibility of the school communication's office.
With downsizing, rightsizing and outsourcing, communication offices are finding that they are lone rangers with less help but more responsibility. (Many of these lone rangers are new to their positions and new to the world of school communication.) No amount of education can prepare a person to step into this kind of work environment.
Summary of project: School communicators share unique issues and problems that their corporate (and even other non-profit) counterparts do not. This project examines the trials and tribulations of a one-person school communications office and discusses ways to make the job more manageable. It also contains tips, presentations and handouts to be shared among school administrators and staff in an effort to educate them that "PR" is everyone's job.
The project, designed to serve as a resource to people new to the profession, will be submitted to the National School Public Relations Association for possible publication.
Faulkenbery, Monica A., "From the One-Room Schoolhouse to the One-Person School Communication Office" (2000). Theses. 601.
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