COVID-19 is creating many community anxieties and schools are certainly not immune from the effects. By using the communication principles of Public Relations, you can go a long way to allaying community concerns. There are 2 steps.
PR strategy is about staying on message, with repetition. Now love them or hate them, politicians are masters of this technique. I don't suggest you learn the art of ducking and weaving, but I do suggest you have a plan about what communication outcomes you want to achieve, especially in these very worrying times.
A few years ago, I conducted school newsletter research with one of the learnings being that schools only produce two types of content; logistics and PR. Logistics I describe as 'what you want parents to do' and PR as, 'what you want parents to feel'.
In this current climate, parents are feeling concern over many things regarding their children and education. You can play a significant role in allaying these concerns with a bit of PR 101.
Step 1: Key Messages
Gather your leadership group, and also seek the council of several parents. Draw-up a list of issues regarding the impact of the virus on children and their education. Let's suppose your list includes the following;
(Please excuse my attempts of understanding your world, but you get the gist.)
Step 2: Write and Repeat
Once the list is ratified, whenever you have the opportunity to write, be informed by the list of key messages. Writing on each topic once is not enough; remember, PR is also about repetition.
And now the obvious question is, "where do I find the time to write?". Become a 'content curator' - more on that next time.
Denis is sponsor-ed's director and Monash University sessional lecturer in digital communications (bio)