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Strategic Communications Series #3

When Kenneth K. Muir introduced his Ten Commandments of School Communications fifty years ago, media outlets were limited to print media, radio, and television, which by the time Muir presented his paper had become the most effective way to reach citizens and gain support. But for schools, television may have occasionally covered a school story but otherwise was not a platform to communicate messages. Anymore than it is today. Print publications ranging from newspapers to district, school, community, civic, PTA and other identity group newsletters were primary as a source of information. The speed of the word was limited. That's no longer the case.

Today, education leaders spend as much time managing messaging as they do day-to-day operations. School leaders are smart to use a variety of platforms to not only communicate messages, but to monitor them, as well. Your own community is the most powerful media source available to school districts.

If Muir were alive today, I'm sure he would be chuckling at how his commandment, Thou Shalt Use a Variety of Media Approaches, has taken on a life of its own. The birth of social media platforms designed to unite people who like the same things has made savvy communicators a coveted characteristics among 21st Century leaders.

This message was delivered earlier in the pandemic when schools were first closed and information was coming from a variety of sources, many unreliable. It introduces the multimedia approach to communicate via my weekly newsletter that would be primary among the tools to keep our school community attached and engaged during what proved to be a monumental period in our nation's and the world's history. But twenty months later it's still proving to be effective to communicate critical information to students, and their families, staff, and the community.


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