2nd in a series of 8 Basic Tools for Effective Communication . . . Topic: Fact sheets
“Just the facts, ma’am”
Here’s a fun fact: According to Snopes.com, Sgt. Joe Friday never uttered this line that is engrained as part of Dragnet folklore. But you’d have a hard time convincing most Baby Boomers of that reality. People believe what they want to believe and it’s often difficult to keep all the facts straight.
That’s why #2 on our list of 8 Basics Tools for Effective Communications is a fact sheet. (See last week’s blog for our #1 tool, Boilerplates.)
Okay, think back . . .
When was the last time you updated your school’s fact sheet? More importantly, when was the last time you completely overhauled your fact sheet to ensure it’s serving you effectively?
Fact sheets provide fast information about your school to reporters, prospective students and their families, companies thinking about relocating to your community, real estate agents and a slew of others. Having an updated fact sheet increases your chances of not only earning exposure in the media, but also assuring the reporting is accurate.
Here are a couple of interesting examples of fact sheets designed for online use because you can click for more details if interested. One is for New Mexico Public Schools while the second example is from New Jersey.
But as impressive as those online versions are, I’d encourage you to have a printed copy that’s easily handed out to visitors or used in local media. Here’s a challenge: make your fact sheet fun and interesting. Granted, you need the basics but consider some fun facts about your schools.
For example, what about publishing the total pounds of carrots served in your cafeterias last year? Then if they happen to be locally grown, you also have an economic impact fact to share as well.
Here’s the ask: email me your wackiest fun fact (with a purpose) and I’ll share some of the best ones. But remember: Just the facts, ma’am.