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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 Manager

Friday, May 27, 2016
The School Marketing Manager (SMM) is responsible for a successful School Marketing Plan - a critically important role within any successful school. The school needs to be seen its best light in order to build a solid reputation and student and staff body.

Overview

The School Principal will often delegate this School Marketing Manager role to a school staff member.

Full-time, Part-time or shared? The Principal’s decision…

However, it is best not to lose sight of employing the best person for this position.

The SMM will be responsible for the School Marketing Plan and responsible to the School Principal.


Full / Part-Time or Shared Role

Most SMMs would be part time in this position these days. Budgetary restraints would basically necessitate this. These people would combine this role with their other primary role, usually that of Assistant / Deputy Principal or School Manager.

To share the role, I believe, could be detrimental to it. Having someone knowing everything there is to know about was has occurred, is being planned for and involved with the future implementation of the School Marketing Plan is a definite advantage.

I feel that the time is coming when an individual school or at least a combination of schools within a certain region / religious order / system will employ a
full-time SMM.


School Marketing Manager Skills Needed

The person who takes on this role will need to:

•   be interested in the area of marketing and preferably passionate about it

•   be a person of integrity

•   be able to base the SMP on the School’s Vision and Mission statement

•   be aware of the marketing needs of a particular School

•   have good interpersonal skills

•   be able to build professional relationships with key stakeholders, members of the media and various local business personnel

•   have a creative flare and appreciation of what ‘catches the eye’ of the targeted audiences

•   have good literary skills

•   have good computer skills, particularly with creative AV software packages and internet usage, or at least an appreciation of these along with other staff members or parents who would implement the software packages under your direction

•   have a good appreciation of the internet and be able to implement all that this means of communication offers your particular school

•   be capable of developing and implementing a viable budget

•   be keen to learn and develop more successful forms of marketing and marketing skills.


The School Response to the SMM is discussed in in detail in the school marketing manual ebook.

The 'School Marketing Manager' 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


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

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

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