School District Communications Department Speak on Public Relation Benefits for Public Schools
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Del Valle Independent School District in Austin communications department spoke to Texas State students during Mass Comm Week to give them an insight into how public schools benefit from public relations.
Shannon Rideout, director of communications and community relations, and A.J Arreguin, communications coordinator, talked about keeping the community informed about what their students are doing in school. By doing that, Rideout advised on being in tune with the audience. Since it’s a school district, they want to make a connection with the community.
“Make sure you connect with parents. You also want to make sure you connect with any other key stake holders like community members as well as board members,” said Rideout.
Arreguin explained how crucial it is to appeal to the parents. In a community where the majority speak Spanish, the message has to be conveyed correctly, so the parents can stay informed with the school.
“When something important goes out, we’re always making sure it goes out in English and Spanish… Our job as PR people, or as communications people, we want to make sure we communicate effectively,” said Arreguin.
Another public relations benefit was getting a story pitched for the local news. De Valle High School added a space for dance and band rehearsal, but a reporter couldn’t make it in time for the grand opening. Arreguin wrote a press release about the school’s new fine arts addition, and it was used for a KXAN news story.
“Everything came from the press release I sent out. Obviously that’s when you know it was a successful pitch,” Arreguin said.
Public relations has helped create a relationship with the DVISD community for Rideout and Arreguin.
“It’s important that anything that we pass on, or any message we’re trying to convey to the public, we make sure we keep them well informed,” Rideout said.