The Communications Department, as part of the Director’s Office, provides Board-wide strategic communications, promotional, editorial, and event services to support the Board’s mission and beliefs. The Communications Department supports the objectives and activities of the Board’s Strategic Directions in staff learning, student learning, and safe and caring learning communities – in the service of key stakeholders including students, parents/guardians, community partners, administrators, teachers, staff, and the general public.
The goal of the Communications Department is to support the effective education of all students through:
- Accurate timely communication.
- School board identity management.
- Sharing of best practices and innovative programs, projects and initiatives.
- Support of parent and community involvement in education.
- Encouraging awareness, understanding, and action in support of Near North District School Board.
The Communications Department fosters transparent positive partnerships with media representatives, and provides guidance to staff on how to handle inquiries and respond to difficult situations.
Response to the media is both reactive – responding to inquiries and crisis situations as they arise, and pro-active – promoting topical programs and stories which celebrate student success and staff achievements. The Communications Department works on the premise that it takes six good news stories to offset the impact of one bad news story.
To this end, the Communications Department:
- Identifies opportunities to communicate.
- Develops news release, media advisories, and other communications materials.
- Arranges interviews and photo shoots.
- Responds to media inquiries.
- Provides media relations guidance and training.
- Monitors local, provincial, and national news media stories.
Communications protocols ensure that all stakeholders receive consistent, clear, timely and accurate messages and answers. NNDSB's communication protocols reduce the chances for misunderstandings and inequities by giving all stakeholders a clear path to follow to send and receive information.
Stakeholder Communication Protocol
The Protocol below will ensure an expedient flow of communication to ensure that your questions and or concerns are heard and responded to in a timely and accurate manner by the appropriate person. If you are a stakeholder or community member who has questions or concerns regarding the local school and its operations, direct them to the local school Principal who will answer your concerns or questions and or refer you to the most appropriate person to respond. If your feedback, concerns or questions are for the Board in general, direct your call to the Board Office Receptionist who will refer your call to the correct person to respond. In this way, you will receive the most appropriate, accurate and timely response to your query or concern and avoid the communication backlog that can occur as we attempt to redirect and or run your communication back through the protocol to ascertain best responder.
Family Communication Protocol
The protocol below will ensure timely and accurate communication that avoids a backlog. Begin with your child’s teacher if your concern is about the learning. If you have questions or concerns regarding the school and its operations, direct them to the principal who will answer your concerns or questions and/or move them to the most appropriate person to respond.
Communication in the time of crises can enhance the safety and comfort of all involved in a situation. During a crisis, the Communications Department compiles and summarizes information and works with staff to determine management approaches to the issue or situation.
Using a multimedia approach, the Communications Department identifies opportunities to communicate with stakeholders and oversees or provides guidance for the development of publications produced for internal and external audiences. The Near North District School Board visual identity (logo) ensures that all printed and electronic communications and promotional items share a common look, signifying unity, and reinforcing the Board’s image.
- Publications and Resources – Communications materials produced include:
- Board Highlights.
- A Board Map.
- Annual Report.
- Communications Manual.
- Strategic Directions.
- Various department, and initiative-based brochures, posters, banners, and flyers.
- Elementary Agendas, etc.
- Website – The Communication Department is responsible for the ongoing maintenance and development of the corporate website. The website provides contact information for Board offices, schools, departments, administration, and trustees. News stories, newsletters, annual reports, policies and procedures, programs, and resources are also available through the corporate website.
The Communications Department seeks out opportunities to share information within the region. This may include advertising in relocation publications as well as with local media, strategically placing school board publications in high traffic areas (ie. Information tourism booths).
The Communication Department develops relationships with key communicators. This helps to foster ongoing dialogue which provides information to the community and allows community members to provide feedback to the School Board.