School Communication: Public or Private? 

School Deets
03/13/19 09:00 AM Comment(s)

Who should be able to see your school communication? 

The platforms for school communication are plentiful, and have expanded greatly in recent years as schools utilize websites, social media, and communication apps to share information with a variety of audiences. School teams who are doing this well may have a plan in place for what information is going out, who it’s being distributed to, and when it will go out.  

However, it’s common for schools to become so focused on the output of information that they forget how important it is to consider filtering exactly who will see or receive each bit of information. While some information being visible to the entire school community or even to the general public can be great publicity for your school, there is some information that should be shared only with a select group.

Consider the positive news that should be public information. Maybe your basketball team just won the district championship, or a student community service project raised funds for a charity. Many schools produce content especially for the school choice season, and this content is definitely worth casting as wide as possible. Public-facing information should celebrate the culture and climate of your school and make others want to further engage with you. This is a great way to engage both existing and potential parents, to invite businesses to be sponsors, or bring in volunteers from the community.

When it comes to information that should have a limited audience, examine the content and ask yourself who really needs to know what you’re sending. Internal challenges with students, staff, or events that are important to communicate to parents - or even just a select group of parents - do not need to be broadcast on, say, a public Facebook page. It should also go without saying that student privacy rules must be followed when sending or posting photos and videos. Even the day-to-day nuts and bolts information should be tailored to specific audiences in order to keep from overwhelming parents and families with too much information. For example, if a first grade class needs to bring a signed permission slip for an upcoming field trip, can you distribute that important detail to only those families rather than to the entire school?

As your team lays out a plan for the school year, be sure to take into account who can see each bit of information. Ask yourself whether public-facing communication is positive PR or if it’s something that should be sent only to a select audience. If you’re looking for guidance on creating a communication plan, contact School Deets at any time.

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