By virtue of the one simple fact that they receive a paycheck from you, every faculty and staff member in your school district is viewed as an “inside expert on the schools” among his/her circles. In fact, research reveals two extremely powerful insights regarding staff serving as ambassadors:
- People place more credence on information they receive first-hand from people who work in their schools than they do any print, electronic, or media sources.
- The higher the position in the staff hierarchy, the lower the credibility. Least credible are superintendents and school board members. Most credible are school secretaries and bus drivers.
Despite this, faculty and staff are all-too-often overlooked or slighted when it comes to communications. Some of the more common missteps include:
- Telling them only part of the information.
- Telling them at the same time that you are telling the rest of your stakeholders – parents, students, and your community.
- Worst yet, telling them after you’ve told everyone else.
- Forgetting to tell them at all.
Making sure your faculty and staff have the information they need for their role as ambassadors cannot be underestimated. Some of the greater benefits include:
- Strengthened validity of the message from a source people know and trust
- Deeper understanding through consistency of messaging
- Increased faculty and staff engagement through empowerment and trust
- Escalation of your communications/public relations efforts
Ascertaining whether faculty and staff have the information they need to adequately represent their schools is part of the SCoPE Survey program. For more information, www.scopeschoolsurveys.com
Sandy Cokeley, APR
CEO, SCoPE School Surveys