We are very excited about the innovative ways K-12 communications leaders are embracing and adopting digital and proactive communications strategies to effectively reach their families. We believe in providing a way for students to learn in a safe, connected, and technologically savvy environment. More specifically we’ve discovered that engaging and informing the entire K-12 community has been a key factor in creating student success within many of the districts we partner with.
To better understand the increasingly important role of communication within the K-12 education community, we collaborated with Speak Up Project as they launched their first ever nationwide poll of district communications officers in fall 2015. These leaders shared their views from the front lines regarding home-to-school communication and community engagement including their top priorities, challenges and tools for communicating with their families this year.
Check out the infographic below (or text alternative) for highlights from this year’s digital communications priorities and challenges report released by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow. With these insights and ideas in hand, school and district leaders can jumpstart new and innovative digital approaches to improving school-to-home communications in all communities.
Interested in discovering the path to engaging your communities through a multi-communications strategy? Check out our Community Engagement Solution.
Trends in K-12 communications according to communications officers
School district leaders are implementing strategic planning for their district communications and public relations. And many districts now refer to their PR professional as the district communications officer, reflecting not only the increase in responsibilities beyond media relationships, but also the enhanced need for a more sophisticated approach to communications.
Check out highlights from this year’s trends in K-12 communications report from the communications officer’s perspective.
WHO are communications officers focused on engaging?
- 93% say parents are their primary audience.
- 53% actively seek out collaboration with key partners.
- 40% cite establishing connections with community groups as a key strategy for engagement.
WHAT do communications officers identify as their major priorities that drive their daily tasks and strategic planning?
- 69% say they nurture their district’s brand and reputation.
- 62% spend their time engaging with their community.
- 50% manage information dissemination.
HOW are communications officers connecting with their key audiences?
- 73% say that at least three-quarters or more of their outbound communications require internet connectivity.
Additionally, communications officers identified the following tools as the most effective ways to share district information:
- District Facebook account (74%)
- Face-to-face meeting (74%)
- School portals that share grades and assignments (68%)
- Text messaging to families or parents (64%)
- Personal emails to families or parents (59%)
- Personal phone calls to families or parents (55%)
- Mobile app (49%)
WHY do communications officers still have difficulties connecting with their families and community?
- 43% say they are lacking funding to support communication initiatives.
- 34% say they have limited staff members who have the knowledge to launch or maintain certain communications vehicles.
- 30% say they are facing language barriers within the community.
- 27% say they have a fear of using social media or lack of comfort in how to use it effectively.
Download the full trends in digital communications report here.
Source: Project Tomorrow, 2016. Trends in Digital Communications Priorities and Challenges: The Front Line Views of District