Yolanda King Stephen
Surviving Your First Day of School Like a PR King (or Queen!)
The first day of school is always the funnest. Teachers have spent weeks combing Pinterest for the perfect classroom decorations, parents have been patiently waiting in long lines for back-to-school shopping, and students have been placing new supplies in carefully chosen book bags. Here are three quick tips to help you - the PR person - make it through that first day of school with a smile.
1. Plan Something. Anything. Just Plan. Plan something. Anything. Just Plan. Most folks who are not in school PR may not realize that your year starts in August because that is typically when the first day of school is (at least in the south). They also may not realize that summer is one of your busiest seasons because that is when you are planning what your year looks like from a communications standpoint. The summer is an awesome time to go wild with your planning! The first day of school, heck - the first month of school, can be overwhelming for the PR pro who didn't plan during the summer months.
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” - A.A. Milne
2. Organize Your Plan and Your Thoughts.
Organizing your plan gives your communications team (or you, if you are a one-person team) a voice to let your objectives, strategies and tactics shine through. Use free planning tools like the ones offered through Productive Flourishing. You can print these handy-dandy sheets and easily take them to meetings. Or, if you are a straight digital girl or guy, you can use Team Week if you have a team of five or less. I am addicted to the Productive Flourishing's templates. My team and colleagues know that when I pull out that one-page planner and begin feverishly taking notes, that something great is cooking. And it makes me look a little smarter :).
3. Create an Editorial Calendar. No matter how seasoned you are, you need a calendar of events. I like to create a full three-month calendar for planning purposes. The calendar provides several pieces of necessary information. 1) It provides a path of breadcrumbs for me to see if I did what I said I was going to do. 2) When the boss calls and asks, 'What's the plan for the next month', I can easily share the document. 3) It gives me a snapshot of what's to come so I can begin prepping for the next phase of the plan. 4) It provides an output of my department's work. I can use those outputs when pulling together outcome objectives and data information. The National School Public Relations Association offers a school calendar book that I purchase for our office each year. It's fairly inexpensive. The calendar book provides important dates and activities that can help you build upon a plan. The first day of school can be a fun, yet overwhelming time for any communications department. Make sure you plan, organize, plan some more, and share your plan for a successful start to the school year! #PRsuccess #Day1isthebestday #youcandoit! Preparing for the First Week of School Looks Like This: