In this Solutions piece we provide details about the critical elements of a strategic communications approach and then demonstrate how the Arkansas Department of Education has improved its communication processes through applying some of those elements.
The BSCP Center Strategic Communications Toolbox provides state education agencies (SEAs) a framework for developing effective communication strategies or processes—resulting in clear, aligned, and proactive communication tied to your SEA’s vision, mission, goals, and strategies. The communication strategies can be integrated into an existing plan or used to create a new communications plan if you don’t already have one. By working in teams to discuss key questions, studying examples from other SEAs, and using sample tools and resources, the Toolbox guides you through the development of a plan that can be tailored to meet your agency’s specific communication needs.
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS TOOLBOX WEBINAR SERIES Now available! VIEW HERE
Strategic Communication Tools
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 (see below) and will continue to grow as we collect and review additional resources.
Click a title to view links:
Leadership/Organizational Structures and Processes
Resources related to leading the creation of major messages to be used for integrated communications efforts and in organizing the SEA to communicate more coherently and strategically.
Resources designed to assist with the development of carefully worded messages to gain clarity and support for either general message development, or in common reform areas addressed by SEAs.
Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at AIR "Four Key Steps for Equitable Access Communication Planning"
Reform Support Network: Educator Evaluation Communications Toolkit
Resources to assist with external communication strategies with both educators and general public (parents, community, policy advocates) stakeholders. One of the major areas addressed under this section is the use of social media.
Evaluations Tools and Practices
Colorado Department of Education: Communications Scorecard
SEA Strategic Communication Map
Illustrates SEA Vision/Mission and Unified Message
Implement formal methods to convey and operationalize vision and goals.
Establishes formal methods to clarify and operationalize vision and goals.
Affected by policies as they are implemented and advocate for improvement.
(Hover over blue circles)
Benchmark and Best Practices Project (PDF)
The BSCP Center is funded by a cooperative agreement (#S283B120042) between the U.S. Department of Education and Edvance Research, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Westat. The findings and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the U.S. Department of Education.