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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.

Top 10 Free School Marketing Strategies

Monday, April 02, 2012

Free or Inexpensive

A successful school marketing plan and budget will need to incorporate most of the top ten free school marketing strategies if it is to be successful. The top 10 strategies can be free, or at least relatively inexpensive, depending on the school’s present arrangements.

By effectively using the media and the school website, there should be little expense activating these top 10 strategies, especially when the digital option is the primary method used, instead of hardcopies. If it can assumed that the school has a website, which can be managed by the school, as well as a school signboard and a good digital camera, then these strategies can be implemented for free or little expense.

The first strategy is in itself free, yet is also reliant upon a number of other key strategies to be implemented successfully – ‘Word of Mouth’.

Top 10 Free School Marketing Strategies

1.    Word of Mouth - School's Reputation
2.    Quality Teaching and Opportunities for Students – Curricula and Extra Curricula Activities
3.    Professionalism of staff in action and appearance
4.    School Website
5.    Use of the Media - both traditional and contemporary – including editorial, images  and advertising
6.    Information Sessions - night and day times – including observation of the school in action (a transparent approach), parent nights, entertainment by students, school boards and parent associations, open days, etc.
7.    Newsletters and Flyers - digital (and hardcopy where needed)
8.    Front Signboard
9.    Social Networking Sites e.g. Facebook and Twitter
10.  Cross Information (within the region’s schools or parish)

The number 1 strategy, ‘Word of Mouth’, is dependent on those espousing various views about the school being well informed. To do this, the next 9 strategies have an important role to play.

The school needs:

•    to have a high quality curriculum,
•    an easy to use professional website,
•    the ability to engage the local media so that the good stories are told to the whole community, and even the negative stories being told with the school’s professional approach for solutions being seen in a positive light,
•    openness to various visits to the school and
•    the acceptance of the place of the digital flyers and newsletters

•    acknowledgement of the place of social media in today’s digital world.

Conclusion

Free key strategies are often the best approaches to marketing your school. When the school has set up a professional website and the school community has a positive attitude toward the school and what it offers, along with what the digital age can offer, then a free, or relatively inexpensive, school marketing plan is possible. This approach can also work when the attitude of the community is not as high – however, there may need to be a need for various forms of paid advertising to counteract such negativity. The best school marketing plan would incorporate most of the free top 10 strategies for marketing your school.

The 'Top 10 Free School Marketing 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



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


How to Deal with a Media Interview Request with Little or No Warning

Saturday, January 14, 2012
The media will sometimes request an interview from you giving little or no warning - and expect you to respond immediately. There are various strategies which can help with this difficult situation. Be well prepared before being interviewed by the media, even if this means delaying it until you become better informed.

When?

The request usually happens when a story is considered 'big' and relatively serious or controversial and the media wants to run with the story on that day or the next. They basically want your instant attention and response, whether you are prepared or not.

This may be when something controversial or of a significant status has occurred. The suggestions on how to deal with this situation are relevant for most circumstances, be these professional, business or community based. The case study below will concentrate on a church or parish scenario.

Examples of media requests would include:

•   a disaster where the school has had major damage, such as from a major storm and fire, or it may sometimes involve arson or other criminal damage, etc
•   a leader, staff member or school employee has been allegedly involved with something illegal
•   a former leader, staff member or school student has done something highly successful, controversial or allegedly illegal
•   the government or local council have or will make a decision that impacts significantly on the school, church or parish, etc.

School Response

Initially in this case you need to advise the media that the school Marketing Manager or school Principal will speak with them shortly.

You have every right to consider your options before speaking.

It is often best to contact the system's Communications and Marketing Manager, if such a role or similar one 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 parish or offer suggestions on the best approach. The Manager may also contact others within or outside the diocese who may be able to offer advice e.g. lawyers, building or insurance advisors / consultants, counsellors, etc.

Offering a "No comment" is often fraught with potential misinterpretation or even worse. The outlet could, in this situation, just take 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 legal, privacy and ethical considerations.

Initially this may be just a simple, "Thank you for the enquiry. We will get back to you shortly."

When you are ready contact the media and arrange the interview - be careful not to leave too much time between the media's request and your response.

Being very well prepared before being interviewed by the media is a very necessary requirement for success. If you have not got all the details needed, request a short period of time to gather the necessary information - but do not leave the media waiting too long - otherwise they may go with the information they have, no matter its accuracy or fullness.

TThe 'How to Deal with a Media Interview Request with Little or No Warning' 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 - Overview and Analysis

Sunday, January 01, 2012
An example School Marketing Plan is best considered primarily through an OVERVIEW and secondly through an ANALYSIS - each being a foundation for success in marketing your school. When each of these aspects is considered in detail, the effective planning may begin.


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

Analysis of the School Marketing Plan

•   The School Principal is ultimately responsible for the Plan.

The Plan:

  1. is based on the School’s Vision and Mission Statement.
  2. is used to market the school to the community. The community includes all people who know, or those who you want to know, about the school. These include the general public in your catchment region, parents, potential families, school staff, parish  staff, other schools’ staff especially from feeder schools, present and past students, parents, etc.
  3. includes the strategies used within a defined budget.
  4. is used to inform all stakeholders, and other targeted groups, of the benefits and successes of the school.
  5. informs about aspects which may be of interest.
  6. needs to plan for issues which may arise of a controversial nature.
  7. should inform and emphasize the real nature of the school and the direction the school is planning or presently implementing.
  8. should include a realistic budget.
  9. can benefit from the combination of views of staff and others associated with the school community.

•   Marketing is relatively inexpensive when viewed in the terms of the potential gains made – reputation, new parents, supportive present parents, enrolments, etc.

•   In the initial stages of developing the school’s first real plan it is often best to include a variety of interest groups for gaining ideas and suggestions about how best to market your school. These thoughts may then be used as felt necessary.

•   The School Principal needs input and has the overall responsibility to implement the plan.

Other sections covered in the 'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2010, by Bryan Foster are:
  • SMP Evaluation
  • SMP is Not ...
  • Be Ethical
  • Who Needs a SMP?
The 'How to Write a School Marketing Plan - Overview and Analysis' 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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