Improving School Newsletter DistributionDecember 18, 2017
The school newsletter is an integral part of the communications that K-12 schools use to share important, detailed and regular updates with parents. Traditionally, forms of distribution have varied ranging from printed newsletters being taken home by students, right through to online links and emails. In this article, we discuss how schools can change and improve their school newsletter distribution.
Why school newsletters are so important
We’ve significantly increased the number of ways in which schools distribute information to students and their parents, so why are newsletters still such an important form of communication?
Newsletters take on the form of a formal, regular and expected update from the school to the school community. As opposed to more sporadic communication methods such as email or social media, newsletters are a form of communication that is expected due to its’ regularity.
The level of detail that newsletters offer allows schools to be more informative and descriptive with their school community. Specific topics can be covered in more detail than communication methods such as Facebook or Notices are suited to.
Your school might communicate with parents throughout the entire year, so think of your school newsletter as a highlight reel. The newsletter exists in order to communicate the most significant recent news and to highlight aspects of the school that are really important to parents.
Newsletters are a large part of making parents feel involved, so it’s important that they can easily access them. Keeping parents informed about their child’s school days creates an additional level of connection between the parent and the school.
How to increase parent engagement
Offering an online solution
For reasons including but not limited to accessibility, ease of use and simple distribution, schools should offer their newsletters in an online format. Whether in PDF format or using a service such as issuu or Schoolzine, offering a method to access newsletters online is an effective way to increase their readership.
Direct email marketing allows schools to send targeted communications, such as a link to their school newsletter, directly to the inbox of their audience. It is important to note that the challenge with this method is ensuring that parents are opening your school’s emails in amongst the many other communications they receive on a daily basis.
Social media posts allow schools to distribute their school newsletter to a broader audience. Challenges with this communication channel can be that the post may be missed by many parents due to the nature of social media newsfeeds, and that the post can likely be seen by Facebook users who are not associated with the school.
Placing links to the school newsletter on your school website, particularly if mobile responsive, provides a simple method for members of the school community to access the newsletter. The relevant challenges are around the requirement of external channels to notify the community and push them to the page.
Using school apps to distribute school newsletters can be an effective way to increase and improve readership. This works particularly well using apps such as our eduAPP product, where push notifications can be sent as alerts, taking parents directly into the online newsletter.