Welcome to WSPRA!
“It’s about communication. It’s about honesty. It’s about treating people in the organization as deserving to know the facts. You don’t try to give them half the story. You don’t try to hide the story. You treat them as – as true equals, and you communicate and you communicate and communicate.” – Lou Gerstner
Effective school communications, sincere community engagement and proactive public relations have never been more important for school districts than today. Pressure to do more despite reduced budgets; facing competition from vouchers, open enrollment, and charter schools; explaining the Common Core Standards and state report cards; earning the trust of district residents…these are all daily challenges here in Wisconsin. WSPRA and our network of 200+ members are here to serve as trusted, experienced resources to provide you with the information needed to build vital community support for your schools. Let’s face it — the future depends on it!
Founded in 1967, WSPRA started as a school district association primarily for school PR professionals. Nearly 50-years later, our membership has evolved to reflect the realities schools face about communicating to and effectively engaging a wide variety of stakeholders. According to data we collected through a spring 2013 state-wide research project (achieved with 100% school district participation!), 87% of WI school districts do not employ a person whose primary responsibility is communications. Of those districts, 90% indicated this responsible now lands squarely in the lap of the District Administrator/Superintendent.
Today our association is much more diverse as people in all types of district roles become the “frontline” PR professionals. Whether you are a full or part time communications director, district administrator, technology coordinator, administrative assistant, principal, or school board member, WSPRA is here for you!
I must thank our dedicated, volunteer board for their unwavering commitment to WSPRA and supporting efforts to provide exceptional professional development programs and networking opportunities to members across the state. We are focusing on developing strategic partnerships with other state education associations to increase WSPRA visibility, awareness, and connectedness. Like so many small associations, we are challenged to keep operating costs down while still bringing valuable, dynamic, and relevant programs to members throughout the year. We welcome and encourage ongoing dialogue on key topics you’d like to learn more about in the future.
Finally, we are exceptionally proud to have been awarded (for at least the last seven years in a row) the National School Public Relations Association’s (NSPRA) Exemplary Chapter honor for our commitment to professional development.
Again welcome to the WSPRA family!