School PR: Engine or caboose?

Make communications an engine of the learning enterprise, not a caboose in the drive for educational change, writes Scott Widmeyer in Communicating for Change, Education Week, 7 June, registration required). Most administrators and teachers have little or no communications training, he observes, and schools of education don't provide a lot of coursework in public relations. School PR officers often react to decisions without benefit of strategic communications thinking, investment or counsel, and without support from qualified peers or mentors with experience in changing what people know and do in the education enterprise. His article, Communicating for Change: What educators must know and be able to do," is good reading. "Why on earth," he muses, "do we think we can bring about fundamental changes in attitude or mobilize consumer demand in a month's time, a year, or even in a child's lifetime–especially if we continue to communicate as if it's business as usual?"


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