TeacherLists Blog

The Changing Role of School Communicators

In recent years, there’s been a significant uptick in school communications directors who also serve on their district cabinet, according to a report from the National School Public Relations Association, with that number being as high as 67% of respondents reportedly holding such positions.


The report also gave a breakdown of reported responsibilities of communicators. Since 2020, Crisis Communications has been the top priority for the role and has remained there ever since. However, it’s been falling over time, with 58% reporting it as a top responsibility in 2023 as opposed to 69% doing so in 2020. Other notable changes in priority are External Communications pushing Media Relations to #5 on the list and taking its place as #2. Here’s the full breakdown of communicators’ responsibilities for 2023:


  • Crisis communications (58%)
  • External communications (52%)
  • Social media (48%)
  • Community relations/public engagement (44%)
  • Media relations (43%)
  • Website management (39%)
  • Internal communications (36%)
  • Strategic communications planning (31%)
  • Writing/editing (24%)
  • Marketing (23%)


The report also found that the school communicator field is growing: 10% of respondents have one year or less experience in the field, double the amount in 2020–this means people are graduating college and starting this career fresh, or switching to this role from something else. 41% reported a department size of 2-4 people. Traditionally, school communicators have been a single-person department, but now this is most common with districts of under 2,000 students.


With 70% of school communicators reporting directly to superintendents, the role has proven itself to be a vital one, for they bridge the gap between districts and their school communities, pushing out important information. School communicators must be adaptable, flexible, and dependable–making them an invaluable part of any district team.

Originally posted 2023

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