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Welcome to PenSPRA!

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

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2023 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kristen Doverspike, finalsite.com

    Each year brings new strategies to succeed in our ever-changing digital world. And with the major shifts we’ve seen in recent years, do school professionals even dare predict what they’re up against in 2023?

    Here’s the good news — for all of the whiplash we may have felt trying to keep up, you can’t deny that communications have seen a positive turn. We’ve invested more time in creating thoughtful content. We’ve educated ourselves. We’ve become less video-shy. 

    And more and more, we’ve seen the value in coming together as a community. 

    We’ll always find ourselves rising to new challenges, especially as online expectations keep climbing higher and higher. So, rather than waiting to see what happens, let’s get ahead. 

    Here are the major trends that we here at Finalsite predict will influence your school communications strategies in 2023

    To continue reading, click here

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 2:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Symposium Committee is seeking current Pennsylvania school public relations professionals to present at the annual PenSPRA Symposium! 

    Presentations should be relevant and beneficial to communication professionals at various levels within the field. The Committee asks that presentations provide a level of interaction and are either 60 minutes total (45 minutes of presenting and 15 minutes of Q&A) or 30 minutes total (20 minutes of presenting and 10 minutes of Q&A). The presentation method and specific topic are determined by the presenter(s). The deadline to submit your proposal is January 15, 2023

    To submit your proposal, click here.

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 1:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by: Susan S. Phy, School/Community Relations at
    Bensalem Township School District, sphy@bensalemsd.org

    Bensalem, PA - Congratulations to Bensalem High School (BHS) junior, Keira Seidman, for being named a Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education's (PAGE) Distinguished High School Student of the Year for 2022! Keira was recognized at the award ceremony and luncheon at the annual PAGE conference on October 17 at the Kalahari Poconos Resort.

    Additionally, Keira was an honoree at the YWCA Bucks County 30th Annual Salute to Women Who Make a Difference Gala. She represented the teen award for “#GirlPower,” while 13 women were honored for Advocacy & Civic Engagement, Corporate & Social Responsibility, Media & Journalism, Women’s Empowerment, Racial & Social Justice, and Community Engagement. 

    Keira is a member of the BHS Robotics Team, National Honor Society, Varsity Softball, Mathletes, Chess Club, and Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Out of school, she participates in the Bensalem Police Athletic League co-ed Street Hockey and Club Softball. She also has her own business with her sister called STEAMcraft, where they make DIY STEM kits for kids. Additionally, Keira has spent more than 200 hours volunteering in the community at Silver Lake Nature Center summer camp, Bucks County Girls Softball League clinics, and BTSD’s middle and elementary school robotics programs. She was named United States Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s Hometown Hero of the Week and accepted into the “Exelon Foundation STEM Leadership Academy” summer program at Drexel.  

    Keira plans to attend college and major in mechanical or chemical engineering.

    Share Your News with Us!

    Do you have any press releases about your school district or intermediate unit that you would like us to include in the next PenSPRA Newsletter? Send your stories, job postings and tips to Marta Howard at martah@cciu.org to see them in the PenSPRA newsletter!

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 1:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jill Johnson, classintercom.com

    Does giving students the usernames and passwords to your school social media accounts sound like a good idea? Probably not. Conversely, giving students the opportunity to create content for your school’s social media accounts is a great idea if you have a plan to moderate their content in a secure and systematic way.

    We talk about digital citizenship a lot. We reference the T-H-I-N-K graphic. We complain about the negative influence of social media–think Tide Pods, tea rooms, devious licks–on our students a lot. But how often do we offer the opportunity for students to participate in social media on behalf of their school? How often do we give them an authentic audience and allow them to “get a reaction” rooted in positivity?

    By giving students the opportunity to practice digital citizenship skills and receive feedback in order to learn and grow, we empower students to tell their story. Does this sound like a daunting task? It’s easier than you might think! Follow these four steps: Recruit, Train, Retain and Sustain to build your team and Inspire your students to take ownership of telling their school’s story.

    To continue reading, click here

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 1:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    ‘Cause we’re living in a social media world, and we are social media people.

    Ok, so it doesn’t have the same ring as Madonna’s version (Material Girl), but the point remains. Our world is driven by social media. From connecting with friends to shopping from targeted ads, social media is the place where we flock to feel part of a community, learn something new, and conduct daily tasks in life. 

    As communicators, we may be more plugged into the social media scene than others. Maybe we read about new social platforms like BeReal (or more realistically, maybe we saw it on an SNL skit and then looked it up after), or we are more aware of TikTok challenges due to the nature of our work. School communicators are also continually seeking new platforms and strategies to reach audiences, build a brand, and collect feedback. 

    With so many social media platforms and a desire to connect, it can be tough to know when to use a new platform and how to use it effectively. Remember, there was once a time when school communicators asked themselves if they should be using Facebook! 

    We ask the same questions at CEL and have compiled a list of items to consider when deciding to expand your school communications to new social media platforms. 

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 1:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Andrea Gribble, socialschool4edu.com

    Do you ever get a random picture sent in from a colleague and wonder, “What am I supposed to say about this? How am I going to flip this into a memorable piece of social media content?”

    Every piece of social media content is an opportunity to share a powerful story about your school district. In this week’s blog, we’re discussing social media voice. Just a few simple tips can turn even mundane captions into memorable posts!

    This guide was adapted from a live Skills Session led by school communicator extraordinaire, Kristin Boyd Edwards, in my Social Media Membership Program. Kristin is a talented writer, strategist and content creator. Thank you, Kristin!

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 1:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sarah Welch, Coordinator of Communications & Public Relations,
    Keystone Oaks School District, welch@kosd.org

    Like many schools in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, the district I work for has a long, proud tradition of giving back to the community during the holiday season, with employees and student groups collecting and donating toys, food, toiletries, clothing, pet supplies and more. In 2020, when these programs were negatively impacted by remote learning and building closures, our school counselors, building principals and director of pupil services came together to combine their individual efforts and create a program that would benefit any district family that needed support. The Golden Elves Holiday Giving Program was born and, over the past three years, has proudly provided Golden Eagle families with gifts, gift cards and household essentials.

    This is one of my favorite projects of the year and one that I am beyond proud to help coordinate for families in our community. This week, as I was finalizing this year’s donations, I had a moment that made me realize what is so special about this project and the “public relations” part of my job title.

    In my district, and I’m sure in almost all of yours, there are no questions asked when it comes to this type of program. Members of our community - from crossing guards to the private company that offers before and after school care - give generously simply to help our students and families. Each year, a different local business and a new group of students reach out to ask what they can do to be a part of the Golden Elves program.  

    These stories are, of course, easy to find during the holidays. Despite some tense times over the past three years, I have also witnessed more compassion, kindness and empathy than at any other point during my time in this role. There are countless examples of how the values outlined in our most recent strategic plan - developing caring, compassionate, civic-minded, responsible and culturally aware students - are on display in our day-to-day operations. From collecting back-to-school supplies, supporting students experiencing health challenges, making monetary donations to help cover the costs of event tickets, AP exams, and graduation regalia and delivering school meals to families during the pandemic, our community never says no when presented with an opportunity to help a student or family in need. 

    As school public relations professionals, we play an important and powerful role in making these programs possible and in ensuring that everyone who needs support can benefit from the programs and services offered by our schools. We develop relationships, establish partnerships and create connections that are vital to our students’ success and well-being, both inside and outside of the classroom. And, most importantly, we share these stories in a way that shows that our schools are places of belonging, where students’ differences are embraced and supported, and where instances of humanity and understanding can be found every day. Having the opportunity to be a part of the good that is happening in our schools is the most special part of this job, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. 

    May your holiday season (and your schools) be filled with kindness and magic! 

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 1:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is seeking freelance writers to contribute feature articles to the Bulletin magazine. The Bulletin is published five times a year and covers education-related topics of interest to PSBA members and other school leaders. Distribution is more than 7,000, including school board directors, legislators and public libraries across the commonwealth. Those interested should contact Jackie Inouye at jackie.inouye@psba.org or 717-506-2450, ext. 3405 for details on stipend, word counts, etc.

  • Friday, December 02, 2022 1:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    National School Bus Safety Week
    October 16-20, 2023
    Safely Rolling to My Destination

    Who May Enter: Each public, parochial and private school may submit posters for each division to the state poster contest.

    Deadline Date: 
    Completed poster designs must be postmarked before midnight, March 1, 2023. All entries will become the property of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and will not be returned.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Friday, December 02, 2022 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aubri Juhasz, whyy.org

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released new standards that ask teachers to interrogate their biases and recognize inequality in schools and school systems, including institutional racism.

    The standards require teachers to identify and disrupt racist practices and make sure their approach to teaching incorporates a variety of perspectives.

    This is the first time the state has included what educators refer to as “culturally-relevant and sustaining education” guidelines as part of its requirements for teacher-preparation programs.

    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
  • Access to Member Directory
  • Bi-weekly E-newsletter
  • 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 PenSPRA members,

I hope that you enjoyed a relaxing summer and are rejuvenated for the school year ahead. Whether you are a few weeks into the new school year or have a few more days until you welcome students back into your buildings, I hope that you are soaking up all of the positive energy that often comes with the start of a new school year!

Read More!

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