Communication is the process of exchanging information and ideas, verbal and non-verbal, formal and informal, within and outside a parent teacher organization.
A PTO may consist of parents from different parts of the society. These may have different cultures and backgrounds, and can be used to different norms. To unite activities of all parents and restrain from any missed deadline or activity that could affect the group negatively, communication is crucial.

Effective communication in a PTO implies to a condition where all the parents, within and outside the organization, can share ideas and information using any channel, give feedbacks for each other and the organization as a whole, are well informed about the current situations, and remain connected.

But how can this be achieved?

Some amazingly easy tips that you can apply in your PTO for having a better communication:

  1. Use multiple channels of communication.
    List all possible channels for communication such as emails, electronic notes, phone calls, messages, social media posts, etc. and share all the information about the school and the PTO via all these channels.
    This will help you reach out to all the parents and give them a consistent reminder as they will see a same message again and again.
    Also the PTO Members will have a reminder of the activities through all the channels and this will help you have deeper engagements.
  2. Survey with families.
    A survey will help you get to notice the issues that are faced by the parents in the school or at the PTO. Having a survey helps you know the reasons for your setbacks and grow through the thicks and thins of the school academics and the PTO.
    Conducting a survey is not enough. Reflect the results and make genuine changes in the system as per the survey. Go on improving and implementing the required changes. This is going to help you a lot in gaining trust of the whole parent community.
    A regular survey may contain questions regarding the facilities for the students, STEM faculties, field games, PTO activities and fundraisers, etc.
  3. Leaders must be available for meetings.
    Chair persons such as the Principal, PTO President, etc. must address the parents with all the new updates as well as issues about the school or the PTO.
    They must be aware of the responsibilities and the trust factor they bear on their shoulders and justify them.
    If the parents wish to meet, the leaders must be available on appointments for them.
  4. Provide information on current issues.
    If you provide most of the information officially, there are very less chances of grapevine communication, thus, ignoring the chances of misunderstandings and miscommunications.
    Keep in mind what information is to be shared with whom, which of the issues need a schoolwide response and which just need a PTO Meeting.
    Stratergize the sharing of information such that everyone who needs to know the information gets it by you.
  5. Build a strong connection among families.
    This is very important. All the families, if connected to each other, have a very firm determination towards the betterment of their students. And it is the responsibility of the PTO to help the parents connect with one another, motivate each other and work together.
    A PTO can achieve this by letting the parents talk with each other during the initial meetings, introduce themselves, and share ideas with one another for the PTO activities.

Along with all these points, keep in mind to follow the 7 C's of communication that might help you convey a message accurately and effectively.

Why is it Important to have effective communication?

  1. It promotes motivation by sharing knowledge, skills as well as responsibility and accountability.
  2. It is the source of information and helps in decision making.
  3. It helps to alter an parent's attitude about the PTO, the school and an Organization as a whole. A well informed parent will have a better attitude than a less informed parent.
  4. It helps in socializing.
  5. It assists in the process of controlling and managing the Parent group or organization.

What can a PTO achieve with effective communication?

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