Local Media Can Help Reassure Communities Regarding School Safety Plans

Local Media Can Help Reassure Communities Regarding School Safety Plans  

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Following the tragic events from last school year, parents are rightfully concerned about their child’s safety while at school. Schools must make it a priority to build trust within the community and reassure anxious parents, ensuring safety is a top priority and measures are being taken to protect students and staff every single day. Utilizing local media to assist your efforts to spread awareness for school safety measures is critical for strengthening the relationship between school districts, parents, and the community. 

How to Identify Key Education Reporters

When looking for reporters to publicize school safety information, you can begin by researching reporters and contacting the main news desks at local tv, radio, or print news stations. When researching, it’s helpful to find a reporter who covers beats that pertain to your story, including education, safety or technology. From there, you can typically find their contact information on the news station’s website. If unable to find a specific reporter, it is okay to reach out to the station’s general news desk email with your proposal. 

Designate a School Safety Spokesperson

If you do not designate yourself to be the school spokesperson, you can utilize the Superintendent, Head of School Safety, the Chief of School District Police or Head of the SRO Program (in larger school districts). No matter who is selected to be your school’s safety spokesperson, just make sure they are comfortable with being interviewed by the media. Once you have identified your school safety expert, let them know that they could be asked to participate in interviews, and will need to be available from time to time to liaise with the press. As the spokesperson, they will need to be able to speak in concise statements or “sound bites” and may be asked to hold safety events with media in attendance. Read on for more information on preparing your spokesperson.  

Contacting Reporters

When it’s time to reach out to the reporter(s) or news desk, it may look something like the message below. (NOTE: You may cut/paste from the below and personalize as needed.) 

Hi ##,  

I am [name, title, and district/school you represent], and I’m reaching out because in light of the many tragic events from last school year, parents are rightfully concerned about their child’s safety. Schools must now make it a priority to reassure anxious parents that safety is their priority, and show the measures being taken to protect students and staff. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at [school name/district]. Safety is our top priority, and we would like to spread awareness in our community about how we are working diligently to create a safe and secure space at our schools. 

When you have a moment, I’d like to connect about [school name/district’s] safety plan for the 2022-2023 school year. I’d also like to discuss some of the latest school safety tools that we are implementing to increase security and response protocol for our students, staff and faculty members. 

I am attaching our district’s school safety policy. Please let me know if you’re interested in speaking further about our safety initiatives and technologies and we can schedule a call.  

How to Prep Your School Spokesperson for the Media

When preparing your designated spokesperson, it is vital to be fully informed of the school’s safety plan and the technology being implemented. Utilize any training materials from the school safety solution provider to familiarize them with the product terminology and training language.  

Additionally, make sure you preemptively establish communication goals and information you want to portray to the reporter before each interview. It’s important to anticipate questions and have answers ready. It can be helpful to ask the reporter beforehand if they have any specific questions to help guide the conversation as well. 

Offer Media Assets, Content and Contact Information

If the reporter is interested in your school safety story, you should consider offering the reporter access to school safety content as well as a visual representation of the product. Reporters or journalists also appreciate having the opportunity to speak to a subject matter expert to gain more information on how the safety solution works. 

By following these suggestions, you can establish strong relationships with your local media and generate positive media coverage—the best way to highlight your district’s safety protocol and security technology, ultimately enhancing trust within the community.  

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