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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 Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed) by Bryan Foster

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2011, by Bryan Foster -  available from - AMAZON.COM

 and all good internet bookstores.


The book is now available as a paperback and e-book from all good internet bookstores.


The e-book is available from Kindle at Amazon.com 

 




This is a professional instruction manual which includes an outstanding array of strategies and samples. The 340 (paperback) is a concise overview of how to market your school in an easy to read summarized point format.  Internet Applications are especially covered through over 100 pages, 130+ weblinks and 80+ internet screenshots. The contemporary and traditional approaches needed for marketing your school in the digital age are explained.


Bryan Foster has been marketing schools and his own publishing company for over twenty years. This experience led to a very hands-on approach to marketing schools. Each method detailed has been successfully used in the field. He was a school marketing manager for almost twenty years and is now an author and the director of his own publishing company, Great Developments Pty Ltd.

Bryan’s website is continually upgraded with refreshing strategies, samples and examples to keep the school marketing manager well informed and up to date.


Internet and the School Website

Thursday, June 23, 2016
The internet and the school website provide so many school marketing strategies that are:

• very contemporary
• popular with a significant and ever-increasing number of our school community
• ever-growing in possibilities
• often inexpensive or free
• fun!

The modern school needs to be actively involved with many of these internet opportunities, otherwise they will unnecessarily fall behind the interest level and communication methods of an ever-growing number of our students, staff and their families – with what could be serious ramifications for all concerned.

The CHALLENGE has been issued! Topics covered in this chapter in the School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2011:

Headings
Website
Website Management Software Sample
RSS Feeds
SEO s
Blogs
Emails
e/i-Newsletters and e/i-Flyers
Social Networking Websites
Video Uploads
Chat Rooms
Skype

Website

The school website is one of the most important forms of marketing the school. It is often where school information is initially found, especially by families new to the area.

The website is often one of the first places that potential families, students and potential staff get an overall feel and basic appreciation of the potential for their involvement in school life.

Creating a Website - Background

Investigation in this area is critical.

  • The school will need expertise to create and then continually update a good website.
  • The initial construction of the website may come from school IT staff or other staff, systemic
  • IT specialists, parents with special IT skills or from outside commercial consultants.
  • The continual updating would best be done within the School. In-servicing staff for making
  • these updates would be money well spent
Website Inclusions

Many good ideas can be gained from exploring the Web and noting characteristics that may be included on your website. This exploration would be relevant both for those about to create a website and those who are / will be doing the updating.

Homepage

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.

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

Target Audiences

The website is also where more and more students and parents will continually visit throughout their time in the school.

School Marketing Managers and key school staff should use the website for interactionbetween 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.

The 'Internet and the School Website' 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  and all good internet bookstores.


Management Software for School Websites

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
A popular marketing strategy for many schools is to have the website embedded in to management software which allows
for management of the site. This takes the site beyond the static and into the realm of continual fluid development – Web 2.0.

The expense of this option is not considerable and with negotiation within the field a reasonable monthly cost would be expected. I would suggest speaking with trusted others in deciding on the businesses offering this support.

This software allows for various detailed reports of website usage. It could include:
  • • the whereabouts in the world of visitors to your site
  • • number of webpages they visited
  • • the content viewed from webpages and applications they visited
  • • where they entered and exited the website
  • • who is exploring your site, through IP (Internet Protocol) addresses
  • • the browsers they used to link to your website
  • • any commercial activities you may have as part of your website, etc.

This allows for the non-IT expert to update the website regularly, from uploading photos, literature items, to adding webpages, blogs, galleries of photos and videos, etc.

There are numerous other capacities depending on the management software. See the right hand columns in the screenshots below for details available though the management software I use.


Always Interactive supplies my management software. My specific interest areas I find most valuable are:

  • Geographic Locations and Viewing Numbers
  • Webpages Viewed and Numbers per Page
  • Search Engine Transfers to my website
School Websites

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.

St Joseph’s Hunters Hill and Brisbane Catholic Education sites see the News as central to their homepage. Another similar site worth viewing is the Loreto Toorak site.

Another often used style for homepages emphasizes detail. It is very important that it is presented in an attractive, clear and succinct format. A good example of an archdiocesan website is the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Another good example follows and is reproduced with permission of Saint Ignatius College, Riverview.

The 'Management Software for School Websites' 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 
and all good internet bookstores.


Managing the Media Interview - 6 Key Strategies

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The media interview is often a challenging, yet necessary, and often a very rewarding experience, for those involved with marketing - yet each interview needs to be well managed and prepared for...

Following are six key strategies needing special management prior to and during the interview.

The case study below is relevant for most professional and business media interviews but is based on the school situation.

1. Be well prepared!

The media interview is a very important means of getting your message across to an outside media outlet. Again - Be well prepared! (This can never be repeated enough!)

The interview is usually conducted by a journalist at the school. Sometimes over-the-phone interviews occur.

2. Who is interviewed?

Students are mostly interviewed. Sometimes the Principal and various staff members may be interviewed. Often the School Marketing Manager (SMM) will be interviewed but this is mainly as a result of clarification being needed by the journalist for a particular story or upcoming interview.

The SMM may be asked to give quick quotes for the completion of a story or for an addition to a news story requiring a school's input. The SMM may need to seek the Principal's input for these types of quotes. The SMM may need to obtain a quote from the Principal.

3. Preparation for the interview

School representatives need to be well prepared for any interview. If possible, practice interviews should be conducted before the journalist arrives. The SMM should pre-empt possible questions for those being interviewed.

Even if the interviewee is the only person who knows the detail being sort, the SMM's preparedness is required. Go over with the interviewee what the procedure will be and possible questions. The SMM needs to build confidence in the person about to be interviewed. This is best done through thorough preparation. People feel more confident when questioned on areas for which they are prepared.

Prior to the journalist arriving, the SMM should make firm plans with those to be interviewed to meet at a designated time and at a designated place. This allows the SMM to ascertain whether everyone is present and if any last minute change of arrangements is required.

4. 3-4 Key Points

Concentrating on the key 3-4 points you want to get across is often the best and easiest way of approaching the preparation and interview. However, it is also necessary to try and pre-empt possible 'curly' questions and develop possible responses.

5. Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes the journalist is late. This is unfortunate; however it is best to make plans to suit the journalists for as soon as they are able to arrive. This sometimes causes great inconvenience to the school, interviewees and SMM. Sometimes either the journalist or photojournalist arrives at different times. This is not usually a problem as it is possible to start with just one present.

6. Conducting the Interview:

• The SMM would meet the journalist and often a photojournalist at the School Office. Welcome them appropriately and have them sign in. They may need to wear school endorsed name tags while in the school grounds.

• Offer them a non-alcoholic drink.

• Have a predetermined venue on offer, whether indoors or outdoors depending on the nature of the story and weather conditions at that moment. Offer this suggestion to the journalist who will usually accept.

• Have a chat about where you are about to go, the interviewees involved and any restrictions e.g. time restrictions that may be apparent.

• The SMM then takes the journalists and interviewees to the selected venue/s.

• If some photos are being taken at the same time as some interviews, the SMM will need to arrange for another well informed staff member to assist the photojournalist.

• The SMM, or any designated staff member, should usually remain with the journalists until they leave the school grounds.

Conclusion

A successful media interview is both rewarding for those from the school interviewed and the school itself. Being well prepared is an absolute necessity. Being able to turn a negative into a positive is exceptionally rewarding. Remember to try and concentrate on your 3-4 key points, however difficult this may

The 'Managing the Media Interview - 6 Key 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



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