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Boost School Public Relations with AI

by Miguel Guhlin

Managing the reputation and communication of your academic organization presents various challenges. You may find yourself providing information amid a crisis. Maybe you are communicating a reduction in force (RIF) due to budget constraints. Perhaps you find yourself communicating with diverse audiences, including students, parents, and the community at large. With the increasing drive for transparency, increased communication, and balance of mandates and ethics, how can anyone keep up? Consider reaching for an AI model as your school public relations assistant! Let’s explore five tips to assist you as you consider AI tools like ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, and CoPilot, among others.

AI Tools for Public Relations and Communications

As a school public relations professional, you may be tasked with finding ways to bridge the divide between what is happening and what needs to happen with regard to communication. We will look at suggested AI tools for school public relations and uncover what each AI can do. There is a wide variety of tools available, and here are a few for your consideration:

Now that you know what these tools do, let’s jump into the tips.

Tip #1: SMART Planning

You can use AI prompts and custom GPTs to shape SMART goals for public relations purposes. AI Models like ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, and CoPilot can generate SMART goals from “long prompts” or megaprompts. These megaprompts come with detailed instructions for the AI. They provide the AI with background information, tone, and task. You may already be familiar with SMART goals, but here’s a quick example to jog your memory and see how this strategy might apply to your work.

A chart outlining an example SMART goal with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive attributes.

As you can see, SMART is an acronym that represents certain goal attributes. Goals or actions must be “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.”

Here are some AI-generated SMART goals:

  • Increase Community Engagement. “By the end of the academic year, we will increase parent attendance at school events by 25% through targeted communication strategies and community outreach programs.”
  • Improve Communication. “Within the next six months, we will launch a monthly newsletter to keep parents informed about school activities, to reach at least 80% of our student’s families.”
  • Enhance Brand Image. “Over the next year, we will develop and implement a branding campaign to improve the school district’s image, aiming to achieve a 20% increase in positive media coverage.”
  • Boost Social Media Presence. “By the end of the semester, we will grow our school’s social media following by 30% and increase engagement rates by 15% through regular, high-quality content and interactive posts.”
  • Strengthen Crisis Communication. “In the next three months, we will create and test a comprehensive crisis communication plan to ensure timely and accurate information dissemination during emergencies.”

A prompt you could use to generate a SMART goal for one of your school projects appears below:

Develop SMART goals for strategic planning for K-12 school public relations type projects

Here is a blank copy for you to try on your own:

Tip #2: Enhance Communications

Use AI tools to shape and organize your content and craft communications, public relations, and marketing plans. Here are some ways AI can assist your communication efforts:

  • Q&A bank. Craft responses to routine or recurring questions from stakeholders. Plus, AI can assist you in organizing these questions and responses into a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document to post online.
  • Data-Driven analysis. Analyze trends and patterns in data. Depending on the AI you use, you can send data spreadsheets or generate a PDF of data, asking the AI to analyze it for you. From this data, AI can also generate data-driven recommendations.
  • Personalize and customize. Consider writing a document with all the details you’d like to communicate. Then, ask AI to revise it for a specific stakeholder audience. Customization could include translation into various languages and modifying the tone (formal vs conversational, serious vs fun).
  • Accessibility. Make your communication more accessible, including for persons with disabilities.
  • Scenario generation. Want to put together some PR table talks to assist leaders with how to best respond in a crisis? Consider asking AI to generate scenarios from a list of topics.

The only limit to what you can do with AI for school public relations is your imagination. To get started, focus on text-based AI Models like ChatGPT, Claude, and Gemini. This will help you develop your prompt engineering skills. If you’d like the AI to generate content that includes links to web pages, use “middleware” like Perplexity.ai ($20 monthly) and POE. Also, try Microsoft CoPilot (free) and Google’s Gemini Advanced ($20 monthly).

Tip #3: App Smash AI for Public Relations

Pour content from one AI into another through “app smashing.” Create content in one AI Model, then copy and paste it into another. Although the guide below is for curriculum-focused tasks, how might this transfer to school public relations and communication tasks?

A chart presenting how AI tools can be "app spashed" to best leverage their capabilities for school public relations and communications.

A great example of app smashing includes prompt design. Ask one AI, like ChatGPT, to design a prompt for another AI, like an art generator, asking it to generate a specific type of media (e.g., image, video). Here are some AI art generators.

Tip #4: Create Media and Scripted Videos

Use AI tools to develop scripts that meet your specifications. Try tools like DeepBrain AI, Synthesia, Steve.AI, Elai.io, HeyGen, and/or Pictory to quickly convert text to video featuring human, cartoon, or animal avatars. Then, assemble videos in other systems (e.g., Canva Magic Studio). This is a great way to generate public relations and marketing content quickly and easily to share with your community.

Tip #5: Transcribe and Translate Content

Audio or video content transcription is a snap with AI. Plus, you can translate for your target language easily! Otter.ai, Rev.com, Trint, Fireflies.ai, Sonix, Transkriptor, Notta.ai, and Speak.ai are available tools to consider. These can convert your audio/video content to text, which can be a big time-saver; however, it does come with a price tag. Canva Magic Studio and AI apps include some tools to start you off at no charge; and remember, Canva Pro is free for qualifying educators and nonprofits.

AI Changes Everything

AI changes everything. ChatGPT, Claude, and other tools can make school public relations easier and improve communication. They can simplify planning, boost communication, and generate media, translating words and ideas. This is not just about using new tools. It’s about changing how we talk, plan, and connect to make every message count. Here’s a one-page handout you can take advantage of that summarizes the tips in this blog entry:

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