Communication is two way. Key communicators also ask questions about new initiatives and let officials known when issues might be building.
Package complete stories.
When it comes to media coverage, educators tend to get most frustrated with the quality—or lack thereof—of local television news.
To combat “if it bleeds, it leads,” educators need to offer complete news story packages, including sound (sound-bite savvy interviews) and pictures (activities and interesting backdrops).
Television is a visual media; to snag better coverage, offer at least three to four different video options.
Create a fire hose of good news.
To combat media sensationalism, which will always find negative news more compelling, school officials need to create an overwhelming fire hose of well-researched and well-written good news stories.
TV responds best when offered the total package—solid interviews, good visuals, interesting facts, and human-interest angles tied to other news or facts.
Link local stories to national trends, issues, and research.
Localizing national news is a time-honored news media tradition. Educators can get more and better coverage of their work by tying what they do to newly issues studies, policies, and events.
For example, next time a state or national school crime and violence report comes out, use it as a news hook to showcase local safety efforts, such as decreases in suspensions or office referrals—or allow the news media to cover an emergency response drill.
Deploy digital media.
If local news outlets turn down a story, enlist journalism or career education students to cover it instead. Then post it on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets.