Process

Process

This process supports the development of districtwide communication that highlights the importance of SEL and regularly shares with all stakeholders how SEL efforts support district priorities and goals. A strong communication plan includes consistent and tailored SEL, clear communication about roll-out timelines and expectations for roles and responsibilities, and regular communications by the superintendent and other district leaders about the importance of SEL. Use the Rubric to assess your current level of implementation.

This process is drawn from Steps for Developing Effective Communication Strategies for Social Emotional Learning. Consult this guide for worksheets and other tools to help you develop your communication plan.

1. Prioritize the audience(s) you want to reach.

Identify all of your key stakeholder groups. Remember to include both those who have influence over your SEL work as well as those who are affected by it.

These may include:

Identify all of your key stakeholder groups. Remember to include both those who have influence over your SEL work as well as those who are affected by it.

These may include:

  • District administrators
  • Students
  • Teachers, counselors, and other school staff who work directly with students
  • School principals
  • Family members
  • Early education and out-of-school time program providers
  • Community organizations that work with students or schools
  • Researchers
  • School board members
  • Local law enforcement
  • Local businesses

Once you’ve identified your stakeholders, prioritize them according to two factors: (1.) their influence on the SEL implementation, and (2.) their interest in SEL implementation.

2. Determine what you want to achieve with your communication

You need to establish clear goals so that your communication plan will be effective. When developing these goals, be sure to link them with the audiences you already outlined.

Here are some …More

You need to establish clear goals so that your communication plan will be effective. When developing these goals, be sure to link them with the audiences you already outlined.

Here are some examples of goals that are linked with audiences:

  • Austin Independent School District wants to reach out to existing and potential funders to help them understand the research findings underpinning the district’s SEL initiative.
  • Nashville Metro Public Schools wants to target families and students in order to build visibility and understanding of SEL work through specific success stories.

3. Develop your message(s).

Once you’ve identified your goal and target audience, you need to develop your message. A method called message mapping can help you build effective and clear messaging.

With message mapping…More

Once you’ve identified your goal and target audience, you need to develop your message. A method called message mapping can help you build effective and clear messaging.

With message mapping, you develop the following:

  • Core statement: This is a single sentence that sums up what you want to communicate. Think of it as your “elevator pitch.”
  • Key messages: The key messages support your core statement by answering the question “What does that mean?” With your key messages, you explain how you will translate your vision into action. Typically you’ll try to develop three key messages.
  • Support points: For each key message you’ll want to provide three support points. These are your “proof” that your message is true. Support points are often statistics, case studies, or stories from the field.

For more about message mapping as well as a message map worksheet, download Steps for Developing Effective Communication Strategies for Social Emotional Learning or this sample message map.

4. Discuss methods for conveying your message(s).

There are a variety of ways to get your message out about SEL. To be most effective, you’ll likely want to use a variety of media and communication channels.

Here are some examples of ways t…More

There are a variety of ways to get your message out about SEL. To be most effective, you’ll likely want to use a variety of media and communication channels.

Here are some examples of ways to reach your audiences:

5. Bring together your target audiences, goals, and messages in your communication plan.

Your plan should include specific outreach activities and timelines. This sample communication plan can se…More

Your plan should include specific outreach activities and timelines. This sample communication plan can serve as a model. You can also download the Steps for Developing Effective Communication Strategies for Social Emotional Learning guide which contains a communications planning worksheet.

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