Leza Raffel Provides School District with Pointers on Communicating their 2023-24 Budgets to Stakeholders

In All News, Blog by Kellie

By Will Gregory, Intern from Penn State Abington

Leza Raffel, president of The Communication Solutions Group and public relations professional, visited the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit for a presentation catered to aid the business managers of school districts with communication strategies. The presentation was held in Norristown, Pa., this January.

Raffel presented “Garnering Community Support for the 2023-2024 Budget: Why Communication is Critical.” A large talking point from the event was the importance of a communication plan regarding a school district creating a budget plan.

During the presentation, she cautioned that without a plan in place, there is a strong chance of a communication failure since most people do not understand the processes that are involved with school district budget planning.

There were a multitude of different tactics or “vehicles of communication” that Raffel covered. The most effective communication methods to reach stakeholders are impactful public presentations, informational content on the district’s website and social media pages, press releases and budget newsletters sent to all stakeholders. Throughout the presentation, Raffel used examples that were successful in previous campaigns to illustrate each tactic.  “A proactive budget communication plan breaks this chain and leads to better-informed citizens,” she stressed.

She recommend complete transparency about why changes in the budget are necessary. “Bridging the communication gap between the public and the school district will decrease the likelihood of upset stakeholders,” Raffel emphasizes.

“Business managers are well aware of what needs to be done, it just takes finding a way to translate the information to the public in a digestible way,” said Raffel.

The Communications Solutions Group in Jenkintown, Pa., provides strategic communication support to more than 60 Pennsylvania school districts. The firm helped Upper Dublin School District win the State’s first successful stand-alone referendum through a communication campaign. For more information on Communication Solutions’ work with Pennsylvania public schools click here.