Not Necessarily…

San Diego Seminar 2013 LogoBy most accounts, our NSPRA National Seminar in San Diego was a big hit. It remains the premiere professional development experience for school leaders who want to learn more about all facets of school communication. Nowhere else on the planet can you tap the expertise of and interact with more than 70 professionals from the U.S. and Canada.

I kicked off this year’s Seminar with some tongue-in-cheek statements that played pretty well with 650+ participants. The remarks focused on the state of some of our school district employees, parents, politicians, and others who want to help us fix our schools — because they apparently know more than we do about communication or education itself. A number of people asked me to share my comments in print.

Save these dates for next year’s conference in Baltimore:
July 13-16, 2014

The following is based on an Australian blogger’s approach, as he warned that, “A man with a tool in hand is not necessarily a mechanic.” Following that lead, here is what I shared at the Seminar’s first general session:

  • A Board Member with a Twitter account is not necessarily a school communicator.
  • A governor calling herself a an education governor is not necessarily good for education.
  • A curriculum director skilled in MS Word is not necessarily a writer.
  • A superintendent with a mission isn’t necessarily on one.
  • A reporter with two ears is not necessarily a listener.
  • A parent with concerns isn’t necessarily a concerned parent.
  • A legislator with eyes isn’t necessarily a visionary.
  • A webmaster is not necessarily a master of content…or communication, for that matter.
  • An assistant with a red pen or “Track Change” capabilities is not necessarily a proofreader.
  • An administrator saying, “No comment,” isn’t necessarily offering “no comment.”

And my favorite of this pack:

  • A critic seeking facts isn’t necessarily seeking truth.

Along the same line, each participant at the National Seminar in San Diego also received a commemorative 60th Seminar Anniversary poster. For the poster, we asked members to contribute words of wisdom that they wanted to share with others. A few memorable items that NSPRA members submitted include:

NSPRA Members KnowNSPRA Members Know …

  • Tradition is a guide, not a dictate.
  • Campaigns are not about issues, they are about voters.
  • A brochure and a video isn’t a communication strategy.
  • Do not trust spell-check when it comes the word “public.”

If you’d like to see the rest of the wise sayings from members, the poster is now available to buy at

Rich Bagin, APR
NSPRA Executive Director

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