KASB Public Relations and Marketing Blog - Carol Pitts

KASB Public Relations and Marketing Blog - Carol Pitts

Speak up!

A familiar buzz word these days – well, actually a buzz phrase – is ‘tell your story.’ But because we don't know where or how to start, it is easy to just move on to the next thing on our crowded 'to do' list and wait for someone call us and ask a specific question. If there was ever a time to speak up, it's now! News media, politicos, bloggers and tweeters, to name a few, are busy speaking on your behalf. There are 286 school districts in Kansas. That means there are 286 sides to the school funding story....

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Nine Nifty Tips for a Communication Tune-Up

Whether you call it customer service or public relations, at the heart is good communication. These “Nine Nifty Tips” are a good review of what it takes to put people at ease and make them feel welcome in your office or school. Be a good listener. Ask questions and concentrate on what the individual is really saying. Listen to word choice, tone of voice and most importantly how they feel. Beware of making assumptions by thinking you intuitively know what someone wants, thinks or feels. People react with emotion, not logic. They are not always good at telling you...

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Can you tell a story in six words?

What story are you telling about yourself? About your organization? You can search and find every tweet you’ve ever tweeted, so what is the story being told? (Just Google “find my tweets” and you’ll find several different ways to do this.) KASB’s annual conference in December 2014 featured keynote speaker Jim Spellos @jspellos who challenged us to tweet our digital story in six words. That might seem impossible, but take a look at the twitter feed to see a few great examples! Social media is about the conversation, so use twitter to tell your story. Be mindful of what you are...

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Create a presentation (or plan a conversation) in 5 minutes?

It's a tried and true formula - and one that can be applied to all kinds of situations. Follow this quick diagram and you will have your next presentation for a workshop, seminar, staff meeting or that difficult one-on-one conference you have to have. Here's how: Step One: Define the presentation and brainstorm things you know about the topic. Step Two: Fill in the circles. In circles one and five, place the topic name. The middle three circles will be filled with three different words/phases/themes from your brainstorming list. Your speech will be constructed in three parts: Introduction: Tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em.             Body of Speech:...

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Deliver an effective message?

You have the right message, an interested audience…now it’s time to make sure you present the information in the most effective way possible. Here are a few ‘how to’ points to get you started.   1.  Tell a compelling story – This creates relevance, resonance and responsiveness.   True story… I was sitting in the back row of a presentation not long ago and started noticing how engaged – or unengaged – my fellow audience members were. When the presenter said “I have to tell you a quick story about that…”  almost every person in the room refocused on the presenter. You could...

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Control the Message

Many (and I’m talking many) years ago I participated in a media training workshop sponsored by ESSDACK in Hutchinson. It was presented by Richard Brundage and even..um…many (many) years later I still use the skills I gained. One of the best tips I learned was how to respond to the reporters’ questions, but then bridge to the information I needed to communicate. This actually is a great method to use in a variety of situations – a question and answer session at a meeting, a presentation before a board or group or a call from a concerned citizen about an issue...

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Create the Perfect Sound Bite

As a kid did you ever play that game where one person whispers something to the next, then that person passes the information along to the person on the other side of them, then THAT person whispers it to the next person, etc.? The information goes around the entire circle and then the last person says out loud what they heard…which is almost always NOT what the original message was about! It was a game intended to teach a lesson about the dangers of gossip, but in many ways it was an early form of tweeting. Of course using today’s...

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Give a Shout Out to Kenny G…AND Public Education!

I recently attended a Kenny G concert in Kansas City (AWESOME by the way), and during one of his breaks from mesmerizing mellowness he introduced the members of the band who travel with him. Most of them have known each other since high school...that would be public high school in Seattle, Washington. They played in the jazz band and concert band together and their mentors and heroes – according to Kenny G - were public school teachers who encouraged them to dream that they would one day play their music on a stage in front of thousands of people. I know!...

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A Meme by Any Other Name

Look up the term ‘meme’ and you come up with a plethora of cultural and academic explanations about its meaning and use. Turns out it is much more than just a cute quip and a picture of an equally cute kitten. What is clear is that a meme (rhymes with ‘team’) is a useful communication tool to convey information in an easily sharable format. Once created, it can be emailed, posted in blogs, shared on Facebook, tweeted, pinned and otherwise sent out on its viral merry way. So how does one go about creating a meme? Here are a few basic rules: Facebook likes square images, so...

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Communicating During Uncertain Times

The need for ongoing, effective communication from school districts is important even in the best of times. Most would agree this is hardly the best of times. With more questions than answers created by Kansas Supreme Court and the Gannon school finance court case, the discussions happening in Topeka, the calls for greater accountability and transparence -  parents, staff and students need to know what is going on. How do we provide useful information when there are so many unknowns? The answer is to communicate, communicate, communicate. Reassure everyone that you are monitoring developments and will share what you know...

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