How To Promote Your School Parent Group (and Why It Matters)
Your parent group works hard to support the school—but do your school’s parents and community members understand how much your group actually does? For so many PTOs and PTAs, the answer is no. Here at PTO Today, we think it’s time to change that, and we’ve put together the tools to help you do it. You can use these resources during National School Parent Group Day (the fourth Thursday in September) or anytime throughout the year.
Put your PTO or PTA front and center with the guide to promoting your school parent group. Whether your group is relatively unknown beyond its board members or it enjoys a strong reputation at school, we’ll make it easier for you to get the word out at school about the great work you’re doing!
Inside the Guide to Promoting Your School Parent Group:
Celebrate at School
Raise Your Profile at School
Sample Messages for Talking About Your Parent Group
Social Media Toolkit
Tips for Posting on Social Media
Facebook Photo Frame
Local Media Toolkit
Getting Media Coverage for Your PTO and PTA Events and Achievements
Customizable Press Release
National School Parent Group Day Fact Sheet
Are You Visible at School?
When you spend so much time talking and thinking about what your parent group does, it’s easy to forget that some parents don’t know much about it. Maybe they’re new to the school, or maybe they’ve been around for a few years but have never gotten plugged in to the school community. Of course parents should be involved in the school parent group, but it’s not an effective recruitment tactic to tell people they’re doing something wrong.
Instead, think about how to market your group as a can’t-miss organization. That might sound scary, but mostly what it means is getting the word out to parents at different times and in different ways. Every time you interact with parents, whether it’s in a short speech, a Facebook message, an email, or a chat in the school hallway, you’re communicating something about what your group is like. Think carefully about the messages you’re sending. For some parents, the first reaction to a message from your group will be “why should I care?” That’s why it’s important to spell out the benefits parents, children, and the school get from parent involvement.
And don’t be modest when it comes to talking about what your parent group does. People want to be part of a successful group. Many times, parents aren’t aware of just how much PTO or PTA volunteers do at their school. Bragging about your achievements helps busy parents see your group as worthy of their limited free time.
The simplest way to start is to create lists of all the events your group sponsors, the many ways volunteers help at school, and how the money you raise is used. Post these lists on your website, put them in your newsletter, and display them on a bulletin board or trifold poster at your back-to-school night or open house.
Like it or not, not everyone wants to be involved in the parent group to the level you are. It’s natural to be disappointed when you ask people to volunteer and they say no, but it’s important to communicate your response in a way that leaves the door open to involvement in the future. Remember that parents have many competing demands on their time, and they might be worried that involvement will take more time than they have to give. You can reassure potential volunteers by breaking down volunteer jobs into smaller tasks that have a concrete beginning and end time. For example, ask someone if she has an hour free on a Friday to pop popcorn, or if she could work the concession stand for two hours once a month.
If someone simply doesn’t have the time, be understanding. Mention that even an hour or two helps the school, and if her situation changes in the future, you’d love to have the help.
Still have questions? Call us at 800-644-3561; we’re here to help.