Engagement. Connecting PTAs.
Personal relationships between council and local PTA leaders are the foundation of successful and sustainable councils. Approaching these relationships with intention, purpose, and consistency will benefit both local PTAs and the council now and well into the future. Here are a few tips:
- Do not wait for people to come to you! Contact leaders personally and introduce yourself. Set an expectation that you will contact them regularly.
- Assign a point person to each local PTA to keep lines of communication open, focus on specific concerns, and answer questions as they come up.
- Ask people about their preferences for contact and identify any needs they may have for translation or disability accommodation. A phone call or text message may be a good way to start. Email is impersonal and easily ignored.
- Once you have made personal contact, embrace small group gatherings. Groups of 8 – 12 people are a good size to make sure everyone is heard and feels part of the group, and still allows you to get to know people.
- Keep meetings short and narrow the topics. Don’t try to do everything at one time!
- Use a meeting tool that allows everyone to speak and/or be seen, according to their needs and preferences.
- Prioritize two-way communication. It is critical to hear the concerns and questions in the community. Set aside time in each meeting when participants offer feedback, opinions, and information. Your leaders are your most valuable resource: use them!