Communication Tools & Tactics: An Overview
In pursuit of our goals and objectives, the Office of Strategic Communications employs and manages a variety of communication strategies:
- Albemarle County Public Schools Website
An essential communications tool, the division website provides a variety of communications opportunities.
- Communications Standards Manual
The “Identity and Communications Standards Manual” was developed as a reference to help employees bring the division’s identity to life in a consistent and powerful way.
- Division Compass Employee News Blog (Compass)
The Compass is an online publication for employees that provides real-time access to messages about benefits and compensation, budget updates, professional development and grant opportunities, safety and wellness, special events, surveys, policy updates, and more!
- Electronic School Notification System (ESNS)
The school division uses Blackboard Connect, a mass notification system, to communicate both emergency and non-emergency messages to subscribed parents and employees via email, phone and/or text. Messages relayed through our ESNS might address crisis situations, school schedule changes due to inclement weather, late buses, important school events, changes in school leadership, and more.
- Legislative Agenda
Each year, the school board develops their legislative priorities and shares their positions on policies and legislative initiatives. The Legislative Agenda is one means by which we communicate this information to our state legislators.
- Media Coverage
TV, radio or print coverage of division events or news stories may result from a press release or alternate marketing efforts by the Office of Strategic Communications, such as a phone call directly to a reporter.
- Media Coverage Form
The Media Coverage Form is an online form for use by school or department staff (login required) who would like to publicize an upcoming event or news story.
- Presentations & Speeches
The school board and members of the superintendent’s cabinet present at various division and community meetings as well as local, state and national conferences.
- Press Releases
A press release (news release, media advisory, or public service announcement) is one way our school division can actively engage the community in outreach activities that are designed to provide information about services, programs, opportunities for partnership, and accomplishments.
- Print Ads
The division occasionally uses ads in local print publications to leverage the identity of the division.
- Required Notifications Web Page
The Required Notifications web page is the platform by which the division meets certain requirements set forth by federal code, state code, and/or Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) policy regarding annual notifications, public hearings, and postings.
- School Fact Sheets
Each of our 25 elementary, middle and high schools has an online School Fact Sheet that presents school highlights, assessment data, student demographics, facility information, grade-level changes, and information about school leadership (including pictures). School Fact Sheets primarily are aimed at new and potential community members who are seeking general information about our individual schools.
- School Year Calendar
The School Year Calendar is a 44-page print publication, essentially a 13-month (August to August) flip calendar, featuring student artwork created during the previous school year. The calendar also includes welcome messages from the superintendent and school board, highlights dates of important school events and observances, and provides other frequently requested information.
- Social Media
The division virtually shares information and collaborates with our community and larger audiences through multiple social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Social media posts may include text, photos and/or videos.
- Superintendent's Advisory Bulletin (SAB)
The SAB is a weekly communication from the Superintendent’s Office to the Leadership Team (login required). It contains action items and important messages that help inform principals and department directors.
- Talking Points
Guiding language provided to key communicators throughout the division (division and school leaders, teachers, office associates who serve as first points of contact, etc.) in response to developing news or a particular event or issue.
The school division employs a variety of communication methods not currently managed by the Office of Strategic Communications, including school newsletters, program guides, blogs by school and division leadership, and various other publications.