Seeking Excellence: Defining and Refining Nova’s Communications Strategies

From employees to families, Nova Classical Academy has discerning audiences with high expectations for excellence. Recognizing an opportunity to improve communications, Nova Classical Academy sought a partner to audit communications and provide actionable strategies to meet the needs of stakeholders.
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Decoding Nova Classical’s Communication Effectiveness

Our partnership with Nova began with a thorough Communications Audit (including focus groups, secret shopping, and competitive analysis) aimed at enhancing communication effectiveness. This process uncovered strengths and opportunities within Nova’s existing communication channels. Our approach prioritized transparency, alignment with organizational goals, and exceeding stakeholder expectations.

The audit confirmed high trust levels but also uncovered misconceptions about the school’s identity and lack of understanding about classical education. To address these findings, we tailored recommendations to bridge communication gaps and align messaging with Nova’s strategic objectives.

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Our overarching goals for Nova Classical Academy were clear: to develop a practical communications plan that could be implemented within their organizational structure and resources. Effectively describing and communicating classical education principles, we sought to engage a diverse audience. Furthermore, we aligned communications with four main messaging pillars: inspiring the highest level of learning and growth, building awareness and understanding of their educational offerings, celebrating successes, and strengthening organizational values. With strategic alignment and targeted messaging, Nova Classical Academy could further its reputation and foster meaningful connections with its stakeholders.

"Choosing CEL for communication support has proven to be an outstanding choice for our small public charter school. Their attentive listening enabled them to craft a tailored plan that leveraged our limited resources and precisely met our needs. From evaluating the effectiveness of our existing communications to developing our capacity and strategy for sharing our vision, their dedication and expertise were evident throughout, culminating in impactful and engaging communications that resonate with our community."

~BRETT WEdLUND, Ed.d., executive director
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In addition to refining messaging, we provided Nova with tailored solutions designed for both immediate impact and long-term success.

Our recommendations ranged from quick fixes to address pressing communication challenges to strategic roadmaps for sustained growth. By providing flexible recommendations tailored to Nova’s unique requirements, we ensured a communications program within time and budget constraints while guiding Nova toward its communication goals.

At Nova Classical Academy, the individuals responsible for communication wear many hats, juggling multiple responsibilities in their daily roles. Recognizing this dynamic, our approach focused on delivering concise and actionable messages, reputation management tactics, and a streamlined communication plan that busy administrators could execute with consistency. We reduced their communications platforms from three to a single solution and developed branded templates to ensure easy deployment for all content creators.

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From Now to Next: Crafting Solutions for Every Horizon

With communication goals in place, we designed Nova’s social media strategy to support its learning goals, cultivated a culture of recognition, and fostered collaborative communication practices.

A year later, when Nova Classical Academy embarked on Strategic Planning, we re-engaged to ensure robust stakeholder engagement and participation in the planning process. A strategic two-way communications plan ensured stakeholders would embrace and support emerging priorities for the charter school. Once adopted, we supported the Strategic Plan with visual communication elements that keep the school’s values and priorities highly visible to all.

Our partnership with Nova exemplifies our commitment to delivering strategic solutions that drive meaningful results. When school communication aligns with learning goals, achievement takes center stage.

Through an insightful communications audit, practical recommendations, and a structured approach to communication, Nova Classical Academy achieved newfound clarity in its messaging, strengthened stakeholder engagement, and strengthened its position as a premier educational institution poised for continued success in its communication endeavors.