Public Relations Matters

Upon becoming Principal of New Milford High School in June of 2007 I made it one of my primary goals to work hard at sharing with my stakeholders all of the accomplishments centered around teaching and learning occurring on a routine basis.  As Principal I was aware of these things, but I was pretty sure that the majority of the educational community was not.  Combine this with the fact the the local media is finicky when it comes to reporting on the many positives occurring at any school for that matter I came to the decision that it was up to me to take control of our public relations.

It was at this point that I created the monthly Principal’s Report that can be viewed on the main page of our website.

 Even though it is simplistic from an aesthetic standpoint, this document is a powerhouse when it comes to the depth of information that it contains.  Then social media came into my life.  My immersion in Twitter allowed me to come to the realization that I could take my public relations plan to a whole new level.  As I learned about other social media tools I began to diversify the types of information shared and how it was disseminated.  The public relations plan for NMHS now looks like this:

  • Principal’s Report: Monthly summary of achievements and advancements that have a positive impact on teacher, learning, and school culture.
  • Twitter (@NewMilfordHS): Daily updates on news, events, student achievements, staff innovations, etc.  It is also another medium to distribute the Principal’s Report.
  • NMHS Facebook Page: Serves the same purpose as the HS Twitter account, but this tool has much more influence as many more students, parents, and alumni utilize Facebook on a daily basis.
  • Flickr: Share and showcase students, staff, and events through pictures.
  • YouTube and Vimeo: Share and showcase students, staff, and events through video.
  • My Blog: I just love sharing in detail student and staff accomplishments.  My community also enjoys reading NMHS student reflections when they guest blog on A Principal’s Reflections.

How much does all of this cost me?  The answer is ZERO!!!!  Isn’t it time to take control of your public relations?  If you do I can assure you that there will be a greater sense of pride in your building and respect for the work being done on a daily basis.

8 Comments

  1. Dave Sherman said:

    Eric,
    This is an impressive amount of work on your part. How do the teachers feel about you making their observations public?

    December 24, 2010
    Reply
  2. I am a big fan of the statement “if you’re not pleased, tell me. If you’re pleased, tell my boss!” In this day and age, the public seems more like our boss….if they’re unhappy, look out! Being vested and aware tho, how can they not be happy?
    Sharing the positive and the good is NEEDED in our society and I think it’s awesome that you take it upon yourself to be your school’s advocate. The fact that you’re able to take advantage of so much social media is a huge bonus.

    How long did it take for your staff to be on board and contribute?

    December 24, 2010
    Reply
    • Dave,

      The teachers are fine with the observation information I share because I am only stating that I observed them (date, course, period) and nothing from the observation itself.

      Amber,

      It didn’t take long at all for my staff to contribute as they seem to enjoy sharing exciting things that they are doing with their students. I will reach out to specific teachers to submit items when I hear about some the things they are doing. I also have a Google Form created to collect info on PD and field trips that they must fill out continuously.

      December 26, 2010
      Reply
  3. […] the opportunity to develop forums where community voices can be heard and valued. The benefits of managing public relations before outside sources distort the facts are innumerable, and the platforms through which these […]

    March 23, 2011
    Reply
  4. […] the opportunity to develop forums where community voices can be heard and valued. The benefits of managing public relations before outside sources distort the facts are innumerable, and the platforms through which these […]

    March 24, 2011
    Reply

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