KASB Public Relations and Marketing Blog - Carol Pitts

KASB Public Relations and Marketing Blog - Carol Pitts

Communication and Public Health Concerns

With media and political attention swirling around COVID-19 – also referred to as coronavirus – our school communities need to hear from us on current plans and where/how they will get additional information. The communication requirements for responding to a public health issue are very similar to any other crisis situation. These include accurate information and frequent communication from official sources. Below are a few quick steps that will help with planning, focused specifically on information and communication. I have also linked to a number of Kansas districts who have information posted on their website. I am sure there are many...

Read more...

Welcoming New School Board Members

Joining a board of education might not be as scary as walking into first grade when you were a child, but it is still a new beginning. By now you have no doubt been in touch with your new board members and even started your own onboarding processes. There are several things you can do to make the transition from newly-elected board member to a full part of the team just a little easier. And just as January is the start for new board members, it is also the start of a new complete board. This makes it a great...

Read more...

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....

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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:...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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!...

Read more...