Choosing a school is a much more important decision than a new car - and so evidence becomes even more important. A school can claim to do many things - to be academic, caring, exciting, inclusive - but without actual evidence this will not be trusted.
How do you find and present this evidence in a school? Perhaps the best approach to take is that of a local journalist and find the stories that show your school in action. Here are a few tips...
1. Ask face-to-face - in a school community there is a lot of exciting news every day - but much is happening well away from the centre. You can ask in a number of ways but the best is to attend department or year group meetings and talk face to face about what you'd like to hear about. Email is much less effective - although you can follow up meeting with emails.
2. Make it easy for teachers and students - don't insist on fully written stories. All you need is a brief tip-off that something is going to happen.
3. Keep a news diary - record everything in the future with a date against it. This allows you to communicate in advance, when the event is happening (live Tweeting?), and again after you've recorded it.
4. Focus on a few top stories - once you've got information coming in, filter it and choose the stories that best meet your school's key messages to work on. (But make sure to thank everyone who sends you ideas!) You will have your own idea of how many stories you can work on.
5. Involve students - ask participants in an event to write down their stories or take photos or videos. You could ask them to keep diaries or blog from a trip (with moderation of course!)
6. Use a range of media to record stories - using photos and video as well as words is vital. The good news is that almost everything will be photographed and videoed on a smartphone - ask for people to email you the best pictures!
7. Interpret jargon and data - a lot of school news (especially when student assessment is involved) can appear dry and be full of acronyms. Take time to remove this and tell the story in a way that a parent or student can understand (and check with a real parent or student!)
8. Encourage sharing of stories. Nothing will encourage more people to tell you stories than seeing themselves featured - whether on the school website, in local papers or on Facebook or Twitter. Creating a 'news page' on your website with links to social media is a great way of starting this. Here's an example from the US.