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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

E-book or Paperback? Best to Write and Publish?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

E-book or Paperback? What is the best method to write and / or publish as a new or established author and / or small publishing company?

Whether to write an e-book or to write a paperback is now the perennial question facing authors and small publishing companies both new and old alike. It certainly appears that the e-book is winning, if you take the latest Amazon statistics as representing the norm. If you also consider the number of corner bookstores closing in our neighbourhoods, you would certainly lean towards the e-book.

However, I would like to suggest that we authors and small publishing companies prepare for both of these options. Small commissions in whole dollar terms for the e-books verse greater dollar incomes via the paperbacks and possibly even more profits per copy via the hardcovers, encourages us to prepare for both - e-books and hardcopies!

The Internet has the Answer

The internet is now the greatest asset we have to help make us a reasonable, good or even a very good income if our product is suitable to the market. Both e-books and hardcopies of these books can be sold across this medium. Initially you will probably need assistance from a company which can do both for you. There is an enormous cost and risk-factor trying to write, publish, market and distribute any book on your own. Major corner bookstores have their own suppliers and this is a difficult field to break into.

However, if you set up a very good website and create a very good SEO (search engine optimization) rating through the major search engines, then you should be able to sell your e-books and hardcopies through this medium. This is difficult to achieve and very time-consuming - but possible over time can be a reality.

The corner bookstore will also be of assistance to our goals, if we are able to convince them to stock and market our paperbacks and hardcovers. Not an easy task in such a competitive marketplace.

Amazon.com and CreateSpace an Answer

From my experience the best method is selling both e-books and paperbacks through some company like Amazon.com who have their own company which creates your publication in paperback and e-book formats. These obviously come at a cost, but in my opinion, at a reasonable cost for what you gain both as an author and / or publisher.

E-books will probably sell more copies with smaller dollar commissions per copy but with the strong possibility that the quantity of copies sold will be much higher than for paperbacks or hardcovers due to their lower cost per item. Hence, the overall income will be considerably greater.

I would suggest from personal experience to have both this e-book option melded with the paperback option. There are many people who prefer to have the real paper-book experience. Someone like Amazon.com and their company CreateSpace.com can open up this option for you. Selling both e-books and paperbacks from your own website will add another marketing and sales option.

Create Both Media for Success

Combining both the contemporary e-book version with the traditional paperback version of your books will open up many marketing and distribution options for greater sales and promotion of these books. Using a company, which does all the key aspects for your books i.e. creates both the hardcopy and e-book versions, markets and sells your books over the internet, always with your complete control, is something for which all authors and small publishers should aspire.

The author has found from his experience that both Amazon.com and his own website are two very good avenues to use to market and sell his e-books and paperbacks. The latest editions written by Bryan Foster were put into their present format by Createspace and are sold on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_tc_2_0?rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3ABryan+Foster&keywords=Bryan+Foster&ie=UTF8&qid=1322387322&sr=1-2-ent&field-contributor_id=B005DOPRMO The previous editions are sold on his own website at http://schoolchurchmarketing.com/online_shop


The 'E-book or Paperback? Best to Write and Publish?' 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 Difficult Media Circumstance and Appropriate Response

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Occasionally the school will experience the Difficult Media circumstance.

Sometimes the media may request an interview with or without forewarning
.

This usually happens when a story is considered exceptional for their circumstance. This may be when something controversial or of a significant status has occurred and the media wants to run with that story on that day or the next.

Examples of these would include:

  • a disaster where the school has had major damage, such as from a major storm or fire
  • a staff member or student has been allegedly involved with something illegal
  • a former student has done something highly successful, controversial or allegedly illegal
  • the government or city council have or will make a decision that impacts significantly on the school, etc.

School's Response

In this case initially you need to advise the media that the school, through the principal, yourself or someone with authority, will speak with them shortly.

You have every right to consider your options before speaking.

It is often best to contact the systemic Communications Manager, if such a role exists. This manager is usually familiar with best practice for such events. The manager will either become directly involved and speak on behalf of the school or offer suggestions on the best approach. The manager may also contact others within or outside the system who may be able to offer advice eg lawyers, building or insurance advisors / consultants, counsellors, etc.

Offering a “No comment” is often fraught with potential misinterpretation or even worse, taking the story according to the information they have which may not be the truth or whole truth. Comment truthfully.

You do not need to give all the details but offer what is needed for the media enquiry allowing for privacy and ethical considerations.When School Marketers experience the Difficult Media Situation comment to the media truthfully.

This may be just a simple, “Thank you for the enquiry. We will get back to you shortly.”

If the school decides to act on the request itself there are a number of approaches which should benefit the school:

  • Be available for an interview in person or over the phone.
  • Be positive and in control during the interview
  • Appearance is important eg appropriate demeanour, dress, stance
  • Control the backdrop for television or newspaper photo to get the positive visual message out that you want
  • Answer all questions, but turn the answer to what you want to emphasise
  • Having 3-4 key points is a good approac

State the obvious, such as:

  • no one was hurt, or unfortunately some people were injured
  • damage to the property was significant or minimal
  • the most important thing is that no-one was hurt, only property damage occurred and that this will be repaired as soon as possible or
  • unfortunately some people were hurt and the school is currently doing everything possible for those people eg ambulance was called immediately, there will be ongoing medical assistance, school counsellor involved for those directly affected and others at school, other counsellors are coming from sister schools, etc.
  • the school / principal is sorry that this unfortunate event occurred, all procedures have been followed and that everything possible will be done to ensure that this won‟t happen again. If updating procedures is necessary then this will be done immediately.

Follow-up

Be available to keep the media updated as the situation changes or developments are made.

The 'The Difficult Media Circumstance and Appropriate Response' 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

School Marketing Manual e-Book Going Paperback

Monday, January 31, 2011
School Marketing Manual Going Paperback

The ‘School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2010, by Bryan Foster will soon be offered as a paperback. It will still be available in the popular e-book format as well.

CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company, is in the process of converting the e-book into the paperback format. There will be a number of improvements to the present e-book format. The cover, along with the internal layout and presentation will be improved, the page size will become an industry standard for non-fiction sized paperbacks of 8” x 10” version, and hence the length will increase.

Once completed the paperback school marketing manual will be immediately available and primarily sold through the Amazon.com bookstore on the internet. It will become available later this year from both Bryan Foster’s SMA: School Marketing and CPM: Church Parish Marketing websites’ Online Shops. The e-book version will continue to be sold through the SMA: School Marketing and CPM: Church Parish Marketing websites’ Online Shops, as well as, is presently the case, through the Kindle shop on Amazon.com.

School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed) e-book

The school marketing manual e-book is a 369 A4 page e-book specializing in strategies and examples for marketing schools. The easy to read summarized point format allows for considerable detail without the 'waffle'.

Business, religious and community organizations would be able to adapt these marketing strategy points to their particular circumstances.

The author has been marketing for 20 years within the Catholic Church at both educational and Church spheres. The education experience is in elementary / primary and secondary levels, in city and country, in both large and small schools.

Below are the Chapter Headings which explain the chapter key headings (or download SMMDA Contents Page):

Contents                                      
SMA Website                                                         
School Marketing Plan Overview Sample               
School Marketing Plan and School Marketing Manager                                          
School Marketing - Internet Applications with Samples and Instructions   (including screenshots and live weblinks)   
School Marketing and the Traditional Media + Instructions                                   
School Marketing - Advertising in the Media + Instructions                
School Marketing Relationships       
School Marketing Resources + Instructions    
Conclusion                                       
Glossary  
Bibliography                                   
Index

Easy to read and use, professionally compiled, detailed e-book for school marketing personnel - written in summarized point format. No more wading through unnecessary long winded text.

Through detailed Contents and Index pages, you will be able to arrive at the specific marketing method you need in your particular marketing niche – school or church.

Once there, you will find the necessary points for that method, quickly seen – in all the detail you should need. These points will include:  
•   an explanation of what the method is
•   various implementation strategies
•   step-by-step development processes.
This e-book published in year, 2010, is a considerably revised edition of the previous one published the year before.

Create Space Background

CreateSpace was originally founded as CustomFlix Labs, Inc. and BookSurge Inc. CustomFlix launched in 2002 when four colleagues decided to make widespread distribution easier for independent filmmakers—they started CustomFlix, a DVD on-Demand company.

BookSurge was launched in 2000 by a small group of writers who wanted to create opportunities for authors to not only publish their work, but to also retain their content rights and sales profits. BookSurge grew to support leading publishers and independent authors, offering complete self-publishing, on-demand printing, and online distribution services.

In 2005, BookSurge and CustomFlix were both acquired by Amazon.com. CustomFlix’s name was changed to CreateSpace in 2007. In October of 2009, due to the harmonies that would be created in the businesses, the CreateSpace and BookSurge brands merged under the CreateSpace name to become the publishing and manufacturing on-demand leader for independent content creators, publishers, film studios, and music labels. (CreateSpace)

The ‘School Marketing Manual e-Book Going Paperback’ blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2010 - with copyright remaining with SMAPL.

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