Blinded by fear and resentment

31st January 1997 at 00:00
After 20 years as a local newspaper editor in various parts of the country, I can vouch for the home truths Hilary Wilce spoke in her "Last Word" (TES, January 17).

Most schools are incompetent in their dealings with the local media. Fear and resentment seem to blind headteachers both to the opportunities and the dangers presented by regional newspapers, radio and television.

It is no exaggeration to say that the media can make or break a school's reputation.

Good coverage, achieved by skilful use of PR, can bring thousands of pounds-worth of free advertising to potential parents.

Bad coverage can be more damaging than a fire on the premises. Everyone insures against fire, yet many schools are hopelessly unprepared for the public relations disaster that could follow a mishandled media enquiry.

For local readers, schools that do this well score points every week over schools that believe the media are only out to get them.

Frustratingly, the courses I now run for schools on how to get the best from the media are generally taken up by those least in need of advice.

Schools in most need of a public facelift do not appear to think they have a problem.

GARETH WEEKES Media Services 5 Ken Road Southbourne Bournemouth Dorset

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now