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Strategic Communications

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Strategic Communications KnowledgeBase is an online resource to aid those leading or supporting communications in education in understanding the history, value, framework, planning, and execution of effective Strategic Communications to nurture and build strong relationships in education. Strategic Communications is essential to engage stakeholders and achieve goals at the state level. The elements, activities, and tasks in this KnowledgeBase are designed to better prepare communications professionals within state education agencies (SEAs) to plan for and respond to communication challenges and support implementation of education policy. 

Task 3: Explore Strategic Communications as it relates to educational policy

Guideline: In an educational policy sense, Strategic Communications is the process of aligning agency-wide communication processes to SEA strategic goals. SEAs are responsible for influencing implementation of educational policy by assisting large numbers of stakeholders with understanding and supporting those policies. Communication processes, such as generating broad stakeholder awareness of the policy and articulating the expected outcomes of the policy, can influence the degree to which the policy is implemented and supported. This task explores how SEAs and school districts have used communication processes as critical strategies to accomplish agency priorities and major initiatives.



BSCP Strategic Communications SEA Tools and SEA Map

BSCP, with the support of the Center-Driven Strategic Communication Collaborative, is gathering and reviewing various resources that can be used by Centers and SEAs in their strategic communication efforts.  The resources below are organized around the strategic communication framework (bottom of page), which illustrates SEA vision/mission and unified message, and will continue to grow as we collect and review additional resources.

BSCP Strategic Communications Toolbox

This Toolbox is based on the BSCP Strategic Communications Framework to help SEAs increase their capacity to support statewide education reform through coherent communication processes. The six modules in the toolbox are designed to provide guidance, examples from the field, and tools for SEAs to use no matter where they are in their communication planning process.



SEA Strategic Communications: Making Communications More Proactive, Efficient, and Effective

Over time, the role of state education agencies (SEAs) has shifted from a focus on low-profile compliance activities to more complex and politically charged tasks, requiring more thoughtful communications with all stakeholders. In response to this shift, SEAs have increased their communications capacity by creating communication divisions and executive leadership positions focused on managing agency information (i.e., a Chief Information Officer).  This Solutions piece explains basic strategic communication concepts and illustrates how the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has been applying these strategies over time.



State Education Agency Communications Process Benchmark and Best Practices Project

This 2014 Building State Capacity and Productivity Center Benchmarking Project report explains the major processes associated with strategic communication and details the communication approaches employed by five SEAs to support the adoption of new state standards, a major education policy change in those states.


#CommonCore: How Social Media is Changing the Politics of Education

In this innovative and interactive website, explore the Common Core debate on Twitter. Using a distinctive combination of social network analyses and psychological investigations, authors reveal both the underlying social structure of the conversation and the motivations of the participants. The central question guiding their investigation was: How are social media-enabled social networks changing the discourse in American politics that produces and sustains social policy?

Building Tulsa Schools’ Brand to Attract Effective Teachers

This Battelle for Kids 2015 Case Study reports the challenge of recruiting teachers in one urban school district. Because teacher recruitment, development, and retention was a major initiative for the school district, as well as the state in which it sits, developing a communications campaign around the issue was a strategic decision. The case study reports on specific action the district took to and resolving this issue utilizing Strategic Communications and communicate the results of the activities to stakeholders.

Building the BRIDGE to Educator Effectiveness in Charleston Schools

Charleston County School District (CCSD) has a vision of ensuring that every school is led by an effective principal and every student is taught by a highly effective teacher. This Battelle for Kids 2015 case study shows how CCSD ran the campaign to implement teacher evaluation system funded via Teacher Incentive Fund dollars, exemplifying a Strategic Communications approach to move toward realization of their long-term vision.

How the Vermont Agency of Education has Made Stakeholder Engagement Part of Continuous Improvement

The Vermont Agency of Education (VAOE) has been developing and modifying its statewide accountability system to assist all districts and schools with continuous improvement. VAOE created a Strategic Communication campaign to gather stakeholder input and pilot, implement, communicate, and refine Education Quality Reviews to address state and federal standards through locally determined solutions. (November 2016)

Pittsburgh Schools Focused on Teacher Feedback and Support

This August 28, 2014, case study explores the Pittsburgh Public Schools communications campaign to celebrate effective teaching and implement new educator evaluation and support systems funded with Teacher Incentive Fund dollars and a Gates grant, which were two components of the district’s strategic plan.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.