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Today’s education constituents—students, parents, school employees, taxpayers, business leaders and other community members—are savvy consumers; they expect to be kept informed about their local schools. Increasingly, they also are demanding an opportunity to be involved and have a voice in the education process—whether in person or virtually. It is imperative that school districts develop ongoing, two-way communication and engagement programs that keep constituents informed and involved, demonstrate fiscal and educational accountability, and build support for the schools.
The NSPRA Communication Audit establishes vital benchmarks to evaluate a school district’s communication program, and when used as a follow-up reassessment several years down the line, it helps ensure a district remains on track for delivering an exemplary, cost-effective and impactful communication program.
Our in-depth, independent review of your school system’s overall communication program, by veteran school communication experts, will help you make the most of your communication dollars by assessing the effectiveness of current strategies; identifying strengths, weaknesses and communication gaps; and recommending proven, cost-effective tactics for achieving your communication goals.
Nothing is more important in demonstrating accountability and building trust and support between your district and community than the quality of your communication. The NSPRA Communication Audit uses a basic building block of public relations practice—listening—to evaluate and make recommendations for your communication program. An audit is valuable because it saves your district time and money, and it boosts effectiveness by ensuring that limited education funds allotted to communication are spent wisely and in a cost-effective manner.
The NSPRA Communication Audit process includes two major research components:
Quantitative Research: We will survey three broad stakeholder groups—your staff, parents and community members—about their communication preferences, perceptions and ideas. Key data points in your results will be compared to other districts nationwide to help put them in context.
Qualitative Research: We will conduct a rigorous review of the district’s communication materials, district and school websites and social media pages. We also will conduct focus groups with the district’s key internal and external stakeholders, and interviews with the superintendent and communications staff.
These research components are part of a four-phase process that will provide a comprehensive analysis of the flow of communication throughout your school system:
We tailor each NSPRA Communication Audit to the specific needs of the contracting school district. The process results in a comprehensive report with key findings based on our research and customized recommendations based on school communication best practices and proven, successful strategies used in today’s school systems. Our recommendations can serve as the framework for your development of a comprehensive communication plan.
It generally takes about 17 weeks to complete the full communication audit process, but some school districts contract for the audit months in advance of when they want the work to happen. We tailor each NSPRA Communication Audit to the specific needs of the contracting school district. If you have a target deadline in mind or a time frame you need to avoid, let us know and we’ll discuss how that might impact the timeline.
To learn more about an NSPRA Communication Audit, please fill out the form below. A member of NSPRA's auditing team will contact you to schedule a time to discuss the audit process and answer any questions.