In this episode, Joel Gagne speaks with Dorie Clark, marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and author of the books Stand Out and Reinventing You.

Clark brings her experience as a branding and communications expert and applies it to the challenges facing school administrators.

Optics, she says, are important in being an educational leader: You want to be a leader that both listens and is willing to take charge.

Pointing to required leadership skills, Clark says oral communication is first and foremost.

It’s so important that, for superintendents and educational leaders who don’t project their voice properly, Clark recommends getting a speech or singing coach.

Asked about dealing with crisis communication, Clark preaches being upfront about what you know and what you don’t know.

“One extreme is stonewalling,” she says. In some situations, it can make sense, but not often. The opposite extreme is speculating: “That will get you in a lot of trouble.”

On another topic, Clark shares advice about keeping someone in public education who may be discouraged by a bad experience or stained reputation.

Clark says it’s not about getting negative information off of Google, rather you can “bury it” with more positive content.