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The Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA) was chartered in 1969 and is an organization of school public relations professionals whose goal is to improve educational communication and support student achievement through systematic, proactive, and responsible public relations programs.

PenSPRA News

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  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join fellow communication professionals at the annual Symposium on Monday, April 24, 2023, and Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at The Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center in State College, PA.

    Information about registration, topics being discussed and presentation proposals will be coming soon!


  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 9:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mark your calendars for this year's Excellence in Education Communications Contest and Scholarship Contest!

    Excellence in Education Communications Contest
    Each year, PensSPRA provides an opportunity for school district communication professionals to be recognized in the annual Excellence in Education Communications Contest. Entries are accepted in the following categories: crisis management, graphic design, photography, publications, social media, special purpose projects, videos, websites & apps, and writing. This year's communications contest opens on Thursday, December 1, 2022.

    Student Scholarship Contest
    PenSPRA presents two one-year scholarships to one public school student from each of PenSPRA's two regions that are worth $1,000 each. This year's scholarship contest opens on Monday, February 13, 2023.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 8:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join the Conversation on Thursday, November 3 at 8:00 a.m.

    Join us virtually as we discuss the trends of attitudes and trust in school communications.

    Join the Conversation is a monthly PenSPRA Virtual Event. Join us the first Thursday of the month to discuss topics and issues relevant to school communications!

    Register here.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kathy Gurnee, Chester County Intermediate Unit Special Events Coordinator, KathyG@cciu.org

    Have you suddenly been tasked with organizing a student event? Are you at a loss as to where to begin? If so, ask yourself the following series of questions to help get you on your way!
    Is it an event you have done before…or something similar?

    • If so, base your information on historical knowledge: number of students, what venue you used in the past, etc. Then ask your stakeholders (those sending the students) what worked well last time and ask for any recommendations on how to improve the upcoming event.
    If it’s a new event, begin with the end in mind. Create the ideal scenario in your mind’s eye. 
    • What time of year would be best? Would a weekend or evening work? Consider state testing dates, SATs, AP testing dates, holidays, etc., and eliminate as many dates as you can based on this information.
    • How many students would be there? What age range? Younger students may need chaperones, so make that part of your planning.
    • What kind of space do you need? Will you need to break up into smaller groups? Consider whether students need a writing surface or will sitting on the floor work.
    • What time of day would work best? Early morning might work best for elementary students, whereas high schoolers might be more alert mid-morning.
    • How will students arrive there? By district transportation or parent drop-off? Many districts are in a squeeze with transportation, so ask your district what times buses and drivers are available.
    • Will you need other staff or volunteers to help? Put this on their radar as soon as you have the details nailed down. And keep in mind, retired teachers and other administrators make great volunteers!

    No matter what student event you’re planning, remember these three things: start your planning early; many hands make light work; and food always makes it better!

    Do you have any tips or best practices that you would like to share with your peers? Submit a write-up and any additional supporting information to penspra@cciu.org for a chance to be featured in our newsletter.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 7:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    celpr.com

    Feel like you’re investing time and resources into building newsletters that aren’t being read? Consider simple changes you can make to increase open rates, click-through rates and overall engagement.

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 7:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Connor Gleason, finalsite.com

    While The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted prior to the rise of the Internet, the law was established with the expectation that it would change over time. As our understanding of web and digital accessibility has evolved, many schools are still not clear about what the actual standards and requirements are for website ADA compliance.

    And despite the importance of achieving ADA compliance, many schools and districts are failing to meet the requirements due to a lack of time, budget restraints, or staffing needs. Some sites forge ahead with their current website, unaware of the threat of a complaint being filed with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

    School website accessibility is a federal regulation and there is an estimated 61 million people with disabilities in the U.S. — making web content accessible is something schools should care about on both a moral and institutional level. 

    That being said, how does your school or district achieve and maintain ADA requirements?

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 7:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Andrea Gribble, socialschool4edu.com

    Has your school’s Facebook page transitioned to the New Pages Experience yet?

    Our team here at #SocialSchool4EDU manages Facebook pages for more than 80 school districts. Up until last month, we only had about a dozen pages switch. But in the last month, we have had a flood of conversions! This leads me to the belief that your page has changed over as well.

    If your page has converted, you may feel lost, overwhelmed, and a little mad. Why does Facebook have to keep changing?!

    This blog is not meant to be a complete “how to” guide when it comes to New Pages Experience (NPE), but I thought it was appropriate to explain a few of the main issues that social media managers are having once their page is converted. Access to some important things has changed, and I’m going to share some short video tutorials so that you know exactly where and how to access controls within NPE.

    To continue reading, click here

  • Monday, October 17, 2022 2:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bonnie Leedy, schoolwebmasters.com

    From bite-size tweets to viral videos and website blog posts, content is the first point of contact between you and a student or parents. Pique interest by showcasing alumni success stories, your cool campus vibe, and your program offerings.

    In addition, content is the foundation for ranking well on search engine results pages (SERPs). That's why many schools use content marketing strategies to show prospective students they're a perfect fit. 
     

    To continue reading, click here

  • Monday, October 17, 2022 2:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    celpr.com

    If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: school communicators are storytellers. We educate, inspire, and move hearts and minds with our work. Sometimes we get to tell incredible stories of student success, resilience, and compassion. We get to share good news and highlight our schools’ strengths.

    We’re also tasked with communicating the more complex, district news. Board policies, referendums, schedules, safety and daily operations are important and can also pull storytellers away from their audience and objectives. 

    However, It doesn’t have to be a student-driven success story for students to be the center of your communications. 

    To continue reading, click here

  • Monday, October 17, 2022 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Andrea Gribble, socialschool4edu.com

    Is your district going through the rebranding process? Then this blog is for you! But before you read this week’s blog, head over to Part 1, where we covered everything you need to know to set you and your district up for a successful rebrand.

    Today’s blog covers everything you do after the new branding is completed. It’s a guest blog by our Chief Inspirational Officer, Heidi Feller, and includes elements of Megan Anthony’s “Roadmap to Rebranding” presentation that she created for our membership program. Thank you, Heidi and Megan! 

    Rebranding your district can feel a lot like having a root canal without any anesthesia, so do yourself a favor and realize that projects like these take time. 

    While this blog is not meant to be a comprehensive list, it should help you cover your bases as you move through this process – and remember, it is a process! It will take a minute for your staff and community to adjust. Read on for some of our best advice from folks who have navigated a rebranding.

    To continue reading, click here.

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PenSPRA Member Yet?

Join a driven, collaborative community that supports you as you share student accomplishments, gain valuable community input and shape public opinion. As a new member you will also be paired with an experienced mentor!

Membership benefits:

  • Free Regional Workshops
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  • Discounted Rate for Annual Publications Contest
  • Online Member Discussion Board and Resource Center
  • and more!

Learn more about PenSPRA or register to become a member.

A Message from PenSPRA's President

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and found time to relax and recharge; you certainly deserved it after the last few years we’ve had. By now you have all hopefully had a successful first couple of weeks of school in your districts. Here at Unionville-Chadds Ford, there was an incredible energy on opening day. It really made me excited for the new school year and what lies ahead!

Read More!

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