Easy Ways To Encourage Staff To Share Their Stories
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Running a one-person PR shop for a small school district presents many challenges. We're tasked with doing everything from telling the district's story to working with the media, handling internal and external communications and so much more.
As school choice continues to make an impact around the country, public schools are forced to look for ways to tell our story and present to the community why a public school should be the school of choice.
In my current school district, teachers and staff are focused on their jobs and what they do best-- as they should be. As a communicator, I am left with a significant challenge. How do I persuade our to staff share their stories with me? I tasked myself to develop clever and easy ways for any staff member to be able to share stories quickly and easily.
As I do when I need a moment to reflect and breathe during the work day, I stared at the wall for a couple of minutes. That's when it donned on me. The wall is a perfect place to make an impact. Teachers spend a portion of their day either by the copy machine or in the teachers lounge. What if I created a quick and easy way to show them on a big poster-- "you have great stories coming out of your classroom. Everyone does. So why don't you share it with me?"
I immediately went to the drawing board and created a poster that showcases how easy it can be to share good news with the communications department. I wanted to create something that would be eye-catching but also be simple to read and truly capture how easy it is to share a story with my office.
I encourage staff to take photos and videos and share them with me through an easy to use Google Form. From there, I can take that data and tell our story on social media or send it to our local media outlets so they can share it, too.
I also encourage all staff members to use the form to invite me out into the classroom or where ever they may be so that I can take photos and videos to share their story.
Each August, our school district holds an Opening Day program for all staff. All 400+ members gather in the auditorium of our middle school and we officially kick off the school year. In an effort to make sure they don't forget how easy it is to share a story, I created a smaller version of the poster that is handed out to each and every staff member that they can hang up by their desk for easy reference.
This one simple summer project is going to help your one-person PR shop survive the school year. You'll no longer be hunting for story ideas or begging teachers and staff to let you know when things are happening.
As an added bonus, I've partnered with some of our local businesses to provide small free incentives to further encourage all staff to share their stories. Working together in this manner will present our public school as the school of choice.
Google Form (Gallery)