Uncovering a Newsworthy Story in Your School District
Media coverage increases awareness of your school district, enhances your credibility in the marketplace, and accentuates the positive things happening within your schools. It also has the power to elevate education, support student retention, and attract new students to your district.
What is newsworthy?
Newsworthy stories aren’t always obvious. Most often, they are hidden gems – so you have to dig deep, below the surface to find them. Look for:
- People and situations that highlight your district’s mission, vision and values
- Something new and innovative
- Human interest stories that touch your heart
- Thought leaders with good information to share on what’s trending in the news
What is NOT newsworthy?
- Things that other schools are also doing
- New technology, unless it’s so unique that other schools don’t have it
- Active parent groups and booster clubs raising money, unless there is a compelling story behind how the money will be used. Example: Equipment that makes it possible for a student with a disability to play a sport or provide financial support for a district family in need.
To get started on “mining” your stories, ask yourself these six questions:
- Have I had a career changing experience in my school or classroom?
- Do I know an exceptional student who has overcome significant challenges to excel academically?
- Do I know a student who has overcome physical challenges to excel or even participate in sports?
- Do I know a student with an exceptional talent? Academics, music, art, volunteerism?
- Do I know an educator who has helped change a student’s life for the better?
- Do I know a student who has helped change another student’s life for the better?
Bring your story ideas to your district communications team, so they can help you fine-tune and prepare them for pitching to the media. Typically, from there, a press release with an attention-getting headline is created and distributed to education or general assignment reporters at target newspapers, radio and television stations. Follow-up is critical to secure coverage and, when you do, school and district spirit ignites!
Published on: February 26, 2018