Public Relations in Schools

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-07-23
  • Publisher: Pearson

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A contemporary and practice-based school public relations text that centers on the importance of communication, relationships, and technology. #xA0; Outfitting students with a wealth of practical, practice-based knowledge that they can take directly into the halls of their school, the new fifth edition of Public Relations in Schoolshas a fresh, contemporary focus on both how administrators can effectively communicate with the community and how building strong relationships with stakeholders can ultimately lead to overall school improvement. Through a blend of theoretical and tacit knowledge, this text offers students an in-depth guide to 1) how to successfully communicate with both internal and external school entities, 2) how to build and maintain positive and active relationships via social and political capital and 3) how to translate the value of these relationships into positive change within the school. While exploring these three central themes, the book emphasizes how new technologies can aid school success. At the same time, real-world case studies at the beginning of each chapter introduce readers to actual public relations issues and bring the material to life. #xA0; The revised fifth edition of Public Relations in Schoolsis updated with new materials and references throughout the text, including two new chapters #x13; one on harnessing technology for your public relations needs and one on collecting, assessing, and applying public opinion. In addition, the new fifth edition text contains a matrix at the front of the book showing how content relates to ELCC/NCATE Standards #xAD;#xAD;#x13; the widely used criteria for administrator preparation and licensing.

Author Biography

Theodore J. Kowalski, PhD

Theodore Kowalski is professor and the Kuntz Family Chair in Educational Administration at the University of Dayton. He began his professional career as a teacher and building-level administrator in suburban Indianapolis, Indiana. Subsequently, he served as an associate superintendent and superintendent. He taught at Purdue University and Saint Louis University prior to becoming professor and dean of the Teachers College at Ball State University.

In addition to his duties at the University of Dayton, Professor Kowalski is editor of the Journal of School Public Relations and serves on the editorial boards of several other professional journals including Educational Administration Quarterly and the AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice. In 2000, he was selected to be the editor of the 2001 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration Yearbook, the first yearbook of the new millennium.

The author of numerous books, professional articles, research papers, and monographs, Dr. Kowalski has received awards for his research, writing, and scholarship including the Outstanding Faculty Research Award from the Teachers College at Ball State University in 1993, the Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award from the School of Education and Allied Professions at the University of Dayton in 2002 and 2005, and the Alumni Award in Scholarship from the University of Dayton in 2005. Since 1986, he has delivered over 100 invited lectures at colleges and universities and has provided consultant services to numerous education and business clients. Professor Kowalski's primary areas of research are organizational behavior and communication, decision making, and school and district administration.

Table of Contents

Standards Matrix (ELCC/NCATE)


Part I: Contemporary Perspectives

Chapter 1 School Public Relations: A New Agenda

Case Study: The New Superintendent’s Public Relations Plan


Perspectives of Public Relations

Erroneous Perspectives

Multiple Definitions and Models

School Public Relations



Persistent Barriers

Current Importance

Underlying Themes

Information Age

School Reform


Reflective Practice


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 2 Social and Political Contexts

Case Study:  Diversity and Local Public Schools


Social Conditions and Schools

Changing Family Structure


Immigrant Students

Effects of Social Problems on Student Behavior

Effects Social Problems on Schools

Political Conditions and Schools

Education Goals

Politics, Reform, and Engagement


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 3 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Public Relations

Case Study: Maynard Constructs a School Web Page


Legal Dimensions

Tort Liability

Constitutional Torts

Political Speech

Privacy Rights

Religion and Public Schools

Community Values and Curriculum



Ethics in School Administration

Ethics in PR


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 4 Current Contexts of School Reform

Case Study: Applying a Communicative Approach to Policy Development


Local Control and School Reform

Democratic Localism and Representative Democracy

Local Reforms and Stakeholder Involvement

Civic Engagement and Administrative Behavior

Civic Engagement Approaches

Administrative Behavior

School Improvement and Public Relations

Why Civic Engagement Matters

How PR Can Contribute to Engagement


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Part II: Conceptualizing and Institutionalizing a Public Relations Program

Chapter 5 Communication and Conflict Management

Case Study: Importance of Internal Relations



Communication Basics

Listening Skills

Nonverbal Communication

Communication Networks

Communication Competence

Conflict Management

Conflict Types

Conflict Contaminants

Conflict-Resolution Strategies


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 6 Public Relations Programs

Case Study: High Hopes Gone Sour


Conceptualizing a PR Program


Intended Beneficiaries

Organizational Structure

Non-traditional Public Schools and Private Schools

Non-Traditional Public Schools

Private Schools

Organizing PR in Schools of Choice

Student and Parental Involvement


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 7 Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating Programs

Case Study: When Schools and Relationships Fail to Improve


Program planning

Planning Processes

Characteristics of Effective Plans

Planning Team

Administrator Interventions

School-Level Supplemental Planning


Administrative Responsibility

Naming the Program

Resource Allocation

Evaluating Programs

Types of Evaluation

Outputs and Outcomes

Essential Questions


Methods, Techniques, and Sources


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 8 Using Technology to Exchange and Manage Information

Case Study: Roger Creates a Web Page


Essential Constructs

Technology Literacy

Information Literacy

Information Technology

Management Information System

Technology Tools


Electronic Newsletters

District or School Web Pages

Electronic Networking


Chat Rooms



Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Part III:  Focused Objectives

Chapter 9 Community Relations

Case Study: A Mentor’s Questionable Advice


Relationships and Communication

Improving Community Relations

Identifying and Analyzing Publics

Communicating with the Community

Deploying a Multicultural Perspective

Positive Relationships with Parents

Need for Parental Relationships

Building and Maintaining Parental Relationships


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 10 Media Relationship

Case Study: Mismanaging a Sensitive Situation


Organizational decisions

Media Relations Plan

Implementing a Media Relations Plan

Employing a PR Specialist

Working with Print Media Reporters

Establishing a Foundation for Effective Relationships

Working with New Reporters

Accommodating Deadlines

Dealing with Negative News

Speaking Off the Record

Refusing to Comment

Telling the Truth

Staying on Track

Getting the School’s Story to the Media

Preparing News Releases

Planning and Conducting News Conferences

Correcting the Record

Working with Electronic Media Reporters



Web-Based Outlets


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 11 Public Opinion

Case Study: Good Intentions Aren’t Always Enough


Defining Public Opinion

Civic Engagement and Policy

Types Citizen Engagement

Public Opinion as a Form of Civic Engagement

Surveying Opinions

Scientific Polling

Sampling Issues

Return Rates

Data Collection Alternatives

Focus Groups

Question Development


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 12 Developing and Executing a Successful Funding Campaign

Case Study: Playing Hardball


Validating the Need


Focal Points

Collecting Data

Projecting an Election Outcome

Referendum Campaign

Steering Committee

Campaign Consultant


Positive Campaign Characteristics

Mistakes and Problems to Avoid

Evaluating the Campaign


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References


Chapter 13 Responding to Crisis

Case Study: Suicide at McKinley Middle School


Safety and Security Planning

Integrating District and School Responsibilities

Defining a Crisis

Planning Scope

Appointing the School Crisis Team

Safety and Security Audit

Constructing a Crisis Plan

Preparing Employees to Implement the Plan

Evaluating the Plan

Crisis Communication

Pre-Crisis Tasks

Communicating During the Crisis

Communicating After the Crisis


Questions and Suggested Activities

Case Study

Chapter References

Rewards Program

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