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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.

Branding for School Marketing

Sunday, April 01, 2012
Branding is often a person’s first contact with the school. It is usually a visual image seen. It may also be a verbal input. This should be a key aspect of your school marketing plan.


Branding’s importance must not be underestimated.

First impressions do count!



First Impressions

The first impression may be gained from the following:

•   Reputations of school as espoused from someone within the community or other family member, friend or work asscoiate

•   Website design

•   Welcome by office staff  / office decor, etc

•   Prospectus / Information Pack - cover, pages and inclusions

•   Uniform of students and office staff

•   Stationery received

•   e/i-Newsletter, newsletter or newsletter design and front page content

•   Telephone call response by office staff / voicemail response / telephone transfer instructions / dedicated line for upcoming events recording, etc

•   White and Yellow pages listings

•   Advertisement in newspaper or magazine, radio, etc

•   e/i Flyer or Flyer

•   Student or staff at school

The branding of the school needs to be well considered and representative of the school’s vision and mission.
It needs to show how the school is to be seen within the community.


Uniformity

Branding needs uniformity to be a powerful, positive tool.

Mixing and matching branding causes a weak and disjointed image to be apparent. This is to the disadvantage of the school in a number of ways. The confusing images distract and hence do not leave the desired impact. The school may be seen itself as disjointed and ‘not together’ and hence causing various follow-up difficulties.

Other sections covered in the school marketing manual include:
  • Key Branding Areas - Primary, Secondary and Tertiary
  • Branding Changes
  • Creativity of Design

The 'Branding for School Marketing' 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


Key Strategies to Link the School Marketing Budget to a Successful School Marketing Plan

Friday, February 10, 2012

The School Marketing Plan is strongly linked to the school marketing budget - there is often a reluctance to offer the necessary capital to allow this to be effective. Below are four key strategies to make this budget work - and work well!

1. Invest During Good Times - Financial and Otherwise

2. Invest During Difficult Financial Times and Other Difficult Situations

3. A Realistic Budget is Necessary

4. If Needed - a Shared Budget Across Schools or Regions


1. Invest During Good Times - Financial and Otherwise

Good times are the best times to invest. This enables the school's reputation to be enhanced considerably. Resting on the laurels of the past can become an expensive exercise when the reputation is forgotten or when a new challenge comes from other competing interests, including other schools and distractions within society.

2. Invest During Difficult Financial Times and Other Difficult Situations

However, all schools need to market themselves at whatever stage of the success cycle at which they find themselves. Do not give up in the tough times - all schools will experience these throughout their history. It is a most important time to market, fight for the dollars so you don not get left behind in the marketplace.

3. A Realistic Budget is Necessary

Various people within each school community have differing views on the amount which should be afforded to the marketing budget. School leaders need to be aware that the implementation of a good marketing plan would inevitably drive up community engagement and enrolment numbers!

In today's dollar values spending $20 000 - $40 000  for an average sized independent school (of between 600 and 900 students) would be a good investment. This would need to be proportionately reviewed according to overall School Budget, the number of enrolments and the overall need of the school to build and maintain enrolment numbers.

When the marketing plan is being developed for a specified year, key stakeholders, particularly the School Principal, School Manager and the School Marketing Manager, need to assess the budget requirements. The budget will have a significant impact on a plan for any year. The budget includes all areas of the plan which incur expenses.

4. If Needed - a Shared Budget Across Schools or Regions

Shared marketing budgets across a number of schools may be another way of efficiently budgeting.
This could be regionalized e.g.:
• a combined regional budget to be shared amongst schools or
• a RMM (Regional Marketing Manager) implementing the whole marketing plan for the region and individual schools, which are only required to develop their own essentials such as newsletters.

Or it may be a number of localized schools working together and sharing the budget.

A shared budget may see different schools marketing specific aspects for the cluster e.g.
• one may concentrate on Arts / Sport Education within the cluster
• another may market the varying sorts of key curriculum and extra-curricular areas on offer and differing times for each
• another may emphasize the pastoral, welfare and social justice aspects within the cluster.

For some schools this may be the only way to begin marketing or to maintain a budget in any form what-so-ever.

Caution - even though this may appear to save financially, it takes away from the individual uniqueness of each school. Marketing is often more successful when emphasizing a uniqueness.

A professionally run school will always allow for an appropriate marketing budget to assist with promoting the school - both in good and difficult times.

The 'Key Strategies to Link the School Marketing Budget 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




Teachers Writing a Book or e-Book - 7 Key Challenges and Solutions

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Teachers are highly qualified professionals who should seriously consider writing their own book or e-book. This blog post considers 7 key challenges and solutions to help make this a most enjoyable and rewarding task.

Writing your first book is one of life's most pleasurable experiences! All the time, thought, effort and creativity finally becomes very worthwhile. When the book finally sells is equally, or even more, exciting! Then you see your first pay-check from the publisher / book seller or from your website's online store - WOW!

I have written 6 nonfictional books, 5 of which are currently sold as e-books. The following are some of the experiences I have gained over the past few years.

What could possibly go wrong with the whole process of writing / publishing / marketing / selling, etc? Heaps - in fact! But don't initially be turned off by these. Be aware of the challenges and be prepared to meet these head-on. However, after becoming fully informed, and if you feel it is not right for you, it is probably best to let go and may be try another challenge awaiting you.

Seven key challenges and solutions are:

1. The average author makes very little income out of book sales. Now this must be a cause for serious consideration. Most authors do not make a living out of writing - at the best it supplements their income. At the worst the whole experience ends up costing them money. Hence, the theme you write about, as well as the quality of your writing, is critical. Along with these, you will also need a good publication method and marketing campaign. Sometimes authors do not expect any serious income but are just content with the option of writing for themselves and a few others.

2. The time commitment is considerable. It is virtually a part-time occupation spread over many weeks and months. Most authors either write in small to medium hourly segments of time over a long period, or in weekly blocks over time. This depends on individual circumstances.

3. Publishing is difficult as each major publishing company has thousands of new manuscripts or books at their disposal each year. Your work needs to have quality, be controversial or be very creative, or meet a specific niche, etc. Try a variety of companies and do not forget the e-book sellers. (See below.)

4. Self publishing is another option - yet one which usually also has a considerable financial cost associated. Having a substantial number of hard copies printed is expensive as is the cost of getting these to market - not to mention the considerable amount of time and marketing skills needed. However, if you are well prepared and funded, this may work for you, especially if you have contacts within the industry who can offer advice and lead you on the way.

5. Creative publishing methods are becoming more accessible through the internet these days. For hard copies of books you may also try creative selling methods e.g. eBay or Amazon's CreateSpace. At the time of writing, the CreateSpace option allows for Amazon to assist with the formatting, publishing and sales process considerably, but at a cost dependent on how much assistance you need.

6. E-Book sales through your own website are becoming more popular and usually for less expense. You will need to create, or have created, your own website, as well as having the electronic shopping facilities integrated within your site. There are many companies which offer this option, see Yahoo, for example. One of the major challenges of this option is getting your website visited very regularly, which usually means it is high on the search engines, e.g. Google, Yahoo, etc. Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) is the key concept needing a full understanding to be successful here.

7. Try blogging - it's usually FREE! To meet the inherent personal need to write, which we authors have, and save on the expense, you may like to try blogging. There are so many sites now which open up a whole new world for authors - try the WordPress and Blogger websites for starters. You may even make money directly or indirectly out of these opportunities. You may become well-known as an expert on a particular topic and searched out for this expertise. Or you may place affiliate or Google Ads, etc., on your blog.

The joy of writing sometimes supersedes the need to make a profit. For most authors, this unfortunate lack of profit is an inevitable consequence. I have personally enjoyed my experience these past few years and intend continuing this creative pursuit.

Writing your own book or e-book needs dedication and commitment. 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.

The 'Teachers Writing a Book or e-Book - 7 Key Challenges and Solutions' 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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