This week, Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne discuss the best practices for schools wanting to communicate effectively with parents and the community.

They discuss the role of newsletters, text messages, Twitter and even Snapchat.

Dorn-Bell says her first impressions, as a parent, begin with beautification and security around a school building.

Gagne adds, there’s a way to be secure but to soften it to be more welcoming.

Apart from those first impressions in person, ongoing communication is key. It should come via email, Facebook, Instagram, mass text messages and more, and websites should convey a level of tech-savviness.

Outreach should come regularly, but without overkill – Gagne said an appropriate amount is one or two tweets or posts a day.

“I would hope there’s some type of email that comes out from the principal at least every two weeks,” Dorn-Bell says, adding the information must be customized and relevant.

How about Snapchat?

Hosts Dorn-Bell and Gagne save that for next time, teasing the upcoming podcast guest, a social media guru for schools and districts.