Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES was honored by a national organization with awards for excellent communications work, including a project in which staff supported a class to create a project that reached well beyond the classroom.
Tracy Edwards and her New Vision Government and Law students decided to tell the story of the Underground Railroad spur that wound through northern Franklin County for a class project. The FEH BOCES communications experts collaborated with them to bring the story to life.
The communications team worked with Edwards and her students to create a banner to head the project’s exhibit in the Franklin County Courthouse, posters with QR codes to place at key sites around the Malone area, and web pages that illuminated facts about the local connection to the Underground Railroad. FEH BOCES Communications also helped spread the word far and wide with news posts on its website, social media posts, and earned media coverage from a variety of regional press outlets.
FEH BOCES won an Award of Excellence for the work the Communications Department did on this project from the National School Public Relations Association.
“We’re really thrilled to be honored by our national professional organization for our work. After working hard to create a communications program that focuses on strategic and coordinated communications efforts, it’s nice to see what we’ve built validated in that way,” said Public Information Specialist Jess Collier. “It’s especially meaningful to receive the Award of Excellence for our collaboration with students. It was energizing to work closely with them to see this project come to life.”
The BOCES also won an Honorable Mention for an infographic the communications team wrote and designed to introduce a new intranet platform to FEH BOCES staff.
NSPRA recognized winners at its NSPRA 2022 National Seminar last month in Chicago. NSPRA’s annual Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards recognize outstanding education print and digital work in school communications. Entries are judged on overall excellence and quality compared to other entries in the same category.
Communications is a new service offered by FEH BOCES. The department provides communications and public relations services for the BOCES, and these services are available for school districts as well. FEH BOCES District Superintendent Dale Breault Jr. prioritized this when he signed on to lead the BOCES in 2020.
“Most school administrators are used to doing all their communications on their own, and I never realized the value of working with a professional communications team until I had one available to me at my previous organization,” Breault said. “Your messaging can be so much more effective when done in a strategic manner based on data and best practices. As communication has become 24/7 and everywhere we look with all the digital platforms out there, it’s really become a necessity to work with professional communicators like our team at FEH BOCES. I really want to encourage my colleagues in our component districts to use this service.”
In addition to instructional programs, FEH BOCES offers communication, business, operational and instructional support to 10 school districts in Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties.