What Every School Leader Should Know About Public Relations with Dan Shortridge

by | Dec 21, 2022 | 0 comments

4 min read

“Everywhere, all the time” is a misconception. Pick one or two channels and use them consistently. ~ Dan Shortridge 

What You Should Know About Dan

Dan Shortridge, author of DIY Public Relations, is a communications and marketing consultant and author with more than 20 years of experience in the trenches of local public relations and daily journalism. He’s led communications for a school district and state government agencies and has helped support small businesses and nonprofits. 

He holds a master’s of education in instructional design and a bachelor’s in business administration–marketing. Before moving into public service, he worked for 11 years as a reporter, editor, and designer at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio. 

A national award-winning reporter, he was part of a team that won a Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists, and was an Ochberg Fellow with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. 

He’s also the co-author of three local-interest books about Delaware and Delmarva. He can be reached at danshortridge.com.

What You’ll Find in This Episode About Public Relations with Dan Shortridge 

Dan makes it clear that marketing is both a business function and a leadership function. It’s not a “nice-to-have thing” but rather a must-have. 

He talked about the many benefits of good marketing. He kicks us off with gems right from the start. 

Joe asked about how school leaders can get started, and Dan talks about your core story–what are the three top impressions that you want your audience to know about? 

Dan talks about the broad themes that leaders can think about as takeaways that they want for their audience and then the stories that go with those themes. 

Don’t miss what he says about knowing your audience and the wide variety of audiences that we have, including parents, students, community members, voters, politicians, union members, etc. He also reminds us that how we target each is vital since we can’t be everything to everybody.

Don’t get overwhelmed! Dan tells us that your communication plan only needs to start as a couple of pages. 

Want to know which platforms to use and which strategies help with public perception? Don’t miss the answer to this one. 

Dan’s Mantra is classic marketing: the most amount of people for the least amount of effort. 

What’s the plot and compelling narrative? Think about obstacles and challenges, characters, and resolutions.

Dan points us to Jesse Cole from the Savannah Bananas as someone to follow. Creative, unique, and different!

Don’t miss what he says about reading novels!

Dan wants to learn more about photography. Listen to what he says about the value of a photo and the gift his wife possesses.

Check out How I Built This, a podcast that Dan recommends. 

Dan used to think that a story needs a nice neat ending, but he realizes now that stories can be messy and unfinished. 


Let us know if there’s a guest who you want us to have on the show by leaving a comment below or by contacting us at contact@dereka206.sg-host.com. And don’t miss our leadership content updates every week by subscribing on the site. 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.


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