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 1: Identify your audiences and understand perspectives of various audiences toward education policy
Guideline: SEAs serve many audiences or sets of stakeholders. These audiences include students; educators; parents and families; community members; legislators, governors, mayors, boards of education, and other policymakers; business leaders; and other state agencies. Identifying each audience is the first step to developing a Strategic Communications approach that will engage and meet the needs of these various stakeholders.
Audience members have distinctive perspectives on various education policies. Since Strategic Communications endeavors to support development and implementation of education policy through targeted communication efforts, it is vital to research the perspectives of key audiences on each potential policy.
Resources in this task provide practical tips on understanding and classifying stakeholder groups based on their level of support, interest, and knowledge of particular topics, as well as influence on other audiences.
This spreadsheet serves as a tool for implementing the approach recommended in Building State Capacity and Productivity Center’s 2013 Solutions Report included in the References in this task.
This 2011 Achieve guide provides a step-by-step process for audience mapping – analyzing stakeholder groups’ awareness and support for reform efforts – and why it is so important.
This Victoria State Government article on Education and Training provides a guidebook on stakeholder engagement for education organizations.
Building State Capacity and Productivity Center’s 2013 Solutions Report provides information about how to understand perspectives of various audiences and how those might change over time. It includes an explanation for analyzing stakeholder attributes and potential influence on wider audiences, which leads to a classification process that assists SEAs in prioritizing stakeholder engagement.
Romanita Matta-Barrera explains how SEAs gain champions for their initiatives by engaging stakeholders. This 2015 presentation was made to SEA chiefs and communications teams during a Strategic Communications convening hosted by SC3, C3, and Building State Capacity and Productivity Center.