Restart Jumpstart: A Communications Program for School Districts

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Click here to learn more about Inspire's experience supporting school districts and our direct communications and marketing services for schools. 

As educators and districts prepare to head back to school, they will face a school environment that looks and acts markedly different than it did just a year earlier. To align with those changes, it will be essential for districts to have a well-defined and well-executed communications program.

Our ways of connecting have changed, our audiences have changed, and so must our conversations. Whether it is internal messaging to teachers and staff or external communications to students and families, finding the right words at the right time will make the difference. Districts face three distinct and unique communications challenges: district financial status; new health and safety practices; and reassurance of students, staff and families.

Click here or keep reading to learn more about the RESTART JUMPSTART COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAMa 90-day plan to evaluate and boost school districts’communications program going into the new year.

Once your district identifies its plan for returning to school, it will be critical to have a strong communications framework in place to prepare for every situation. This program gives districts access to trusted and experienced school PR counsel, as well as comprehensive deliverables that will make the transition through restarting learning easier, while building trust and confidence among district stakeholders.

PHASE 1 – DISCOVERY & ANALYSIS
Inspire’s team will conduct a detailed analysis of the district’s current communications processes and platforms
to evaluate effectiveness and identify stakeholder concerns and any gaps in communication. This process
includes:

  • Holding meetings with the board and administration to understand financial impacts on the district
  • following recent funding cuts, plans for returning to school, anticipated issues, community feedback, etc.
  • Surveying parents/families in the district to identify concerns, health and safety expectations, open lines of communication, and gather information to inform decision making.
  • Surveying staff to gauge concerns about restarting in-building learning, including schedules, distancing, PPE, new practices and health and safety concerns.

A detailed report is provided capturing all relevant findings from the discovery process. Note, if surveys havr already been conducted, Inspire will work with the district to analyze the results and determine next steps or if additional surveying is needed.

PHASE 3 – MESSAGE INFRASTRUCTURE
Following the discovery and recommendations phases, Inspire will develop a comprehensive message infrastructure that will serve as the foundation for all communications regarding the restart. Our work includes:

  • Developing internal messaging to staff, building leaders and administration.
  • Developing external messaging to students, families, community members and other stakeholders.
  • Providing message training for administrators and Board leaders.

PHASE 2 – RECOMMENDATIONS

Following the discovery phase, Inspire’s team will use the report’s learnings to develop a path forward that is tailored for the individual district’s restart plan and is responsive to what was learned during discovery. Our work will include:

  • Reviewing what communications tools and resources should remain and what new ones may be needed to align with the district’s restart plan. Providing recommendations for new programs and platforms specific to reopening.
  • Planning for cadence of consistent, meaningful communications to different audiences – families, staff, students and the community.
  • Developing a 10-week plan for communications leading up to the start of school and through the first few weeks to position school administrators and district leaders to communicate proactively.

PHASE 3 – MESSAGE INFRASTRUCTURE

Following the discovery and recommendations phases, Inspire will develop a comprehensive message infrastructure that will serve as the foundation for all communications regarding the restart. Our work includes:

  • Developing internal messaging to staff, building leaders and administration.
  • Developing external messaging to students, families, community members and other stakeholders.
  • Providing message training for administrators and Board leaders.

PHASE 4 – IMPLEMENTATION

Once the messaging is just right, the Inspire team will develop a suite of tailored materials to communicate and support the district’s restart plan. This would include:

  • Memos to parents/families
  • Memos to building leaders, teachers and staff Newsletter content
  • Website content
  • Media fact sheet about district plans
  • Social media content
  • Phone/text message content for automated scripts Internal and external
  • FAQ documents
  • Restart communications toolkit for district leaders, Board members and administrators that includes all template communications packaged and ready-made
  • Executive counsel from Inspire’s president on any additional needs outside the restart program — reviewing communications, navigating media, crisis and issues response, etc.

Now more than ever, school districts need a trusted communications partner. Package pricing for the RESTART JUMPSTART PROGRAM will vary based on the final customized approach for your district. While the program is designed and budgeted for 90-day implementation, Inspire will work with districts on timing and specific needs, and additional months can be added, with associated costs, as needed.

Depending on the district’s budget, focus and specific needs, the Inspire team can also produce, shoot and edit videos to be shared in various communications and platforms. Our team also can manage district social media pages, prepare media materials and provide graphic design services. Because not all districts need these elements, these are separately billed from the RESTART JUMPSTART PROGRAM fee.

Inspire has decades of experience supporting school districts through various situations and on an ongoing basis. We welcome the opportunity to be your partner. Contact us today to learn more.

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