My Account

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.

How to Write Your Own Book or e-Book and Get it Sold - for Schools

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
This may seem quite difficult for most school staff, and it is, however, I very much believe every teacher and school leadership person has at least one good book within themselves. It may or may not be on the theme or genre that you initially expect, but it is there.

All school staff have particular skills, be these professional, trade-based, business, religious or spiritual, artistic, social or family-based, etc. These days people who 'have made it' want to tell us how they did it. May be this is your area. May be you are very creative, tell great stories, or consistently have people eager to listen to your every word - may be a fiction book or autobiography is your best approach.

Unfortunately, we are not going to see the fruits of all these skills as most people will not ever get to complete their masterpiece. Do not be one of these. Make the commitment, plan the process and Begin! Begin! Begin!

You will then need to commit to either a full time or part time writing schedule. Extended breaks dedicated to writing are the best options. However, a well scheduled weekly part time regime and out of work hours is another viable option.

Options to Sell Your Book / e-Book

The key approaches a new author could take are:

  • Chasing a Publishing Company to Publish Your Book - often quite time consuming and with a minimal chance of success.
  • Self Publishing - Printing, Marketing, Selling, etc - printing costs are high. The problem of getting your book marketed and into the stores - difficult.
  • Creating Your Own Professional Website and Online Store for e-book sales - relatively expensive to do well, however cheaper options are developing right now - but this method will get your work out there in a reasonably quick time. Then there is the challenge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), i.e. the process of getting your website high on search engines - quite difficult but not impossible.
  • Selling e-Book Through Commercial Online Stores - probably the simplest and least expensive. This is the area which has taken giant leaps in the past  2 years.
  • Creating a Hardcopy in a Way Which is Inexpensive and Then Sold Online Through a Commercial e-Book Store - developing now before our eyes - and often offered through the top end online commercial bookstores themselves. This way allows for both the book and e-book versions to be sold, often by the same company - doubling your marketing options.

Check out the top end online bookstores for what they offer, such as Amazon.com. At Amazon com you can Amazon self publish your books inexpensively as well as sell your book as an e-book at their Amazon Digital Text Platform.



Check out various options to build your own website in relatively simple and inexpensive ways, such as at Yahoo Site Builder. Also see various search engines and others who offer this option, as one possible route for this to occur. This will allow for both the sale of your book as a book and an e-book online through both commercial online bookstores and though your own website and its online shop.

The more options you give yourself for sales, the more books and e-books you will sell.

You may also be interested for more information the blog post: How to Write an e-Book Yourself - Yes You Can - My Experience Writing 5 Quality e-Books

The 'How to Write Your Own Book or e-Book and Get it Sold - for Schools' 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

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

School Marketing Manager - Support Clusters

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
All School Marketing Managers (SMM) need support no matter their perceived proficiency or experience.

Overview

One of the best forms of support cluster may include each school’s SMM, School Principal, Leadership Team members, selected Staff, Parents and Friends / Citizens Association and School Board.

Another support is a cluster of SMMs, usually within local proximity.

Either support cluster could benefit from inviting input from other specialists be they from other schools, system authorities, school employing authorities or other consultants.

Input on current marketing practices from within that cluster and / or by offering suggestions for improvement would be beneficial.

Support Cluster - School Leadership Team

The School Principal should always be an integral part of any School Marketing Plan (SMP).

The School Principal, along with the school’s Leadership Team, would normally be a wonderful support structure for the SMM.

To have gifted people literally within earshot of one another and able to have ideas bounced off each other, and opinions and ideas shared, would be beneficial.

The School Principal and Leadership Team should have confidence in the SMM and allow this person to develop the SMP without interference. This, however, needs to be done in consultation with the School Principal and maybe also with the other school Leadership Team members.

The SMM would initially need to gain the trust of the School Principal and Leadership Team.

Time, professional development and the experience of successfully completing and implementing a SMP may be integral to gaining this support.

Support Clusters of SMMs

Often SMMs feel that all schools, even those of the same denomination, are rivals.

This is most likely far from the truth.

The 'School Marketing Manager - Support Clusters' 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

Recent Posts


Archive


Tags