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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.

School Website Homepage Integral to School Marketing Plan

Monday, March 05, 2012
The School Website Homepage is essential for a successful School Marketing Plan.

The homepage is the most important page to get correct. It is the page the viewer normally reaches on their initial search. First impressions are critical.

Appearance

The appearance needs to be in-line with the school’s selected branding styles:

• colors
• photos (for ease of acquiring and using professional images, check out such sites as: istockphoto (http://www.istockphoto.com/index.php) and crestock.com (http://www.crestock.com/). These sites provide professional standard images at relatively inexpensive rates. You buy royalty-free images which you can then use on your website. You may, however, have good professional ones done for you. These photos need to be professionally presented. Don’t skimp on costs here.)
• logo
• motto or catchphrase
• selected key words and key phrases
• good graphics
• clear, directing toolbar/s and other links
• attention grabbing inclusions e.g.

  • news updates
  • upcoming events
  • webpages on your website listed

This website is discussed through the school marketing manual by Bryan Foster.

The School Marketing Plan must include provision for a professional and inspiring school website homepage. This is where more and more students and parents will continually visit throughout their time in the school.

Target Audiences

School Marketing Managers and key school staff should use the website for interaction between the various stakeholders within the school e.g. their students, potential students, staff, families and other interested people including parishioners.

Regularly updated bulletin boards and newsletters, upcoming liturgical and social events, St Vincent de Paul and other charitable needs and requests, photo and video galleries of school activities, etc, are needed.

School Website Examples

To view good school websites, for ideas for your own school’s website, just go to your browser and type in such words as: ‘outstanding school websites’, ‘school websites’, ‘best school websites’, etc. There are so many good examples out there.

You may also visit various school websites, system-level office websites and diocesan websites for both ideas and for key personnel.

Three good examples which see the News as central to their homepage are:
 
St Joseph’s Hunters Hill at  http://www.joeys.org/index.cfm
Brisbane Catholic Education at http://www.bne.catholic.edu.au/
Loreto Toorak site at http://www.loretotoorak.vic.edu.au/home/

Another good example follows and is a more detailed homepage version http://www.riverview.nsw.edu.au/, yet quite effective!

The school community will continually deelop their appreciation of the school's website and expect to interact more with it.

The 'School Website Homepage Integral to 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

Bryan Foster - School Marketing Innovator

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing e-Handbook: Easy to Use Guide to Market Your School, and the SMA School Marketing website, has been marketing Catholic schools for almost 20 years in city and country, elementary / primary and high schools. Bryan is a school marketing innovator and has been since being the first school marketing manager on the Gold Coast in the early 1990's.

A highly ethical approach to school marketing, and passion for marketing the Catholic school, was formed as a result of his extensive Religious Education teaching and leadership experience.




School Marketing Experience

Bryan is the School Marketing Manager at Aquinas College, a Catholic secondary co-educational college on the Gold Coast in Queensland, in what is arguably the most difficult school marketing region in Australia, since 1994. He is also the school’s Assistant Principal Religious Education.

As a primary school principal of two schools, Bryan Foster was heavily involved in marketing both schools.


Featured in a Sydney CEO publication

Bryan Foster is featured in 'Super Marketing Your School', by Ted Myers, Head of Promotions and Publications at Sydney Catholic Education Office . This case study highlighted the progress, at Bryan's school, Aquinas College, Southport, Australia, of their school marketing plan and successes.

From spectacular beginnings Bryan developed the highly successful school marketing plans, strategies and methods for today's world. 

Topics covered by Ted Myers about Bryan's marketing experience at Aquinas included: Building Relaionships with the Media, Promotional Philosophy and Key Promotional Strategies. The key strategies were: Developing a close working relationship with the media; Developing stronger feeder school releationships; Professionally-produced publications and Co-operating with other Catholic schools.

Developing these strategies and more for the school marketing world of today is a primary aim for Bryan Foster. His school marketing e-handbook... explains these in easy to read, step-by-step procedures.


Educational Experience and Qualifications

Bryan Foster has taught for 30 years in Catholic schools from Years 1 to 12. He has held various senior and middle management positions: a primary school Principal in two schools, APRE in secondary school and Years 9, 11 and 12 Coordinator.

He holds a Master of Education degree from the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, a Bachelor of Education degree, a Graduate Diploma in Religious Education and Diploma of Teaching from McAuley Teachers College in Brisbane, along with a Diploma of Religious Education from the Institute of Faith Education.

Bryan has assisted many school marketing coordinators. He is considered highly by Brisbane Catholic Education and throughout the years has assisted their school marketing personnel.


Family

Bryan lives on the Gold Coast, Australia, with his family. His wife, eldest daughter and son all teach in Catholic primary schools, while his younger daughter attends a Catholic secondary school.

School Marketing e-Handbook: Easy to Use Guide to Market Your School by Bryan Foster

'Staged' Media Events for School Marketing

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

‘Staged’ Events for school marketing.

A number of events may be 'staged' for optimum media / marketing coverage throughout the year.

These events would most often be normal school events which would be heavily marketed, with a primary marketing aim of gaining some media coverage. The desired media involvement would be free coverage gained as a result of media releases and / or phone calls to key media people.

The main staged event for most schools is the Open Day.

Two other events, which have been found to be very successful at Aquinas College, were a special Phone-a-thon and a unique Liturgy.

The Phone-a-thon was set up with the local television station and went live to air during and after the local news and weather segments. The purpose was to track down past students from the College for an upcoming major school anniversary. The setting was a small room with a number of key people, including the Principal, a past Principal, staff member, student and Sschool Marketing Manager - all with telephones. The School Marketing Manager asked people to ring in details and also had a little 'chat' about the event with the host. The whole promotion went very well and was free of charge.

The Easter Liturgy is still covered yearly by the local television station and major newspaper. Its significance is its size, number of students in costume or otherwise involved, scenes and props used throughout the school campus and local church, and vision of whole school being involved with each new station of the cross.

Either the Principal, students or School Marketing Manager are interviewed by various media outlets each year.

Other events could be:

 the Night of Excellence / Awards Night
 a sports grand final game eg Firsts
 school musical
 a past students‟ event
 the school‟s feast day
 graduation day
 school formal.

The event, or aspects / moments within it, should be as unique as possible to gain media attention. The staged event then becomes the focus of a marketing campaign.

Written by Bryan Foster author. This is an extract from the section "'Staged Events'" in the 'School Marketing and the Media' chapter in School Marketing e-Handbook: Easy to Use Guide to Market Your School



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