Public Finance and Trust with Dr. Mark Anderson

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Three ways Spokane Public Schools is staying ahead of the engagement curve

In our Thoughtexchange Virtual Event earlier this week, Dr. Mark Anderson shared his district’s formula for 20 years of consistent success on bond referendums. Mark also discussed how his team is adapting to today’s changing engagement landscape. We collected his three key tips to help your team stay ahead of the curve when engaging your community.

  1. Turn your staff into ambassadors - Mark and his team regularly run exchanges and have face-to-face meetings with staff to keep them informed and engaged. This ensures they’re bought into district plans and can communicate well when speaking about them.
  2. Take a dual approach to public consultation - As public meeting attendance dwindles, Mark has learned that today’s parents are too busy to attend town halls. They prefer to engage online. However, the district still holds public events to be sure they’re engaging all demographics.
  3. Leverage community partnerships - Mark has seen success in partnerships with municipal government. By teaming up with the City of Spokane on initiatives and holding joint public announcements, the district shows constituents they’re saving taxpayer dollars.
“The reason why we have face to faces with all of our staff and then also do Thoughtexchange with them is that they really are our ambassadors. They are the ones out there that parents believe, who friends and relatives that live in our school district go to ask. So, we make sure our staff are well-educated and that they’re engaged, because we see them as key communicators for us.”Dr. Mark Anderson,  Spokane Public Schools
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