On March 8, 2023 representatives of many local organizations came together to hear about Spreading the Word Through Our Cities, Schools, and the Media, a forum hosted by Reaching Heights at the Coventry PEACE Building. Mike Thomas, Director of Communications for the City of Cleveland Heights; Cathan Cavanaugh, Supervisor of Communications for the CHUH City School District, and Bob Rosenbaum, Advertising Manager for the Heights Observer, gave presentations describing how local groups can share information about their organizations and events through the cities, schools, and local media.
Mike Thomas described recent projects happening in the Communication Department in Cleveland Heights. Currently a team of three from a one time high of 20 employees, the Communications Department is working long hours and getting a lot done. He emphasized the city’s enthusiasm for partnering with community groups and welcomed attendees to send in brief items for the city’s email newsletter. He also announced that the Focus Magazine will be returning and will eventually accommodate non-profits’ news again.
Cathan Cavanaugh invited attendees to form partnerships with the school district if they offer services, programs, or events that support students and their families. She described the flyer approval and distribution process, encouraged groups to have a table at the annual Heights Family Academy, and asked them to reach out to Nancy Peppler, Supervisor of Community & School Partnerships to donate items or offer services.
Bob Rosenbaum presented 10 ways to promote an organization or event through the media. Several highlights were to resist the urge to tell every detail about the organization and instead focus on one event or one program. He recommended that groups tell a story that draws people in rather than making a statement of dry facts. And he reminded participants to always include a photo but to secure the right to use that photo to avoid paying large copyright fines.
This event was the fifth school-community communications event organized by Reaching Heights. These events have three goals: meeting new people or building on existing relationships, learning new ideas or skills, and sharing best practices that may benefit other organizations. Speakers’ brief presentations are followed by table discussions. Participants move to a new table between presentations to meet new people and share best practices.
Reaching Heights, Inc. is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization that works to connect the community to the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools with information, programs, and events that raise awareness of public education, support teachers, and enrich students.