Harper PTO Communications are here to help you promote your Harper PTO announcement or event. Please take a look at the communications vehicles below for information on how to move forward with your publicity efforts.
Harper Happenings Announcement
Harper Happenings content must be submitted by Monday at 9AM for the week the announcement is to run. Submissions are sent to the PTO Communications Chair via the Communications Request Form. Since many people read the HH on a smartphone, we recommend that you keep the announcement as short as possible. If you have a lot of information to communicate, the announcement should include the most important facts and a link to the website for details. Remember to submit a webpage content request, if needed, for the website link. The PTO Communications Chair may have to edit your announcement for space issues. You will be given an opportunity to review your announcement before the HH is distributed.
In limited circumstances a separate email to the full Harper community may be needed. These will be sent bi-monthly from Dr. Kick on the first and third Thursday of the month. Email blasts are limited to one per event so please consider appropriate timing for your announcement. In some cases, announcements from multiple committees will be included in an email blast. Email blasts are appropriate when used:
- For larger events with a substantial amount of information to communicate
- To communicate new or changed information about an event, particularly when changes are made close to the time of the event
- To communicate information that is time-sensitive (i.e., volunteers required for an impending event)
- As reminders for events taking place over the weekend.
The objective of the website homepage is to briefly list upcoming events with links to separate committee or event pages. Only yearlong items such as Harper Happenings, Lunch Menu, Advance To Go are given buttons. The general guidelines for website content are:
- Please split up your message into a short “teaser” for the homepage with a link to a separate page listing your event details (who, what, when, where, why and how). In addition, every committee already has its own page where you can post general information.
- Submit all requests at least one week prior to desired posting; please provide additional time if your request is very complicated. Requests that include using PayPal need to be submitted 2 weeks prior to posting.
- The homepage has limited space and occasionally the timing of events requires prioritization of the spaces on the webpage by date. We will do our best to accommodate all requests, but keep in mind that the sooner we know about all requests the better we can plan.
Electronic Bulletin Board
Harper has an Electronic Bulletin Board in the Harper School lobby. Content is uploaded by a school administrative staff member. Submissions are sent to the PTO Communications Chair via the Communications Request Form. Since people quickly pass through the Harper School lobby, we recommend that announcements be as short as possible. A website address should be included if there is a lot of information to disseminate. The Electronic Bulletin Board announcements are really meant to be brief “shout-outs” about your event/program including important date, time, registration requirements, deadlines, etc. If you have any images to use or have ideas about images you would like to incorporate but don’t have, those can be sent to the Communications Chair who will work with Harper Staff to incorporate them.
Announcements online and in print can be placed in the Wilmette Life, Wilmette Beacon, TribLocal and What’s Happening for Harper events of interest to other Wilmette residents. Content (short event description, time, date, location and any links) must be sent to the Harper Communications Chair no later than 2 weeks ahead of the date to be published in order to meet deadlines. Some of the above publications and on-line vehicles will include a photo. If you would like to include a photo, please make sure that it is engaging with clear images. The Communications Chair can provide you exact photo specifications for each publication if you choose to include a photo. Please contact the Harper computer teacher to verify that none of the children in the photo are on the list she keeps of children whose parents have requested not be in any Harper publicity efforts. This approval must be provided to the Communications Chair.
Room Parents are not to be used as a general communications channel.
Non-PTO Group Communications
If non-PTO organizations wish to communicate to Harper families, they may place a poster on the Community Bulletin Board in the Harper lobby. They can also provide grade-specific handouts to Harper teachers and ask them to distribute them via student mailboxes. These communications efforts must all be pre-approved by Dr. Kick and created and duplicated on equipment outside of Harper.
Never underestimate the impact of signage in front of Harper School, easel posters in the school/lobby and committee member(s) staffing a table in the hallway during school events such as Curriculum Night, Meet & Greet, Open House, etc. Old fashioned word of mouth publicity by Committee and Organization members and other creative ideas you have will all help to elevate your efforts.