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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.

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

How Can I Write an e-Book Myself - My Experience Writing 5 Quality e-Books

Friday, February 10, 2012
How often have you thought of writing your own school book - that is right - being an AUTHOR of your OWN work, which schools or students could use!? I would imagine that most teachers and school administrators have at some time in their lives had this wonderful thought. The only problem is that most of these people did not go the next step - BEGIN THE WRITING TASK. And what a task it is!!! But well worth it - take it from me - extremely rewarding!!!

Yes, the Beginning!!!

I found the most difficult step was actually BEGINNING! That's 'write' - actually putting pen to paper - well not really - actually putting finger to key board!

In my case I got to the point where I knew I had something beneficial to offer others and that the time was now right.

I locked away a four week block of time - moved to a quiet island near my residence and reflected and reflected and reflected...
  • put pen to paper for basic introductions and outlines
  • did drawings and sketches which would hopefully help the process
  • exercised
  • paddled my surf ski through mangroves and observed turtles and sea hawks - day after day until I realized the theme I had planned on was not to be.
  • My book of reflections and retreats would have to wait another day!
But No - There is More

But! When I sat down to my computer that night after realizing that it was probably all over, and that this whole experience was going to be either a waste of time or just a fantastic quiet holiday, another theme surfaced.

And before I really grasped the significance of this new direction, I had actually written almost a chapter on this new theme, over the first couple of days of this new session. From then on, as they say, the rest is history.

The first book was a hardcopy. It was written in two major sessions - the first three week block on the island, followed by over a year's break and then a four week Christmas holiday break. All up the final edition took eight weeks of intense work, spread over a fifteen month period. This was followed by another couple of weeks of proof-reading, final editing and deciding how best to market and sell the book.

The e-Book was Born

I eventually decided to change my hardcopy book into an e-book. I believed that this was the easiest and cheapest way to enter the world of the author! Since placing my first e-book online, I now realize that there are a variety of ways to sell e-books, each with varying costs, benefits and disadvantages.

The commercial online e-book store on the internet is still developing and is the new and probably best approach. It will in some cases allow for both the sale of the e-book and of the creation and then sale of this as a hardcopy through their online store - a double whammy! This is my main avenue now, which is combined with my own professional website.

The Challenge, Time, Sweat - Worth It!!!


Writing your own book or e-book needs dedication and commitment - no need to be put off by the challenge though. My marketing e-books are proof that it is possible! I am no different to anyone else.

I took the challenge, locked in the time and energy needed and went for it. Twenty-five weeks over three years and 6 books later, I am a very contented author, e-publisher and e-book seller.

You may also like to read the Write Your Own Book or e-Book and Get it Sold - the How to for Schools blog post for further information.

The 'How Can I Write an e-Book Myself - My Experience Writing 5 Quality e-Books' 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

How to Write a School Marketing Plan

Friday, February 10, 2012
Knowing how to write a school marketing plan will lead to better opportunities to increase enrolments. It will assist your school in becoming more widely known for what it offers the community, along with its successes, etc, which should lead to better enrolments.

Each School Marketing Plan should be based on 7 Key Strategies:

1. Define what you have to offer
2. Define your target group
3. Budget
4. Personnel and Talents
5. Develop Marketing Aims and Objectives
6. Marketing Strategies
7. Evaluation

Sample School Marketing Plan

1. Define what you have to offer
• vision and mission, personnel, basic underlying content and structures within the school, curriculum offered, pastoral and welfare support programs, facilities, extra curricula activities, etc
• specific demographics targeted e.g. ages and groups catered for - coeducational or single gender, etc, and their particular niche market
• future plans - programs, staffing, facilities, etc

2. Define your target group
• through various data, including surveys, observations, experience, gifts and talents available / needed
• proximity to / involvement with similar and / or churches and parishes
• any expansion - programs, facilities, staffing

3. Budget
• realistically support this marketing plan
• be flexible and open to growth and change as the needs arise
• continually develop over time through needs and experiences

4. Personnel and Talents available - including School Marketing Manager

5. Develop Marketing Aims and Objectives - from previous information

6. Marketing Strategies

• Marketing Relationships
• Marketing Resources (including branding, advertising)
• Media Use
- Internet and other Contemporary methods
- Both for Free (Media Releases / Editorial, etc) and for
- Fee (Advertising)

7. Evaluation

• The plan should be evaluated at least yearly and appropriate adjustments made for the following year.
• Changes may need to be made throughout the year depending on changing circumstances.

The 'How to Write a 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



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