1. Strike the Right Tone

In written materials, tone is what makes a good first impression. Be upbeat and encouraging, and that positive feeling will rub off.

2. Have a Clear Message and Purpose

People lose interest in items that ramble. Keep the text short and sweet; make sure to include a meaningful headline, title, or subject line.

3. Know Your Audience

Write your message in a way that speaks to the people receiving it. The principal might want to know performance to budget; parents are more interested in what has been tangibly accomplished.

4. Follow Through

If you ask for input, close the circle. Call on parents who fill out a volunteer interest survey, and report the results of informal polls. Otherwise, people might think it’s useless to respond and they won’t bother in the future.

5. Respect Confidentiality

Don’t gossip about parents’ personal business, such as whose checks have bounced or who hasn’t paid for the spiritwear order. Make individual contact with those parents instead to resolve the situation.

6. Check Your Spelling

Proofread all materials before sending out emails or making photocopies. In particular, make sure names are spelled correctly.