Guidelines for Writing "Communication Matters" Columns

Article excerpt

The Communications Workgroup coordinates a monthly column for Communiqué , "Communication Matters." The purpose of this column is to highlight what school psychologists are doing across the country with effective communications and professional advocacy to address professional challenges. We look to our colleagues to provide useful tips, key messages, resources, and strategies for NASP members to use when communicating with stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, administrators, and community providers.

For the 2011-2012 school year, each column will focus on a case example of successful outreach to a particular stakeholder group or for a particular purpose. An example is encouraging principals to allow their school psychologists to conduct a school-wide needs assessment. The columns consist of two parts: (a) the actual article that runs under the "Communication Matters" header and provides the tips, messages, and resources; and (b) a brief adaptable handout that appears in Communiqué a nd is posted online for easy adaptation and use with the target audience. The author(s) of each article is responsible for writing both pieces.

Members of the Communications Workgroup will be assigned to work with potential authors to edit columns and emphasize the role of communications and advocacy. Final decision for publication will rest with the workgroup chair, NASP director of communications, and Communiqué editor.

Writing on how and why to communicate about an issue is different from simply writing about the issue itself. This isn't always easy to distinguish, so we have developed the following guidelines to help authors stay within the communications focus. You can review sample columns as examples at http://www.nasponline.org/communications/ comm-matters.

PART I: ARTICLE (APROX. 1,500 WORDS)-CASE EXAMPLE OF SUCCESSFUL STAKEHOLDER OUTREACH

Introduction-Initial few paragraphs

* A brief definition of the issue being addressed in the column

* A brief discussion of how good communications planning and skills contributed to successful stakeholder outreach in this case

* Importance and benefits of highlighting school psychologist's role

Description of the Process. …