Communications Training and Consulting
We teach communication strategies, crisis communications, social media and on-camera performance to help you reach parents, reporters and community decision makers effectively. We will work with your administrators and communications staff to analyze your web site, review communications policies and protocols, identify ways to coordinate messaging with community partner agencies, and share the latest strategies from traditional to digital media. Our expertise comes from extensive news reporting and newsroom management at media companies across the nation. Our work with K-12 public and private schools connects us to your challenges: from dealing with violence to building support for a school levy campaign. We can give you skills to take control of this critical aspect of running a school system.
Media Training: Do you duck for cover when you see reporters coming?
We can help you navigate the sea of cameras and field reporter questions - from the news conference to the ambush interview. We will show you how to get ahead of the news curve when news breaks at your school. We will give you a game plan for working with traditional and non-traditional media:
On air training workshop
Strategies for news conferences and live interviews
How to look your best on camera
Learning the language of sound bites and quotes with short and meaningful messages
Rules of the road for on the record and off the record comments, and other conventions of traditional journalism
Keeping control of your message and staying on point
Pitfalls: What you should never do in an interview
Handling difficult questions and ambush interviews
Crisis Communications: You do have a plan, don’t you?
During a real emergency you don’t have time to look up phone numbers or worry about what to say at a news conference. We will help you build a thorough crisis communications plan that is customized for your school district. From violence to severe weather to bus accidents, some of the topics we will address:
Critical first steps - Who does what during the first hour
Who should be on your priority contact list
Best ways to notify your staff, your parents, your community, the media
Preparing for your first news conference
Six critical comments to avoid if violence strikes your school
What the media needs from you
What parents expect to hear
Social media control center
Monitoring the media
Hardware and software you will need if you are evacuated from your building
Best ways to keep parents informed during an ongoing situation
Managing texting and social media when student safety is an issue
Handling communications in the weeks after a high-profile school crisis
The pipeline to parents and the media
You have many positive, exciting things going on in your school district, from academics to school safety measures. Are you missing ways to get the message to your parents and media? We will analyze your current communications strategies, messaging, and content to identify things you are doing well and opportunities you may be missing. We will give you a game plan for working with traditional and non-traditional media to tell your stories of achievement, and build strong school community support:
Media plan: why you need it and how to create it
Telling your story and selling your story
Think like a reporter
How to map out the local media landscape and target your message for broadcast, newspapers, online and social media
Secrets to getting your good news story out
How the newsroom works
What reporters want
Your website: What should and should not be on it
Easy ways to update your site daily
Generating buzz without traditional media
Developing messages that create credibility and trust
Hot topics in school safety likely to thrust your district into the spotlight
Strategies when you’re the target of an investigative report
Managing aggressive reporters
Public records request: Is trouble on the way?
How to anticipate and prepare for the big investigation
Social Media: Keep your friends close and your frenemies closer
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and other social media platforms can be your best tool for building support and positive buzz in the community. They can also turn your school into a bad reality show that you cannot control. Ignore these strategies at your own risk:
Your identity online: build it and monitor it.
Manage your online reputation
Build followers and engage with the community
Sidestep traditional media and get your message out thru social media.
Truth, transparency and trust: the currency of social media
Creating your own news channel
The 24 second news cycle
Monitoring gangs, fights, suicide talk
What to do when a hallway fight lands on YouTube and Instagram
Threats by proxy server
Managing negative comments and threats on social media
How social media can keep reporters off your back
Why listening is often more important than talking
Effectively managing difficult community meetings
Do your public meetings get hijacked by individuals on a mission? Learn to manage those moments without damaging your image:
Delivering key messages
Responding to politically charged questions
Agenda driven traps
the meeting forward
Ellen Miller works with schools on crisis communications, media relations, community building, and social media training. She coaches school leaders to perform effectively in television interviews and news conferences.
Ellen is an award winning veteran of TV and online news, with a Master's degree in Journalism. She has extensive experience as an education and investigative reporter, news anchor, executive producer, online editor and TV news director at local television stations across the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, Cleveland, Sacramento, Charlotte, Nashville and Baton Rouge. She spent 20 years running newsrooms and making the key editorial decisions about which stories get covered and how.
Ellen also launched the
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, www.jjie.org.
This news organization focused on children and families
at risk is based at Kennesaw State University outside
Atlanta, where she also taught journalism classes. She
knows the secrets to getting coverage for your good news
stories, handling the communications crisis when bad
news hits, managing your school’s reputation online, and
creating your own buzz with parents and the community.
Ellen has degrees in English Literature and Journalism
from Cornell University and Boston University.
· He started as an officer, investigator and Youth Gang Unit Supervisor for the Cleveland Public Schools, and went on to become a School Security Director for a large suburban system. As President of National School Safety and Security Services, he continues to work closely with reporters on stories about securing schools, safety training and violence prevention.
· Ken worked at the ABC television station in Cleveland, OH (Market #18) as a freelance producer, content consultant and online reporter, covering stories about government waste and official corruption.
· He also knows political messaging and media relations, after working as a local campaign manager.
This rare mix of experience gives Ken a real understanding of what parents, taxpayers and voters want to hear about school safety, and what resonates with communities. He advises school leaders on how to avoid messaging pitfalls that can backfire. And he helps school leaders navigate highly emotional and politically charged situations that affect the safety of children.
Reporters call Ken daily. He’s one of the most widely quoted school safety experts. He has appeared on every TV network and cable news channel, and in hundreds of newspapers and radio stations nationwide.
Ken has authored three books and more than 80 articles on school security, emergency preparedness and crisis communications. He speaks regularly at the annual conferences of the National School Boards Association and the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). For more information check out Ken’s Bio.
For additional information on our services, contact Ken Trump.