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How To Access Communications Services

The following instructions are for MDE employees who want to access MDE's communications services. 

EdUpdate/Administrator News

The Office of Communications and Government Relations publishes the weekly EdUpdate e-newsletter to inform MDE staff, school and district staff and teachers about events, grants, awards and news items. Updates also can be found on the Mississippi Achieves blog.

The Administrator News section of the EdUpdate is for important notifications for district leaders and is emailed to superintendents weekly. 

How to: All requests for news and events to be added to the EdUpdate and Administrator News should be emailed to . The Communications Office will review the requests and will consider appropriateness for the EdUpdate before publication. Please ensure that all submissions meet the following standards for publication: information is in Word format, all website links work, contact information is included, and no flyers attached. 

Email/Emergency Alerts

The Office of Communications and Government Relations uses MDE email to inform employees about internal events and important information.

How to: The Communications Office sends messages to all employees as needed. On occasion, the Communications Office will send emergency text alerts to employees regarding inclement weather days and building or safety issues. New employees are provided with instructions for signing up for the emergency text alert system. 

Graphic Design

The MDE has limited resources to produce professionally designed materials. Priority is given to major projects such as the Superintendent’s Annual Report that advance the State Board of Education Strategic Plan.

How to: Executive Leadership Team members may request graphic design services from the Communications Office. If a request cannot be fulfilled in-house, offices may procure services from an outside design firm following Office of Procurement guidelines. All materials must adhere to MDE style guidelines. The Communications Director must approve any materials produced by an outside firm.


Preserving the integrity of the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) brand is vital to maintaining a strong reputation and identity for our organization. MDE brand guidelines and best practices ensure the agency is represented consistently. No other logo may be used to represent the work of the MDE. Download the official logo from our logos page. A complete style guide can be found under the resources menu. 

How to: For questions about logo usage and to get approvals for any new designs that use the MDE logo, please email

Legislative Requests

The Office of Communications and Government Relations is the central point of contact for all interactions with elected officials. The office works with the Legislature on bills and provides data and other information upon request.

How to: All legislative requests and calls for information should be routed to the Office of Communications and Government Relations. If MDE staff are needed as subject matter experts, they will be contacted by the Communications Office.

Media Inquiries

Per agency policy, all calls or emails from members of the media requesting information or interviews must be directed to the Office of Communications and Government Relations.

How to: Media members should be directed to call the Communications Office at 601-359-3515.

Mississippi Achieves Blog

The Mississippi Achieves blog functions as the MDE’s news hub for news releases, events and videos. This is the venue for sharing up-to-date news and events with district personnel, employees and the general public.

How to: Items may be submitted for consideration of publication to Tabatha Burkett, Final approval of published items will come from the Office of Communications and Government Relations.

Mississippi School Spotlight Videos

Mississippi School Spotlight videos highlight the outstanding work of Mississippi schools and how the MDE supports their work. View all Mississippi School Spotlight videos at

How to: If you have a story or topic you would like to be considered for a future spotlight video, contact the Communications Office at 601-359-3515.

News Conferences

For very important announcements of statewide impact, the MDE will hold news conferences with the state superintendent of education. News conferences are reserved for major announcements, such as a significant improvement in NAEP scores.

How to: Divisions/departments that deem a news conference is necessary should elevate that information to their respective chiefs who will bring that information to the Executive Leadership Team. The leadership team will determine the necessity of a news conference and then coordinate the event with the Office of Communications and Government Relations.

News Releases/Media Advisories

Information about programs, data results, State Board of Education and Commission meetings, and other areas of interest is distributed to the media and public via news releases or media advisories. News releases can be found on the MDE website from the home page.

How to: Any items that need to be distributed to the public or media should be sent to the Office of Communications and Government Relations. Once the release gets final approval, it is released via email and on social media platforms.


The Office of Communications and Government Relations oversees the development and distribution of agency-wide newsletters. Program office newsletters should be regularly scheduled (monthly or quarterly) and posted to the website for future reference. Newsletters should not be used as a one-time communication.

How to: The Office of Communications and Government Relations’ role is to develop, publish and monitor communications from the MDE. If a program office would like to start a newsletter, please contact the Office of Communications for guidelines before creating the newsletter.

Social Media

The Office of Communications and Government Relations manages the agency’s social media sites: YouTube, Facebook, Mississippi Achieves blog and Twitter and TeachMS campaign channels.

How to: MDE employees can contact the Communications Director to request that messages be posted to the MDE social media sites. The Office of Communications and Government Relations reviews the proposed content to ensure accuracy and timeliness and posts them, if approved.


The Office of Communications and Government Relations produces videos for information and training purposes, as well as photography for communication projects and State Board of Education recognitions.

How to: Download and complete a photography/videography request form and email it to Patrice Guilfoyle at
Requests will be reviewed and considered for approval. For Camtasia, or audio over a PowerPoint presentation, email


The MDE website is the primary source of education information in Mississippi. It is essential that employees know how to access information on the website and that all offices regularly update information.

How to: Each office/department has a designated web editor who can update information. Staff should ensure that the content posted has been checked for spelling, grammar, and formatting. If the staff is unsure how to perform a task on the website, they should submit a ticket to .