Successfully Communicating with All Your Stakeholders

How many of your problems could be solved through better communication? Loaded question, right? Communication and sharing information is always a critical component in running a school in a manner that is efficient and transparent. But how can you do this on a consistent basis, what with all the other demands on your time? Technology, in this particular scenario, can be your super hero. Here are some methods that I use to keep all my stakeholders informed about what is join on at our school.

Staff Communication

I use several different tools to communicate with my faculty and staff. Remind101 is a great tool that allows you to send a text message to anyone in your group. We have it set up so that we can use it in emergency situations or if I need to send a reminder to them. It is easy to set up and use. I send a weekly e-mail newsletter every Friday afternoon. I include a calendar of what is coming up, reminders of important things to do and anything else I think they need to know. I try to make it easy to read and as funny as I can. Every Monday morning, I begin a draft of the e-mail. As we go through the week, I add things to my Evernote notebook and add them to the draft as I have time. Finally, I use Diigo to send them resources and articles I want them to read. I have a Diigo group specifically for them, and every Monday they get an e-mail with all the links I have added that week. I also use IFTTT to add my favorite Tweets to the Diigo account, so they get those too.

Parental Communication

I use a variety of tools to provide information to my parents and community in general. I have a school Twitter account and a school FaceBook page. I try to post on each of these every day. I use HootSuite to post in both locations with one action. I also maintain a school blog that i try to post on at east once a month. You can see it at drellena.wordpress.com. This year, I have added a parent e-mail communication called the Timberwolf Tip Sheet. Just like the e-mail newsletter for my teachers, I start a draft every Monday. As the week progresses, I add notes to a notebook in Evernote. Monday morning I copy it from Evernote and paste it into the e-mail. Then the whole process starts again.

The days of sending home a paper newsletter and nothing else to inform parents has come to an end. We still do some paper, but very rarely. We try to communicate information  home in as many ways as we can. What methods do you use to communicate with your stakeholders? Leave me a comment and pass on the blog!!!

 

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About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
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