Communications Archive

How your group communicates with its members and the school community can affect its success. Newsletters, email, even the Open House speech—our writers and editors cover it all. You'll find tons of tips and ideas for good communication in the articles below. Find more helpful tools and info on the Communications resources page.

  • Tools for Building PTO Involvement

    Resources to take the guesswork out of how to get your messages out to parents.
  • Methods for PTO Communication

    It’s not just what you say, it’s the method you use to say it. Use these tips to maximize your messages.
  • Text Messaging Apps for PTOs and PTAs

    Messaging services can make it easier to stay in touch with board members and families.
  • How To Get Local Media Coverage for Your PTO or PTA

    Having your parent group events and achievements covered in the local media can benefit your group in several ways. Here's what you need to know.
  • 6 Must-Have Marketing Tools for PTOs and PTAs

    Marketing helps make sure that parents know your group exists—and that they have a positive impression of it. Use these tools as the foundation for raising awareness about your group.
  • 6 Ways To Be a Community Resource

    Try these community-building ideas like planning a service project and reaching out to local businesses.
  • Marketing Must-Dos for PTOs and PTAs

    Your parent group is committed to involving parents, planning great events, and running thoughtful fundraising programs. But what if families don’t know anything about your parent group (or even worse, if they have a bad impression)? All that effort will be lost. That’s where marketing comes in. We know “marketing” can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of work. We’ve collected eight top ways to promote your group effectively within your school community, along with actionable steps for each one. If you build your group’s reputation with families, you’ll find it easier to get them involved—get our top PTO marketing must-dos and start spreading the word about your group’s good work! Get Free Marketing Tips   Marketing 101: What’s Your Q Score? When parents think about your PTO, what kind of feeling do they get? Are you widely known and beloved? Are you widely known but with a tarnished reputation? Or do the people who know you like you just fine, but there are only a few of them? Your answer says a lot about your ability to build your volunteer base, and in marketing circles this is called a “Q score.” It’s a way to measure both how familiar and how appealing specific brands are, and it can be applied to companies, products, people, even parent groups. For parent groups, it’s a way to measure your potential success in recruiting new volunteers. Perhaps your group is widely known around school because you’re constantly asking parents for fundraising support or because there’s melodrama over a disputed election or because you have a reputation as a closed group of insiders. Your group is familiar, but your appeal is low. Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of parents looking to add stress to their lives. When asked, they’ll probably try to avoid getting involved with your group. Or you might be a small group doing solid work that no one knows about. If you get the chance to remind parents of your efforts, they’re grateful that you’re around, but otherwise you generally operate under the radar. Your appeal is high, but your familiarity is low. Remember that reluctant volunteers are more likely to get involved with something that’s already a proven success. If your group has hit the jackpot with a good reputation that’s widely known, congratulations! Things are great now. Your volunteer-building efforts have never been better, and you have new programs running with enthusiastic volunteers in all key positions. Just remember that your Q score needs TLC. Work to maintain the reputation you’ve so carefully built. A strong PTO Q score starts with doing really good work. Parent group leaders don’t have the luxury of well-paid spinmasters; they need to walk the walk. From there, your Q score will depend on your marketing skills. Do parents enjoy interacting with your group? Are your messages home upbeat and appreciative? Are you willing to brag? If you want to grow involvement at your school, then your Q score matters. Learning how to market your group effectively will help you increase your Q score and build your volunteer base as a result. Inside the Marketing Must-Dos Guide Expert advice for promoting your group effectively to your school community, from the PTO Today marketing team 8 top ways to market your parent group—do them all, or do a few! Links to additional resources to help you take action Get Free Marketing Tips Still have questions? Call us at 800-644-3561; we’re here to help.
  • 19 Easy-to-Make PTO Signs That Parents Will Love

  • How To Give an Awesome Back-to-School Speech

    Communicate with parents about your parent group and the importance of involvement; use our video, sample script, and tips to deliver a speech that will make a lasting impression.
  • How PTOs and PTAs Can Use Facebook at Back-to-School Time

    The basics of using social media to build involvement anytime, plus seven ideas for back-to-school posts.
  • How To Use Facebook During Summer Break

  • How To Get Parents Involved on Your Facebook Page

    Tips from community members about using Facebook to promote their groups.
  • 6 Tips for Dealing With Difficult People

    It's a fact that not everyone is easy to work with. Try these strategies for dealing with challenging personalities.
  • Reduce Your PTO Stress

    Try these tips and smart ideas to make your PTO life easier.
  • Create a PTO Newsletter They'll Read

    A school newsletter is an effective way to communicate with parents; these six steps take you from start to finish.
  • 31 Back-to-School Ideas for PTO Officers

    Set yourself up for a successful fall with these 31 tips on organization, communication, and more.
  • The Art of Saying No

    Use these tips to keep yourself from becoming overcommitted, or worse, burned out.
  • Improve Your Relationship With the Principal

    12 tips from a former principal to create and foster a strong relationship with your school administrator.
  • Judges' Choice: High-Tech Parent Outreach

    This school's creative and innovative ways to make sure parents stay in the loop earned it the Judges’ Choice Award in PTO Today’s 2013 Parent Group of the Year search.
  • 6 Ways To Improve Communication

    How you reach out to parents can help build involvement. Try these tips to improve your efforts.