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Collect news from school staff and school leaders. Create an easy way ...

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School PublicityTraining WorkshopHosted by Susan Hale, Communications Department

  • Start on time = end on time
  • Bathroom locations
  • Cell phone on silent or vibrate
  • Materials online (booklet has URL)
  • Ask questions at any time
understanding the media
Understanding the Media
  • Newspapers, TV and radio stations are “mass media”
    • They communicate to the masses
    • They focus on what is new, unique or has impact
  • They provide a community service, but…
    • Are also driven by the bottom line… profits, market share and ratings

Understanding the Media

  • It is news if…
    • It has significance to the general public
    • It is timely
    • There is human interest
    • It is unique or it is something new to the area
    • There is nothing else going on that day
your role
Your Role
  • Collect and send out school news
  • Find newsworthy items
    • New, unique programs
    • Stories that are unusual or quirky
    • Student and staff awards/recognitions
    • Activities that tie in with holidays, historical events, milestones or current events
your role6
Your Role
  • Collect news from school staff and school leaders
    • Create an easy way for them to contact you
  • Encourage colleagues to give you good news and achievements
    • Make sure they know you’re “The One”
    • Establish a process
  • Ensure media releases are on file
your role7
Your Role
  • Let’s hear from some veterans
writing tips
Writing Tips
  • Do:
    • Answer the 5 Ws and 1 H

(Who, What, When, Why, Where and How)

    • Proofread and re-check your information
    • Write as though your audience has never heard of this topic before
    • Describe it through facts, not feelings
writing tips9
Writing Tips
  • Don’t:
    • Abbreviate school names (BES, OES, PES)
    • Leave out first names (Miss Hale)
    • Use unexplained acronyms (AYP, IEP, EIP)
    • Use educational jargon
    • Forget to give a contact name and phone number
who gets it
Who Gets It?
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    • Daily newspaper
    • AJC rarely uses submitted photographs but sometimes will
  • What they want
    • “Story so unique we'll want to make room for a story on it”
    • “Story so important that it would be of interest to readers and/or parents outside of Fulton County as well”
who gets it11
Who Gets It?
  • Community Newspapers
    • “Neighbor” newspapers (South Fulton, Northside, Roswell/Alpharetta)
    • Alpharetta Revue, Johns Creek Herald, Roswell Beacon, Sandy Springs Reporter
    • Published weekly
    • Smaller staff; not always able to personally attend event
    • But happily accepts submitted photographs
who gets it12
Who Gets It?
  • Television stations
    • Stories are generally 30 seconds to 1½ minutes
    • News topic MUST be visual AND timely
    • WXIA’s Class Notes hosted by Donna Lowry
  • Radio stations
    • Occasionally will run announcements and public service announcements
when to send it
When to Send It
  • Before the event
    • Send out information
    • Be mindful of deadlines and give leadtime
  • During the event
    • If the media doesn’t show, grab your camera!
  • After the event
    • Rewrite the information into the past tense
    • Write a caption for photos, if you have any
when to send it14
When to Send It
  • Newspapers
    • 5-10 days before event
  • Television
    • 2-3 days before event
    • Email first, but follow-up by calling or faxing information the day of event
fcss media
FCSS “media”
  • Rapport Online (employee news)
  • Your school/PTA newsletter
  • Business Partner’s newsletter
  • Your school’s web site
  • Fulton County Schools web site
Reaches 100,000 families

Reaches all of Fulton County, except cities of Atlanta and Roswell

Excellent way to promote your school/students/activities

– Comcast Channel 24

What are we interested in?


Sporting events

Field days

Video yearbooks

News shows

Student productions

Bulletin Board Graphics



Interesting or unusual activities

– Comcast Channel 24

Technical Specifications

Interesting Content


Student Media Releases on file

No copyright violations

Technical quality – DV tape or DVD

Bulletin Board Graphics

PowerPoint is easy creation tool

Keep text large and limited

Email to

– Comcast Channel 24

www fultonschools org
  • Your school’s web site vs. FCSS web site
    • Goal of publicity is to build relationships
    • Your web site should be an information resource for parents and community
    • Communicate with your parents and your community first
    • Communicate with the rest of the world second
www fultonschools org20
  • Criteria used for the FCSS web site
    • Similar to how news media selects their stories
    • Is it unique? Or does every school do it or have it?
    • Is there a good, eye-catching photo?
    • Does this story positively represent FCSS?
www fultonschools org21
  • What gets posted
    • Stories that relate to the system as a whole
    • Stories with GREAT photographs
    • Stories and photos that convey “school life”
    • Generally active for 7 days, then archived
  • What doesn’t
    • Individual student or staff news
    • These should be posted on your school’s web site
email tips
Email Tips
  • Put text of article INSIDE email message
    • Cut-and-paste from Word document
    • Or, type information directly into message
    • Makes it quicker and easier for reporter to read
email tips23
Email Tips
  • Give message a catchy subject line
    • Make them want to read your message
    • Example
      • “Hale Elementary School sends students into space”
  • Avoid generic subject lines
    • Doesn’t generate interest; easily overlooked
    • Examples
      • “Article from Hale Elementary” or “School News”
email tips24
Email Tips
  • Attaching photos
    • Select 1-2 of the BEST photos
    • Attach in original JPEG format
    • Donot “embed” or insert photo into Word document
      • Renders the photo unusable
    • Be mindful of photo size (i.e. how many KB, MB)
email tips25
Email Tips
  • Create an email distribution list
    • Newspapers, TV and radio stations
    • School newsletter editor
    • School webmaster
    • Business partner CEO or PR contact
    • Your principal and administrative team
    • Area Superintendent and Board member
    • Communications Department
    • FCSTV