At a recent Leader Retreat for a school board, one of the longest-serving board members raised a major issue. He was grey-headed and, based on the body language and deference of the others in the room, he was highly respected for his experience and wisdom.
"One of the primary benefits for me to attend board meetings is to actually find out what's going on. I'm not a parent nor an employee of the school, so I don't get the notices and messages that are shared with everyone else. Do you know how embarrassing it is when a parent asks me a question about a school announcement or decision and I have no idea what they're talking about?"
The pain on his face was as impactful as his words.
His experience isn’t unique and it’s one of the reasons why an expertly crafted and carefully followed communication protocol should be an immediate goal for you—especially if trust with your board, faculty, families, and other stakeholders is important to you.
Such a protocol defines the philosophy, priorities and strategies of communications for your school. It describes how messages will be shared to support the mission and goals, and especially to build engagement.
Do you want to reduce the negative impact of difficult news?
Do you want the leaders throughout your school community to feel valued?
Do you want them to pay attention to your messages?
The risks of not having a protocol are alarming, especially when you consider the likelihood of having to share difficult messages during the year. With a planned and disciplined approach to communication you eliminate the risk of alienating key influencers and you give them the status they deeply want.
You can begin with a simple protocol that can be improved over time. It's easy and doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to cover the basics and be implemented consistently.
To learn more about creating a Communication Protocol, check out this webinar series: Create a Communication Protocol for Maximum Engagement