National Survey Confirms Value of Communication

Become a “Go-To” School District Through a “Go-To” Communication Program

If your school district is the go-to resource for credible information about your schools, you are well on your way to becoming a “go-to” school district. And that is the enviable goal of many school districts throughout North America.

In our era of over-communication and competition fed by neighborhood bloggers or other special interest groups, a direct communication and engagement program is a solid gold investment for today’s schools. NSPRA’s Communication Accountability Committee (CAP) survey proves that. (See for yourself at:

Some other “take-aways” from the just-released national survey of communication preferences offered by NSPRA and its CAP Committee are: 

  •  As NSPRA President Ron Koehler, APR notes, “The message is clear. Open, honest, and transparent communication is the best antidote to public mistrust. This research finds the institutions that invest in communication and provide opportunities for dialogue and dissent are the first choice for information about the services they provide.”
  •   Chris Tennill, APR, the chair of the CAP Committee, states, “People support public schools that have an ongoing, everyday commitment to transparently and proactively communicating with their community about the important decisions as well as the mundane.”
  •  And I noted, “This survey proves that where schools provide genuine two-way, credible, ongoing communication, they are held in higher esteem than others we have seen who do not communicate on a regular basis.”

Of course, some key elements in the above descriptions are critical to make all this as great as it sounds. These key words and phrases that describe winning communication programs are:

  •   Open and honest
  •   Transparent communication
  •   Opportunities for dialogue and dissent
  •   Proactive
  •   Genuine, two-way, and ongoing

We have seen communication programs not work or even backfire because they did not contain these elements or because they chose to focus on the wrong things such as attempting to sing the praises of their Boards and administrators. Our communication focus must remain on the key work of our schools — teaching and learning, and providing a culture of communication at all levels to help our staff excel. By doing just that, our school boards and administrators will also reap the praise of the great system they have built.

In our next Always Something, we will look at one of the surprising results of the survey – the low ranking of social media by parents as an everyday official school communication tool. We are still scratching our heads about that one.

Rich Bagin, APR

NSPRA Executive Director


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One Comment on “National Survey Confirms Value of Communication”

  1. Open, honest, transparent, and two-way communication tops the list!.

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