It's undeniable. A growing part of the principal's evolving role is public relations. The school's success—in the eyes of the local community—relies increasingly on how well the principal engages in strategic communications. And that communication becomes all the more important in the national context of the conversation about "our failing schools," one of the few beliefs that unites American of all persuasions and walks of life, what the late Jerry Bracey famously called "The 'Schools Suck' Bloc."
Yet somehow, PR is one of those tasks they probably never taught you in graduate school. This toolkit aims to help you fill that gap. It's a simple, jargon-free guide with links to various tools and additional resources that will help you discover the opportunities for sharing positive information about your school and about public education in general. What you will likely discover is that you're already doing many of the things this toolkit suggests. It's the rare principal who does not already speak to community groups or confer regularly with parents, for instance. With just some tweaking and strategizing, you can begin to reap much more benefit from these activities.
NAESP's PRincipal Communicator newsletter, developed in partnership with the National School Public Relations Association, is an ideal companion to the Principal's PR Portal.
Note: Many districts have specific policies about communications with the public. Make sure you are aware of those policies before beginning any of the activities suggested in this portal.