Tips & Templates

We’re in the midst of massive uncertainty. We’re reinventing the way we do everything. Communities are energized and paying attention like never before. Take a deep breath — let’s do this together.

Good communication takes effort. It’s important to take time to do it well because how you communicate builds or breaks trust.


Tip #1

People don’t expect you to be perfect. They expect you to care. That message should come across every time you communicate, no matter what tool you use.

Tip #2

Always lead with a message of empathy and what connects us as humans. Begin with a statement of values, purpose, priorities, or intent.

Tip #3

Keep the message short & simple. It’s more challenging than it sounds, but aim for a reading level of Grade 8. We know your audience is smart, but they’re busy. Don’t make them work too hard to understand what you’re saying.

Tip #4

In a high-stress environment, you’ll want to include the following information, basically in this order. Tell your audience:

  • What you know now.
  • What you don’t know yet.
  • How you will find out more.
  • When to expect an update.

Then stick to your commitment.

Tip #5

Take the time to plan (see the communications planning templates on this page). Planning helps you know where you’re going, why, how, and whether or not you got there — or have more work to do.

Tip #6

Be inclusive. If you’re creating materials for families, translate them and make them ADA-accessible. Your educational service district can help with that.



Capital Region ESD 113 hosted a free six-part “Reopening Schools” webinar series in June. (Recordings are available.) Topics included:

  • General planning and considerations
  • Communications and needs assessment
  • Educational technology and distance learning
  • Trauma-informed practices
  • Health and wellness
  • Business and operations