The DeHavilland Blog

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Low-tech focus in school communications

An interesting post by Paul Baker at EducationPR has implications for school/community relations. In a recent post titled "Internet skills rank low in NSPRA survey," Paul notes that both superintendents and school communicators place computer/internet skills alarmingly low on the list of desired attributes for school communicators. From his post:

But consider: "Excellent computer skills including internet capabilities" appeared as tied for #14 on the superintendents' rankings, but because of a number of ties, its actual place position was #22 out of 31. Computer and internet skills ranked even lower on the practitioners' list, appearing as #26, but again, because of a number of ties, its actual place on the list was #30 out of 31 attributes

I don't think this bodes very well for school communications in the near future, especially in an environment of funding cuts, increased media scrutiny, pressures from NCLB, and international competition.

A simple rule in communications is that you need to reach your audience where they are, not where you'd like them to be. If schools want to communicate effectively with stakeholders, they need to include online communications as a core element of their strategy, and have the skills needed to take advantage of this powerful channel.

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