with Professor Pocock

8th in a series of 8 Basic Tools for Effective Communication . . . Topic: Key Contacts

Who’s on first?    

When’s the last time you updated your Key Contacts list?  This is the list of individuals who can help you throughout the school year.  “Key” is the critical word here:  Don’t think this includes everyone listed at “Contacts” in your SmartPhone!  That would be an overwhelming task!

Is this your Key Contacts list?

Rather, begin by brainstorming a list of the individuals or groups with whom you may need to communicate on a regular basis in the coming year.  Here are some suggestions to jump start your thinking:
•    Principals at every building in my school system
•    Athletic directors throughout my district’s athletic conference
•    My counterparts throughout my district’s athletic conference
•    Parent volunteers
•    Athletic boosters
•    Band boosters
•    My counterparts in neighboring districts
•    Elected officials who represent my district (municipal, state and federal)
•    Media contacts (assignment editors, reporters, print, electronic, local bloggers)
•    Community leaders throughout my district

In compiling these lists, remember that you are responsible for proactively communicating information about your schools.  In reality we often get stuck spending all our time handling the many issues that get dumped on our desks, leaving precious little time for talking about what we want to talk about: the great accomplishments happening in our schools.

Once you’ve trimmed the list, use it!

Once you’ve refined your Key Contact list, I challenge you to send out at least one email each week that is proactive in nature.  Select a topic that excites you (that will make it easier to write about) and then pick one or two of the audiences from your Key Contact list to receive a brief email on that topic.

This post concludes our series on the 8 Basic Tools for Effective Communications.  What are some of your favorite tools that you’d suggest adding to the mix?  I’d appreciate hearing from you so I can share them with our other subscribers.  That’s one of the great benefits of SCN!


 photo by Trinity