Become a Member
Each month, NSPRA and #schoolPR colleagues come together for a monthly chat to share best practices around various hot topics and pressing issues in school communications.
Held monthly, each chat focuses on a topic of interest to school public relations professionals. All school communicators are welcome to join the conversation, contribute best practices of their own and learn from colleagues! Join us for the following 2023-24 chats:
Participating is easy. Before each chat, check out the topic and consider what you'd like to learn from your peers as well as what insight you can offer. Click on the link(s) above to register. On the day of the chat, log on to Zoom via the link provided and join in the conversation!
After the NSPRA 2015 Seminar in Nashville, then Blackboard Senior Manager of Product Development Dane Dellenbach approached NSPRA member Kristin Magette, APR, with an idea for extending the excitement and networking of the Seminar.
Being on social media was becoming more and more prevalent and necessary for school districts, and the educational technology world had been involved in “chats” on Twitter for a few years…so why not #SchoolPR?
Magette was all in for Dellenbach's idea and they wasted no time launching #k12PRChat, with the first hour-long chat debuting on July 21, 2015. The topic was recapping the NSPRA Seminar.
Early on, the chats happened every two weeks, but once the pandemic hit in 2020-2021, the team of school PR pros now carrying the #k12PRChat torch scaled the chats back to once a month to preserve everyone’s mental bandwidth.
For the first few years at each NSPRA Seminar, participants were eligible to win a Chattie award. In 2017, Chattie recipient Joshua Sauer, APR, created a way for participants to help their peers attend the NSPRA Seminar by creating the #ROAD2NSPRA campaign. The campaign was not only a hashtag, but a hat that was mailed across the country to members where they could take photos and showcase their communities. At the end of its two-month journey, the hat ended up at the Seminar location in the hands of the NSPRA president, which in its inaugural year was San Antonio with Julie Thannum, APR.
As the "Road" gained steam, swag was available for purchase, and proceeds from those sales went to the NSPRA Foundation, which provides scholarships for members to attend the Seminar.
#K12PRChat didn’t stop at chats, awards, swag and hats. The next step in helping more school PR professionals to attend the NSPRA Seminar? A designated scholarship.
Sauer and Cathy Kedjidjian, APR, both of whom had served as NSPRA’s Vice President at Large of Communications and Technology, led the efforts in the creation of an NSPRA scholarship dedicated to sending a worthy “chatter” to the annual Seminar, completely funded by member donations and swag purchases. The first scholarships went to Thomas Gould of Michigan and Andrew Robinson of Virginia and were used at the 2021 Seminar in New Orleans due to the cancellation of the 2020 Seminar.
Kedjidjian is also focused on personal wellness, so the next grassroots efforts of members focused on #K12PRFit and a #K12PR5K, which first launched in Washington, D.C. at the 2019 Seminar.
In August of 2022, Kedjidjian, by then the NSPRA President-elect and #K12PRChat leader, practiced what she preached about personal wellness. Her schedule as a school PR pro and leader of NSPRA meant the chat needed other voices to carry it forward. New NSPRA Manager of Professional Development and Member Services Melissa McConnell made the suggestion that NSPRA becomes the new leader of the chats, with continued input from a team of school PR pros who treasure the chat and its history.
A new era began. Since August 2022, NSPRA promotes #K12PRChat and continues to host conversations monthly. In 2024, the chat transitioned from being held on Twitter/X in the evenings to being held on Zoom during the workday, allowing more #schoolPR pros to participate on a face-to-face platform.
Each year, participants of the #K12PRChats throughout the year meet up at the NSPRA Seminar to mix and mingle in-person. Above are photos from the meet up at NSRPA 2022 in Chicago.