Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reliable sources

Public pressure caused the Blaine County School District board of trustees to back off from hiring a communications director this month.

The school board is going to revisit the question in a meeting tonight.

News organizations are often distrustful of people who "manage" communications for both public and private organizations. Even so, the Blaine County School District could use some help in that area.

The district is the largest taxing entity in the county, with 3,412 students, eight schools and an annual budget of $92.8 million this year including new construction and retrofitting.

Its operations are complex and its programs sprawling. They affect every man, woman and child in the county.

Good communications professionals benefit both employers and their customers or constituents. They help employers in both public and private organizations operate comfortably and honestly, make sure the public gets factual information and fulfill the public's need and right to know what they're doing. They are reliable sources of information.

That's why when the National School Public Relations Association evaluated the effectiveness of the Blaine County School District's communications with the people it serves last year, it recommended hiring a communications director.

The district has set its sights high in creating what are arguably the best schools in Idaho, but often it could do a better job explaining its actions.

Hiring someone to improve communications is a wise way to bolster trust and improve the district's partnership with the public it serves.

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