Check out my presentation that I created for the 2015 Colorado School Counselor Association Conference and the Top 10 Tips for PR in School Counseling created by Chris Wood and I (based on our Tweet Chat), complete with resources to help you improve your PR efforts.
- Informed people are engaged people. Folks don't show up for events they don't know about. Likewise, people don't talk about things they are not informed about. Create experts in every corner of town through your Advisory Council.
- Speak their language. Let your community dictate your P.O.A. A lot of technology, a little technology, let your Plan of Attack match the community you serve.
- Consistency & Clarity. They just make sense. Be clear and consistent across all modes of communication. Make sure your dates & times match on all advertisements: school homepage and department web page, blog and printed flyers should all share the same message. Be very clear about what you will share & what attendees will learn.
- Roar with the Common Core. Use this opportunity to connect your program goals to the big picture. Check out this document to learn more.
- Know the Town Crier & Create Double P. Positive Press that is. Find out who the town crier is in every sense. What media outlets like to get the word out about school events? Who likes to have the most info during morning coffee at the Burger King or the Dairy Queen? Who will share your program news on Facebook & draw a big response? Know & love these people fast, keep them updated with your program information and events and always follow PP up with a thank you card.
- SALSA. Spend a Little Share All-- Share as much info as possible without spending too much money-your superintendent will love you for this. Combine mailings by sending out brochures, newsletters and flyers with report cards and hand out brochures at events like parent teacher conferences & orientations. Post newsletters online using SMORE. Learn more about how to use this great PR tool here.
- Become a Connoisseur of Free Tools. Use the press releases prepared for monthly celebrations to save money and time while also creating positive press. Check out RedRibbon.org for an example, they always publish a Planning Guide complete with a press release and proclomation.
- Go over Board. Make it a habit to share data with those you serve. Share your data with your school board at least once a year, make it a habit to present at the board meeting every June. Create bulletin boards as often as possible to share data throughout the school year for students, teachers and school visitors to see. Share data on your webpage using SMORE.
- Create Change. Think of PR as an opportunity to build relationships & educate stakeholders about how to become a part of the positive contributions school counseling programs provide. Change their minds about the school counseling profession every chance you get. Lead them back to the ASCA webpage and/or your state association as often as you can.
- Expect to Fail. Expect people to toss your brochure in the trash & to say negative things about your program. Expect a smaller turnout at your events. Expect the newspaper to not print your press release or news story. Don't take these things personal. Failure is part of the process, it's best friend is learning. Through failure you will discover a better process and a better way to success. Problem solve and get back out there.
Tools to Promote your School Counseling Program
- Contact Cards
- Google Form (to contact you) on your webpage
- Department Calendar
- Department Blog
- Bookmarks, Stickers
- Bulletin Boards
- Recognition Programs (Character Education Awards, Random Acts of Kindness recognition)
- Presentations during parent, student & community events (Prezi-create these, then share them on your webpage!)
- Press Releases (Also learn more here)
- Proclamations (National School Counseling Week, National Career Development Month, National Bully Prevention Month, Red Ribbon Week etc.
- Smore online flyers
- Yapp (easy event app-you will love this for events like Freshman Academy)
Some go-to websites for PR Information
Links specific to School Counseling PR
Blog Posts Regarding PROther Posts you might like
School Counselors: Share resources not found here on Twitter with the #SCCHAT hashtag!