• very contemporary
• popular with a significant and ever-increasing number of our school community
• ever-growing in possibilities
• often inexpensive or free
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:
Website Management Software Sample
e/i-Newsletters and e/i-Flyers
Social Networking Websites
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
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.
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:
• 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.)
• 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
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.