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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

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


    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.

  • Friday, October 14, 2022 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ashley Boyd, Chester County Intermediate Unit Senior Communications Specialist, AshleyB@cciu.org

    Are you facing staffing shortages in your district or IU like many across the country? To tackle this, our communications and marketing team, along with the HR department and organizational leadership, came up with a plan for addressing the Chester County Intermediate Unit's (CCIU) many open positions.

    Here are some tips for starting your own HR marketing campaign for your district or IU! First, with the help of HR, identify the top positions that need to be filled. Then, ask supervisors of those roles to identify current staff members to be interviewed and photographed for your recruitment campaign. Using “real” employees highlights different experiences, opportunities and reasons why people should consider joining your team.

    Last, creating simple graphics in a platform like Canva is easy! Use the photos and testimonials you collect to transform these graphics into a social media campaign, website highlight, billboards, direct mailers or print advertisements. The possibilities are endless, and these posts encourage engagement between colleagues, friends and family members which in turn expands your recruitment efforts!

    The following are some sample graphics that were used for the CCIU's campaign:

    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.
  • Friday, September 30, 2022 3:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    It’s easy to recognize the stars on your staff but to create a culture of gratitude, appreciation and recognition within your school system, it’s essential to focus on more than just those who shine bright. Building an excellent employee recognition program helps improve staff morale and retention, which enhances your recruitment efforts. And the stories you tell—that show your school system’s heart and values—provide authentic, engaging content for your communications channels while bolstering your organization’s reputation. 

    To continue reading, click here

  • Friday, September 30, 2022 3:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Morgan Delack, finalsite.com

    When I think back to my time in school (many) years ago, school-to-home communications were simple. Before the age of email, field trip information came home as a flier in my backpack. Inclement weather closures weren’t even communicated at the school or district level. Do you remember waking up early, turning on channel 5, and crossing your fingers that your school’s name was on the scrolling list at the bottom of the screen? Those were the days! 

    Now that we live in a digital world with parents expecting more personalized communication across a variety of channels, school-to-home messaging gets complicated. The truth is, there isn’t one single method of communication that schools can rely on for everything. Can you imagine if simply posting something on your website or sending one email was enough? Your lives would surely be easier! Keeping your community updated and informed requires a complex set of digital tools and systems.

    So, what should be in your school or district’s digital communications toolkit?

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Friday, September 30, 2022 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Andrea Gribble, socialschool4edu.com

    A brand is more than a logo and school colors. A brand is an identity… a voice… an unambiguous presence that is identifiable with you and only you, as a school district. 

    But in my 8+ years working in school social media, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to school branding! We are all in a space of continuous improvement, so today’s blog is going to serve as your roadmap to leading a rebrand for your school. Whether you’re currently going through the rebranding process or if you see it as an inevitability in the near future, this article is for you. 

    Let’s dig in!

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Tuesday, September 20, 2022 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Janet Civitelli, finalsite.com

    School PR pros are always looking to create effective, transparent and relevant district communications, but staff and teacher involvement are sometimes overlooked. Urgent schedule updates, publishing the latest district news or just lacking the right communication tools make collaboration difficult when offices are understaffed and over-scheduled.

    But by partnering with school district staff, you can better represent and share the important work they do to help build districtwide connections and improve community engagement. Here are eleven best practices to improve your district’s communications while enabling staff to contribute their valuable insights to the school community.

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Tuesday, September 20, 2022 2:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Being sent to the principal’s office doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When school communications staff and principals work side by side, they can create proactive solutions, boost engagement and produce positive results — from increasing middle school enrollment to improving the customer experience for visitors to delivering strong school communications.

    This school year, focus on strengthening your relationships with school leaders. Start by sharing good resources like The Communicating Principal by NSPRA members Trinette Marquis, APR, and Natalie A. Nash. Help to create strategic school communications about important topics, such as attendance, student learning and engagement, positive relationships and mental health. Provide your comms support and expertise to assist with addressing any pain points, building trust within their school community and preparing timely, useful communications for all stakeholders.

    To continue reading, click here.

  • Friday, July 08, 2022 9:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sarah Welch joined the Keystone Oaks School District as the Coordinator of Communications & Public Relations in September 2014. She is responsible for drafting, editing and designing all of the district's electronic and print publications, managing the district's website and providing content for the district’s social media outlets. Mrs. Welch also oversees several community programs, including the Golden Elves Holiday Giving Drive, Alumni Achievement Award program, and Golden Eagle Employee Excellence Award program.

    Mrs. Welch first joined the PenSPRA Board in 2019 as the scholarship committee chairperson. She was appointed board secretary and membership committee co-chairperson in 2021, and she will now serve as our new Board Vice President/President Elect. She will transition to the role of PenSPRA President in September 2023. 

    Sarah graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She currently lives in South Fayette Township with her husband and two children.

    Congratulations, Sarah!

  • Thursday, March 31, 2022 12:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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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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