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School Marketing Blog

The professional school marketing manager needs to be up-to-date with the latest school marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the school marketing plan. This school marketing blog enables school marketing professionals to engage in blog discussions relating to the school marketing issues of today. The 'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

Advertising in the Traditional Media - School Marketing

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Advertising in the traditional media, as part of the School Marketing Plan, is a form of advertising for a broad reach within society. It is still a very successful form of marketing the school. Remember to use both the traditional and contemporary forms of marketing for success overall.

Traditional media advertising goes well beyond the school community.

Common forms include: newspaper, radio, television and magazines.


Purpose and Overview

This form of advertising is mainly used to:

•   Reach a broad audience beyond the school community
•   Build a reputation within the broader community
•   Have the reputation created support those within the school community
•   Advise the broader community of the advantages of your school to society
•   Encourage parents and their child/ren to consider enrolling in your school.

Success rates will vary depending on each individual publication and geographical location.

Advertising costs will also vary according to each individual publication and location.

Thorough cost analysis needs to be done by the SMM prior to developing a School Marketing Plan (SMP).
    
Often the smaller more localized publications are the best value as they often cost less and usually reach the targeted audience more effectively.

However, you need to be satisfied about:

•   outlet’s philosophy
•   usual content
•   style of presentation
•   advertisement placement positions
•   distribution method.


Advertisement Creation Options

Two options are usually available:

•   The school creates and produces its own advertisement or
•   The media outlet creates it for you

Each media outlet would normally create the advertisement for you, if you so wish. You should provide as much information and as many resources as possible, particularly the branding style needed (see ‘Branding’).

Don’t expect this method to be thoroughly to your liking though. You may need to go back and forth with the outlet until satisfied.

Other Topics in this Chapter

The other topics in this chapter from the ebook by Bryan Foster include:
  • Background Preparation
  • Be Prepared
  • Proofs
  • Signing Off
Specific Details and Examples for:
  • Newspaper and Magazine Advertising
  • Creating the Newspaper and Magazine Advertisement - Instructions
  • Radio Advertising
  • Creating a Radio Advertisement - Instructions and Sample
  • Television Advertising
  • Creating a Television Advertisement - Instructions
The 'Advertising in the Traditional Media - School Marketing' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

Managing the Media Interview - 6 Key Strategies

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The media interview is often a challenging, yet necessary, and often a very rewarding experience, for those involved with marketing - yet each interview needs to be well managed and prepared for...

Following are six key strategies needing special management prior to and during the interview.

The case study below is relevant for most professional and business media interviews but is based on the school situation.

1. Be well prepared!

The media interview is a very important means of getting your message across to an outside media outlet. Again - Be well prepared! (This can never be repeated enough!)

The interview is usually conducted by a journalist at the school. Sometimes over-the-phone interviews occur.

2. Who is interviewed?

Students are mostly interviewed. Sometimes the Principal and various staff members may be interviewed. Often the School Marketing Manager (SMM) will be interviewed but this is mainly as a result of clarification being needed by the journalist for a particular story or upcoming interview.

The SMM may be asked to give quick quotes for the completion of a story or for an addition to a news story requiring a school's input. The SMM may need to seek the Principal's input for these types of quotes. The SMM may need to obtain a quote from the Principal.

3. Preparation for the interview

School representatives need to be well prepared for any interview. If possible, practice interviews should be conducted before the journalist arrives. The SMM should pre-empt possible questions for those being interviewed.

Even if the interviewee is the only person who knows the detail being sort, the SMM's preparedness is required. Go over with the interviewee what the procedure will be and possible questions. The SMM needs to build confidence in the person about to be interviewed. This is best done through thorough preparation. People feel more confident when questioned on areas for which they are prepared.

Prior to the journalist arriving, the SMM should make firm plans with those to be interviewed to meet at a designated time and at a designated place. This allows the SMM to ascertain whether everyone is present and if any last minute change of arrangements is required.

4. 3-4 Key Points

Concentrating on the key 3-4 points you want to get across is often the best and easiest way of approaching the preparation and interview. However, it is also necessary to try and pre-empt possible 'curly' questions and develop possible responses.

5. Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes the journalist is late. This is unfortunate; however it is best to make plans to suit the journalists for as soon as they are able to arrive. This sometimes causes great inconvenience to the school, interviewees and SMM. Sometimes either the journalist or photojournalist arrives at different times. This is not usually a problem as it is possible to start with just one present.

6. Conducting the Interview:

• The SMM would meet the journalist and often a photojournalist at the School Office. Welcome them appropriately and have them sign in. They may need to wear school endorsed name tags while in the school grounds.

• Offer them a non-alcoholic drink.

• Have a predetermined venue on offer, whether indoors or outdoors depending on the nature of the story and weather conditions at that moment. Offer this suggestion to the journalist who will usually accept.

• Have a chat about where you are about to go, the interviewees involved and any restrictions e.g. time restrictions that may be apparent.

• The SMM then takes the journalists and interviewees to the selected venue/s.

• If some photos are being taken at the same time as some interviews, the SMM will need to arrange for another well informed staff member to assist the photojournalist.

• The SMM, or any designated staff member, should usually remain with the journalists until they leave the school grounds.

Conclusion

A successful media interview is both rewarding for those from the school interviewed and the school itself. Being well prepared is an absolute necessity. Being able to turn a negative into a positive is exceptionally rewarding. Remember to try and concentrate on your 3-4 key points, however difficult this may

The 'Managing the Media Interview - 6 Key Strategies' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com


Photos - Key to a Successful School Marketing Plan

Saturday, April 28, 2012
Photographic images are the basis of any successful school marketing plan. The more relevant and appealing the better! Remember - 'a picture tells a thousand words'!!!

How often have you been inspired by a photo or image? The higher the content relevance of the image the greater the success should be. In any school marketing campaign it is the relevance of each component, which will decide the campaign's success. One poor choice can turn that campaign into a flop. A poorly chosen photo / image can lead to the viewer ignoring or not seeing the message on the one extreme, to being totally against the whole message on the other extreme.

The quality of the image is also important, yet this would also depend on the artistic use of it. Most often a quality photo of the chosen subject is necessary for success. Yet, sometimes a poorer quality, or artistically enhanced, image may be quite appealing in a specific circumstance. The product and demographic of the campaign would decide this.

The digital camera has opened up a whole new world for most people. No longer are very expensive cameras and add-ons needed for that successful photo. The quality of many of these digital cameras is quite extraordinary now. The raw photo is often quite good, however add to this the qualities that software, such as Photoshop can add, and a whole new world opens up to even the least qualified photographer.

Of course, quality DSLR cameras, associated lenses, lighting apparatus and software such as Photoshop, will lead to considerably higher quality images in the hands of a photographer of merit. The marketing campaign will dictate the quality of image required.

Even the basic editing tools included with most Windows, Apple and Android products can enhance an image. Often all that is needed is a little cropping or light adjustment.

The smart phone supporting a large enough camera these days can become a part of a successful marketing plan. A smart phone with the appropriate apps downloaded will allow various images to take on that 'Wow' factor.

The digital camera allows for a large number of photos to be taken. Don't be a miser here. You will find that some photos work for you while others won't. Hence, the more you take, the more chance of that 'magic' shot. In time you will develop an appreciation of the number of shots needed to achieve your aim.
The moving video image also has a place to play. The photo image is more often used within a video for special effect.

The photo image is a key component of any successful marketing campaign within so many common media. When an image is used effectively it grabs the attention of the viewer and makes them take note. Use it well and that 'thousand words' will become part of your marketing campaign.

The 'Photos - Key to a Successful School Marketing Plan' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com


The Number One Strategy of School Marketing - Word of Mouth

Monday, April 02, 2012

Word of Mouth - #1 Strategy to Market Schools

Let's keep it simple. From my experience there are a number of classic and contemporary methods to market your school. These should be at the forefront of any successful school marketing plan. A number of these are free or relatively inexpensive. The number 1 method though is ‘Word of Mouth’ is free!

School and Wider Community Support Needed

Now this may seem quite obvious and simple to many, that the number one strategy in a school marketing plan is word of mouth, unfortunately it can be anything but that. Word of mouth requires the great majority of people to be speaking positively about your school. This not only includes those directly in the school community e.g. staff, students and parents, but also those in the wider community who may influence those within and without of the school community. This would include: grandparents of students within the school, others directly associated with the school e.g. suppliers of school goods, professionals e.g. those charged with the finance guidance and auditing, architects and engineers of the building plan, people on the school parents and friends / citizens association and the school board, past students association, etc.

Hence, these people need to be fully informed and communicated with, concerning all the events and happenings within the school. This includes the positive and the negative.

Negative News Can Become Positive News

Why the negative you may ask? If the school is run effectively it will have policies and procedures to deal with most, if not all, circumstances it may face. When people within and without the school see that the school is dealing with those negative aspects in a professional, caring and effective way, they will more than likely support the school. For many of these people they will go much further and espouse how wonderful the school is in the way that it deals with negative issues. This can be a very effective method, overall.

Conclusion

Once this strategy is accepted as the primary means to market a school, it then becomes evident that the next challenge is to select numerous forms of communication and a number of strategies, which are going to be needed for the ‘word of mouth’ strategy to be fully informed and hence, successful.

The 'The Number One Strategy of School Marketing - Word of Mouth' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com


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