If your school is like most, you're facing a tough challenge. Simply keeping everyone informed of policy changes and aware of upcoming events could be a full-time job in and of itself.
To help you communicate more effectively with your faculty, staff and students, we've taken three tips from an article (posted originally on Psychology Today) and applied them to a school environment.
1. When in Doubt - Overcommunicate.
While the importance of the meeting or event you’re organizing may be apparent to you, keep in mind that the busy people you’re reaching out to are just that: busy.
If you want to make sure you get a message across, be sure to spell it out. Let your faculty know exactly what’s happening, when and where. Then, spell it out again (a little bit later).
Reinforce what’s expected and your audience is more likely to remember.
2. Use Multiple Channels.
Don’t limit yourself to one avenue when it comes to reaching out — communicate with staff members through email, letters, flyers and phone calls.
Consider scheduling regular meetings where you can get feedback and answer any questions they may have, or to address items with a specific deadline.
For example, a faculty luncheon could be a great opportunity to remind faculty when adoptions are due, and reiterate how timely submissions directly affect student savings.
For students and families, combining emails and postcards with social network posts may be an effective way to let them know about school events like:
- Bookstore open dates
- Free shipping periods
- Buyback reminders and dates
- Events like plays, big games or open houses
Pay attention to the results, and if one method works better than another, make a note to use it again.
3. Think Like a Journalist.
Make sure that messages answer the five Ws: Who? What? When? Where? And, possibly the most crucial for big changes: why?
If you’re introducing a new policy or rule, your staff should know:
- Who it will affect
- What the specific details are
- Where it will apply
- When it will go into effect
- The reason for the change
Sudden or drastic changes may also need to be explained in detail to your students and families. If you’re implementing a digital program, let them know why you’ve decided to do so, what their individual cost to participate may be and what direction you see your initiative heading.