Show off your school
Invite elected officials to visit your school or host a legislative breakfast
Make sure your elected leaders know how important your school is to your community.
Invite them to come visit and learn about all of the amazing things your students are doing.
Or organize a legislative breakfast to help your families and students connect with your elected officials.
Invite your elected officials to visit your school
Please answer these questions to generate an email to your elected officials with invitations to come visit your school. We will look up their contact information and send the email for you, or you can copy and paste the generated email and send a more personal letter yourself.
How to host a school visit
The best way to emphasize the importance of non-public schools is to show them off. You know how great your school is and how amazing the students, faculty and overall community are. Make your case to protect it by bringing a legislator to your school. A visit from a legislator will often generate its own publicity, putting a favorable spotlight on your school, as well as issues facing non-public schools throughout Indiana. A visit from a state legislature can be a great educational opportunity for the entire school. Follow these helpful tips and remember to include students and others in the planning.
An effective school visit requires careful planning for how you will engage with an elected official before, during and after the event.
Before the visit
Know who your legislator is, background, voting record and length of service.
Choose a few potential days for a visit that work well for your school schedule.
Send an invitation to the legislator’s office that includes the date, time, location and type of visit (school tour, event, etc.). Follow up with their scheduler after you send the invitation. Ask their scheduler when you can anticipate a response. Often, legislators’ schedules aren’t set until one to two weeks in advance.
Plan the visit in detail and send a copy of the schedule to the legislator’s office.
Consider sending a press release to local media outlets.
Share the visit on social media, send out a newsletter.
Compile a school fact sheet with impressive information about your school.
During the visit
Have student ambassadors greet the legislator and accompany them on the tour.
Consider your school’s “why” – why do you exist? How are you making an impact? Why does your school matter? How does your school affect your community? Address these pressing questions in a simple, compelling “why” story where you tell the legislator exactly why your school matters.
Create a concrete, simple story that demonstrates what makes your school unique and highlights your key differentiators. Whatever makes you unique, tell your legislator about it using an emotional, person-based story.
Allow your school’s key differentiators to come to life for your visitors by showing them classroom techniques in action or introducing them to students and staff who exemplify these messages.
Have a photographer on hand, whether it’s a parent or a professional, to capture the occasion. If students are in the photos, make sure the school has the correct permissions to take and share the photos.
Give a compelling overview of your school and tour several classrooms.
Allow time for Q & A.
After the visit
Send a prompt thank you note.
Share photos on your school’s social media and consider sending a press release.
Invite the legislator to future events at your school.
How to get coverage of your event
Inviting the media to a legislative breakfast or day at your school can generate great coverage and give your school public exposure.
Follow these helpful tips to help get reporters’ attention and make them want to cover your event.
Write first - Start by writing a good press release.
Keep calling - Send out the press release as soon as possible, up to two weeks before. Then, three days prior to your event, call the news room to confirm they received it. This will give you the opportunity to send it again, if necessary. Call again after you resend it and pitch your event. Then call again the morning of the event.
Don’t go overboard - While you may have to call multiple times, remain professional at all times. You want them to be informed, but not annoyed by your information.
Timing is everything - Newsrooms run on their own schedules with deadlines. So, call at slower times, for example - 10 a.m. and between 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Make it easy - Little things make a reporter's job much easier:
Easy to find location, include an address with link to Google Maps.
Make it easy to get in and out (parking, school security, etc.).
Consider visuals - have something for the cameras.
Make a press kit - a simple hand out of vital information, including contact information.
Have a spokesperson, school leaders, and others involved in the event available for questions.
The station/paper may only send a videographer or photographer. Do not treat them as less than a reporter.
Need more help? Just click below to send us an email and we can help with suggestions on how to write press releases, how other schools have organized events, and provide a variety of other trainings