• 2018 NSPRA Mark of Distinction Award Application


    “Strategic Planning Workshops for the

    One-Person Communications Office”


    Section II: Special Focus Areas

    Category A – chapters with less than 50% NSPRA membership


    Requirements and Criteria

    The Missouri School Public Relations Association meets and exceeds all requirements and criteria to apply for recognition in the NSPRA “Mark of Distinction” Program. Of MOSPRA’s 191 members, 91 are also members of NSPRA. (Since 2016, MOSPRA has added 30 new members and the number of NSPRA memberships has gone up 30 as well.) The MOSPRA Board meets a minimum of four times a year. In October 2017, our Treasurer submitted information to NSPRA about our cash flow and membership contact list. We have notified NSPRA of our newly elected officers and we adhere to chapter bylaws.


    Background and Overview for Strategic Planning Workshops for One-Person Communications Offices:

    The Missouri School Public Relations Association is made up of members from many different backgrounds, and while the suburban districts are home to most MOSPRA members, a sizable group serve small to mid-sized districts and often house a single communications professional. In many cases, these one-person offices work – to a degree – in isolation from their administrative colleagues.  

    Based on feedback from MOSPRA membership surveys and anecdotal evidence (primarily small group conversations between MOSPRA leaders and membership), it was clear that there was a need to provide assistance to many of our members.   MOSPRA developed and hosted its first Strategic Planning Workshop for the One-Person Communications Office in June 2016.

    The first workshop was very successful and members requested that MOSPRA continue the session in 2017 with the premise of each year revisiting strategic plans and developing them further. As of the date of this application, MOSPRA is planning its third workshop for June 2018 in an effort to provide ongoing professional development, skill-building and collegial support for all members.


    Chapter goals and objectives for programs/activities:

    The MOSPRA Strategic Plan places a priority on professional development. Goal 1: Membership Services; Objective 1.3 Professional Development: Mentoring & Support. View the Strategic Plan


    Documentation and copies of conference/workshop/meeting programs and agendas, marketing materials, tip sheets and/or PowerPoint presentations distributed to participants: 

    Marketing.  Virtually all of the marketing for this program was done via MOSPRA's twice monthly e-news.  Here are a few samples for 2016 and 2017:

    Presentations and Agendas:

    Identification of target audience and participation/attendance lists:

    Invitation was sent to all MOSPRA members. In 2016 MOSPRA also culled the names of members serving in smaller district and sent a special invitation.


    Documentation/demonstration of measurable outcomes, effectiveness and success of the program/activity:

    Membership surveys clearly note the value of the Strategic Planning Workshops for the One-Person Communications Office. Prior to the 2016 workshop, fewer than 30% of the participants had a strategic plan and 47% of them had a partial plan. Of those who either did not have a plan or only had the initial stages of a plan, only 25% gave their plan a score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale. After the first session, that number rose to 56%.


    Participating members noted in a follow-up questionnaire the importance of sharing of ideas, discussing ideas with colleagues; comparing challenges that they face; and gaining new strategies and ideas for various programs.


    View all surveys and related documents:


    Explanation of how program/activity relates to NSPRA’s Goals and Objectives:

    MOSPRA’s Strategic Planning Workshops for the One-Person Communications Office is directly in line with the mission, goals and beliefs of NSPRA.  Specifically, the program admirably addresses Goal 1, subsection1: NSPRA members will have the skills they need to plan and implement an effective public relations program.  As dedicated, skilled professionals, our workshop leaders worked to help members improve their communications plans and also their knowledge base and skill sets.  Ultimately, it is the school district and its students who will benefit from the instruction.

    The Strategic Planning Workshops for the One-Person Communications Office also addresses Goal 2, subsections 2, 3, and 4:

    1. NSPRA will be the primary source of expert information and knowledge on school public relations.
    2. School communication professionals, superintendents and other education leaders will understand the positive impact of an effective public relations program on student achievement and on a district’s mission.
    3. NSPRA members will use new and emerging communication technology to expand outreach and engage all stakeholders, including students, parents, staff and community members, in the schools.

    Like our parent chapter, MOSPRA works to be the primary source for outstanding school public relations in the state of Missouri.  The work of those participating in the Strategic Planning Workshops for the One-Person Communications Office will assist them in assuring that their districts’ missions will be better heard and understood.  Finally, those who participated received outstanding training in effective use of emerging communication technology, best practices with a variety of communications tools, information on internal and external audiences and many other relevant areas.


    Other relevant examples of chapter’s professional development/PR skill-building efforts:

    MOSPRA is committed to assisting members as they work to achieve expertise in the field of school communications, public relations and marketing. 

    Sample MOSPRA professional development and skill building efforts:

    • Fall Conference:  MOSPRA hosts an annual Fall Conference that in which one major topic is chosen.  Participants have time during the two-day conference to “deep dive” into the subject.  View our Fall Conference history.
    • MASA/MOSPRA Spring Conference:  MOSPRA joins with the Missouri Association of School Administrators to host a powerful four-day conference that includes breakout sessions on communications, legal matters, leadership, technology and much more. View the 2018 Conference Program.
    • Colleague Connections (Mentoring)
    • Assistance with obtaining the APR
    • Monthly Regional Meetings:  The Regional meetings allow those from the Eastern, Western, Ozark and Mid-State areas opportunity to come together to share the work they are doing and to receive professional development.
    • Sub-regional “Rogue” Meetings:  In an effort to serve members who cannot easily attend the regional meetings and to provide communications assistance with smaller schools that do not have a PR person, MOSPRA has developed four sub-regional groups (two more groups are in the process of being developed).  The quarterly meetings allow communications professionals and others to come together and discuss common challenges and issues.  A great by-product of these groups is that MOSPRA has grown its membership, especially among those smaller districts. 


    Final Thoughts:  MOSPRA is proud to present our application for the 2018 NSPRA Mark of Distinction.  This program, along with other professional growth opportunities, allows our members to better serve their school districts.  


    For additional information or assistance with any questions, please contact David Luther, MOSPRA Executive Director, PH 573.353.0590 or Email: MOSPRA_Director@iCloud.com.