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Like a Boss: How School Communication Managers Can Be Better Leaders
Connor Gleason

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful organization, but this is especially true in the realm of school communications, where school managers are tasked with ensuring that students, teachers, and families are informed about the latest news and events in a timely and effective manner.

As a school comms manager, it can be challenging to manage multiple tasks while ensuring that everything is executed correctly. And whether you manage an office of a dozen, three, or two teammates, this is when effective delegation comes into play.


Delegating tasks to other team members frees up precious time and allows you to focus on more strategic initiatives while empowering your coworkers. However, delegation is not simply about assigning tasks and waiting for results. It’s a process that requires careful planning, clear communications, and most of all — trust.

How to be a better communications manager

“If you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself.” Sound familiar?

As office managers, it's difficult to emotionally separate yourself from creative work, and hand responsibility off to subordinates. But you can’t be a soldier AND a general at the same time. And while it can be difficult for school managers — who are often deeply invested in their work — to delegate, it’s ultimately a crucial step to ensure that teams work efficiently and effectively.

Let’s explore what it takes for effective delegation and project management, and how school professionals can lead their teams — like a boss.


The first step in effective delegation is preparation. As the saying goes: “A failure to plan, is planning to fail.” School leaders should take the time to assess their school communication office's workload, and then prioritize and identify the tasks that can be delegated.

Specific goals, time frames, budgets, availability, and workloads — they’re all important factors when preparing a special initiative or assigning recurring responsibilities to your team. This is especially true when preparing for a long-term project like redesigning your school's website, or implementing new software, like an enrollment management system.

screenshot of students playing trombones

“It’s 90 percent planning, ten percent execution,” said Katherine Lawyer, Downingtown Area School District’s systems and support administrator. Her team relied on the ease of use of Finalsite’s CMS, Composer, as well as the training resources Finalsite offers to create an award-winning website. “Communication is key in any project, but planning is one of the most important considerations.”

Assign tasks strategically

School communication managers should assign work to team members based on their strengths and weaknesses and who is best suited to handle each task. Don’t overload your team members with something they can’t handle — you don’t want your team burning out or failing to meet expectations.

For example, someone who excels at graphic design may be the best person to hop into Canva and handle creating flyers and graphics for an upcoming school event, while someone with strong writing skills may be better suited to handle drafting press releases or overseeing social media content. That allows you more time to work with school leadership and lead from a higher level.

Be specific

When assigning tasks, it’s crucial to be specific about what’s expected. Learning how to be a better boss includes providing detailed instructions for projects, setting clear deadlines for drafts and final versions, and outlining the desired outcome.

This can help ensure that the task is completed correctly, and (hopefully) on time and within budget. It can also help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication, which lays the groundwork for frustration and resentment.


Once the task has been assigned, it’s important to keep things running smoothly and confirm that each team member understands what is expected of them. This can be done through a follow-up email, a quick conversation, or a series of regular check-ins.

By confirming that your team members understand the tasks, you can help ensure that there are no misunderstandings or confusion about what's expected. As a deadline approaches, it’s often difficult to go back, undue what's been done, and start over.

Composer Navattic Demo

Use the right tools

Project management will play a big part in your team’s success. Software like Asana, Monday, and Trello, are all options that provide helpful organizing, collaboration, communication, and task management for projects.

For edits to your school website, having a content management system (CMS) that easily provides opportunities for collaboration is essential.

In Composer, Finalsite’s CMS, the ability to draft pages, permission-based settings, the ability to preview changes, password-protected access, and versioning control all come into play when feedback is required.

SSPS homepage screenshot of students in a gym

With a dozen editors across the district managing their own sites, South St. Paul Public Schools Communications Coordinator Danette Childs spearheaded her district's website redesign. A web style guide, permission-based user roles, and constituent groups helped grant levels of permission based on user accounts while creating a cohesive look and feel across different pages.

“For user access, that helped limit what site editors could, and could not have access to. I like how I can restrict permission to areas that they're allowed to access and areas they aren’t,” Childs said. “I can be very specific on who gets to edit what, but I can still have a lot of collaborators.”


Following up is a critical step in the delegation process for managers. You want to empower your team to make choices, be creative, and apply themselves, but regular check-ins allow school communication managers to confirm the progress of the task, offer support or guidance, and ensure that everything is on track.

However, it’s important to strike a balance between being involved and micromanaging. While it's essential to provide support, it’s also crucial to allow team members to take ownership of the task and complete it in their own way.

Let it go…

Micromanaging is a killer — it can breed a culture of mistrust and stifle creativity and innovation. Instead, school communication managers should provide guidance and support and allow team members to take ownership of the task.

"Letting go" of the way you would do something allows your team to make adjustments and add their own style. Great managers foster a sense of autonomy and empowerment, which can lead to better outcomes and increased job satisfaction.

Celebrate success

After all the hard work, it’s essential to celebrate success. Recognizing the efforts and achievements of individual team members and the team will help build morale and foster a sense of pride.

This can include publicly acknowledging your team member's contributions, offering a small token of appreciation (hint: coffee), or simply taking the time to say “thank you.” Celebrating accomplishments can help create a positive and supportive culture that encourages team members to stay involved, engaged, and passionate about their work.

Edina Public Schools news section

Edina Public Schools regularly calls out the accomplishments of faculty and staff in its news section — a great example of publicly sharing the achievements of colleagues and supporting school pride.

Give feedback

Providing feedback is an essential part of the delegation process. It allows team members to understand how they are performing and make adjustments as needed. However, it's important to provide feedback in a constructive and supportive way, like highlighting the positive aspects of the work, offering suggestions for improvement, and providing guidance on how to make changes.

Key takeaway

Effective delegation is an essential tool for school communication managers looking to lead better. By providing guidance and support, offering constructive feedback, and celebrating success, you can foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork that benefits everyone on your team and your school. So, let's take a deep breath, put trust in our teams, and delegate like a boss!

Branding Playbook for district leaders

Connor Gleason Headshot


Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.

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