HISD wins national award for crisis communications during Hurricane Harvey  

District wins 5 NSPRA Golden Achievement Awards and multiple honors for print and digital communications 

The Houston Independent School District Communications team was honored for its crisis communications to families, staff, and the community during Hurricane Harvey – the worst disaster in Houston history – with a Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).

HISD’s Communications team, under the direction of Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez, worked day and night to keep families and the public informed before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to local communications efforts, the team also facilitated the dissemination of information on a state and national level.

“Harvey did not stop us, but it made us stronger. Despite the difficulties from the hurricane, we found creative ways to communicate critical and timely information to our students, parents, employees, and the community during one of the worst disasters in local history,” Suarez said. “I’m very proud of my team for the hard work and commitment to putting students first in everything we do.”

Golden Achievement Awards recognize exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing, and engagement. HISD won a total of five Golden Achievement Awards for the following work: 

  • Harvey Communications, which kept families, staff, and the general public informed about district operations and community resources before, during, and after the storm through the media, website, email blasts, social media, and video.
  • Recapture communications campaign, which helped HISD voters understand a complex ballot issue with one-pagers, FAQs, video, social media, and a toolkit for principals.
  • Grade-by-Grade Parent Guides, which offer parents a detailed look at what their child should be learning throughout the school year.
  • Achieve 180, which includes a website and videos explaining the district’s initiative to strengthen and empower historically underserved schools.
  • 2018 State of the Schools, including the “Rebuild + Reimagine” branding, profiles, event signage and program.

HISD also received 18 other awards: six “Excellence” awards, six “Merit” awards, and six “Honorable Mention” awards for print and digital communications, including work done by the Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach team.

“Excellence” awards:

  • Branding/Image Package: State of the School: Rebuild and Reimagine
  • E-Newsletter (internal & external audience): “HISD Guide to Summer” and “Back to School”
  • Handbook: Welcome to HISD Parent Guide
  • Marketing materials (electronic): HISD 2018 Marketing Campaign
  • Marketing publication: HISD Teacher Recruitment Marketing Campaign
  • Special Purpose Publication: Board Toolkit

“Merit” awards:

“Honorable Mention” awards:

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