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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 4: Review Strategic Communications plan templates, processes, and supporting resources

Guideline: This task includes templates, rubrics for assessing the effectiveness of existing plans, and other supporting documents for developing or implementing a plan.



7 Steps for Communicating Your School District's Story

This Battelle for Kids blog dated August 29, 2014, gives seven steps for communicating your school district’s story in a way that energizes, informs, and builds support among key stakeholders.


7 Steps to Create a Successful Strategic Communications Plan for Nonprofit Organizations

This March 2012 Wiley Online Library tool features a seven-step process to create a successful strategic communications plan for nonprofit organizations (Second Edition). 


Develop A Communications Plan in 9 Steps

This Catholic Relief Services communication plan defines the approach that a program will use to communicate with communities. This communications plan also helps ensure systematic information sharing and two-way communication. The nine steps in this template addresses the key aspects that programs should consider.


Developing a Communications Strategy

This Knowhow Nonprofit 2014 website gives a step-by-step guide for developing a strategic communications plan and crisis communications plan.


How to Write a Strategic Communications Plan in 8 Steps

Strategic communications helps an organization share a clearly defined message with everyone involved with that organization -- internally and externally. It is an intentional process that looks at what each audience within the group needs to hear from you. Via this wikiHow website, learn how to write a strategic communications plan in 8 steps so that your staff and customers not only stay informed, but stay engaged as well.


Steps to Creating a School Communications Plan

This February 2016 article states, “Effective communication is crucial to any organization, and schools are no different. With a comprehensive communications plan, you’ll be able to promote your school to parents and the community, connect with current students, attract future ones, and even successfully engage staff members.” This article provides a free download, School Communications Planning Guide, and alerts you to seven signs that your school communications are weak.


Writing a Public Relations Plan – 10 Step Process

This APR Online Prep Module Resource provides a 10-step process for writing a public relations plan.



Battelle for Kids Communications Success Planning Guide

This guide for education leaders and key communicators will help you develop organization-wide or issue-specific communications. You’ll learn about Battelle for Kids’ Stakeholder Engagement Framework and some strategic communications planning approaches to proactively frame messages, enable and manage change, shape behaviors, and establish and grow credibility and trust. Visit Battelle for Kids’ Learning Hub ( to find blogs, publications, success stories, videos, and other free resources to support your work.


Elements of a Strategic Communications Plan

This 22-paged guide from May 2017 offers the following elements for a Strategic Communications plan: Determine Goal, Identify and Profile Audience, Develop Messages, Select Communication Channels, Choose Activities and Materials, Establish Partnerships, Implement the Plan, and Evaluate and Make Mid-Course Corrections.


IMPACS Plan the Work: Strategic Communication Planning for Not-for-Profit Organizations

Authored by the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society (IMPACS) for the Centre for Community Organizations, rather than offering you a "cookie cutter” communication plan template that one person from your organization could take away and stamp into a limited variety of situations, IMPACS provides you with a complete communication planning cookbook.


Stakeholder Engagement Framework

This Victoria State Government article on Education and Training provides a guidebook on stakeholder engagement for education organizations.


Strategic Communications Planning

This PDF eBook by Dave Fleet provides a comprehensive guide to effective strategic corporate communications planning.


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.


Communications Plan Template

This resource offers a grid style communications plan template.


Communications Strategy Template

This Victoria State Government Department of Education for Early Childhood Development website provides a template that helps set out the key messages about the partnership as well as identify the target audiences you want to send the message to. It also enables you to consider any risks or issues that may arise from the partnership’s implementation and plan your communications accordingly.


Communications and Engagement Assessment Rubric

This Reform Support Network PDF provides a Communications and Engagement Assessment Rubric, which is a tool to help SEAs assess their current efforts to communicate with and engage stakeholders and consider options for improvement.


Strategic Communications Template Worksheet

This United Way tool provides a template developed to help you form a strategic communications plan and is meant to be used in conjunction with the Strategic Communications Template as it follows the same outline.


Template for Strategic Communications Plan

This W.K. Kellogg Foundation 2006 website offers a downloadable template for strategic communications.

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.