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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

Evaluation of the School Marketing Plan and Updated for the New Year

Thursday, November 17, 2011
An updated school marketing plan for the new year, 2012, is a necessary requirement for any successful school community. This will help maintain or increase school enrolments through the updating of strategies and resources used in the new year.

By about now a full evaluation of this year's plan should be occurring - Step 7 of the plan (see below). If this has not yet been completed, it is strongly suggested that this becomes the first item in the 2012 school marketing action plan.

As a result of this school marketing evaluation, strengths and weaknesses should have become apparent. It is now time to build on the strengths and further develop or eliminate the aspects which did not work effectively or at all.

As part of the evaluation, representatives from the Key Stakeholders groups within the school need to give input.

These people would include:

  • Principal and Leadership Team
  • School Manager
  • Parish Priest
  • Staff (as decided in consultation with Principal)
  • Parent representatives
  • Student Leaders
  • Feeder School Principals and Leadership Teams
  • Media Representatives (usually media contacts of yours and advertising consultants you dealt with, as needed)
  • Systemic representatives as needed

Survey and Feedback

Feedback quantity and quality will vary.

Requested replies would be from both specific and general groups, for example, you may target specific groups of Parents e.g. School Board, plus the Parents and Friends / Citizens Associations, but also invite interested Parents through the schools’ newsletters to respond.

It is important that key findings are not lost in the summary presented at the conclusion of this evaluation process.

A simple questionnaire sent to these people asking three questions will often give enough detail for a fair appraisal and follow-up discussion with the School leadership team and SMM.

You may be inclined to do this through an online survey. (See previous section of this chapter for examples.)

The questions could be:

  • The SMP for [School Name] for this year was successful in what ways?
  • The SMP for [School Name] for this year was lacking in what ways?
  • How would you suggest the SMP for [School Name] be adjusted for next year?
  • Other comments

The SMM would then summarize these responses in an honest way and present the views to the School’s Leadership Team.

It is also good to include specific examples from each question from key people e.g.

  • a feeder school Principal may be the only one who is aware of issues regarding visitations or school involvement in his / her school 
  • a feeder school secretary may be the only one aware of specific  parental / staff issues she hears espoused in her main office;

Others may like to develop a survey which ranks specific statements about the SMP from 5 to 1. The number of statements in the survey would need to be minimal to gain a good percentage of replies.

This type of survey would more than likely achieve a greater number of responses, yet the detail is limited. You may like to try a greater number of statements for groups or individuals you feel are more likely to respond.

You may also like to include a section for written responses to questions similar to the above three.

SMM Support

It is important that the SMM is supported by all groups to continue on the successful way or make various changes to improve.

2011

Once the evaulation is complete and findings are known, the report is presented back to the key stakeholders, in particular, the principal and the school marketing manager. The manager is then responsible to the principal to redevelop the plan in the light of the new findings.

School Marketing Plan Overview
  1. Define what you have to offer
  2. Define your target group
  3. Budget
  4. Personnel and Talents available - including School Marketing Manager
  5. Develop School Marketing Aims and Objectives – from previous information
  6. Select Marketing Strategies
  7. Evaluation
See the posts School Marketing Plan - Overview and Analysis and How to Write a School Marketing Plan for further development.

The 'Evaluation of the School Marketing Plan and Updated for the New Year' blog post is based on chapters 'School Marketing Plan Evaluation' and 'School Marketing Plan (SMP)' and 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 for the Digital Age (3rd ed) 2010 by Bryan Foster - Contents

Sunday, July 18, 2010
The School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed) 2010 by Bryan Foster 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.

Below are the Content pages which explain the chapter key headings and subheadings.

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

The principles within this text could easily be applied to any business, educational or community organization.

About the Author                                   
Acknowledgements                               
Preface                                           
Introduction                                       
SMA Website                                                         

School Marketing Plan Overview Sample               

 School Marketing Plan and School Marketing Manager
                                        
School Marketing Plan (SMP)                             
School Marketing Manager (SMM)                       
School Marketing Manager Support Clusters                 
Branding                                         
Professionalism                                   
Budget                                       
Surveys                                       
School Marketing Plan Evaluation                     
Regional Marketing Plan                               

School Marketing - Internet Applications with
Samples and Instructions   (including screenshots and live weblinks)   

Website     
Website Management Software Sample                   
RSS Feeds
SEOs         
Blogs       
Emails   
e-Newsletter and i-Newsletter                               
e-Flyer and i-Flyer                                       
Social Networking Websites                             
Facebook     
Twitter       
LinkedIn   
Video uploads including You Tube - with Samples               
Skype       
Chat Rooms     

School Marketing and the Traditional Media
+ Instructions                                   

Traditional Media                                     
Media Releases                                   
Writing a Media Release (+ Sample)                       
Media Interview                                   
Journalists Visiting the School                           
Photojournalists                                   
Editorial from the School + Sample                       
The Difficult Media Situation                             
 ‘Staged’ events                                     

School Marketing - Advertising in the Media + Instructions                

Advertising in the Traditional Media                       
Newspaper and Magazine Advertising                     
Creating a Newspaper or Magazine Advertisement Instructions       
Radio Advertising                                   
Creating a Radio Advertisement + Instructions + Sample           
Television Advertising                               
Creating a Television Advertisement                       

School Marketing Relationships      
                                    
Powerful Stakeholders                                 
School Open Day                                    
Feeder School and Parish Relationships                   
Feeder School Visitations                             
Taster Days                                         
Information Evenings                               
Awards Night / Night of Excellence                       
School Expos                                   

School Marketing Resources + Instructions   
                 
Marketing Resources                               
Photos – Critical for Success                           
Prospectus                                         
Producing a Prospectus                                
Yearbook                                       
School DVD / CD                                   
Front Office and Staff                               
Telephone                             `           
TXTing                                       
Telephone On-Hold                               
Newsletter                                       
Commercially Produced Newsletter                       
Flyers                                         
Posters                                     
Brochures                                       
Signs and Signboards                               
Promotional Items                                 
Caution – Use of Student Images / Details                   
Action Plan Activity                                                                                             
 
Conclusion                                       
Glossary 
Bibliography                                  
Index

The School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed) 2010 by Bryan Foster - Contents' blog post was written by Bryan Foster.        

                                 

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