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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.

Top 10 Free School Marketing Strategies

Monday, April 02, 2012

Free or Inexpensive

A successful school marketing plan and budget will need to incorporate most of the top ten free school marketing strategies if it is to be successful. The top 10 strategies can be free, or at least relatively inexpensive, depending on the school’s present arrangements.

By effectively using the media and the school website, there should be little expense activating these top 10 strategies, especially when the digital option is the primary method used, instead of hardcopies. If it can assumed that the school has a website, which can be managed by the school, as well as a school signboard and a good digital camera, then these strategies can be implemented for free or little expense.

The first strategy is in itself free, yet is also reliant upon a number of other key strategies to be implemented successfully – ‘Word of Mouth’.

Top 10 Free School Marketing Strategies

1.    Word of Mouth - School's Reputation
2.    Quality Teaching and Opportunities for Students – Curricula and Extra Curricula Activities
3.    Professionalism of staff in action and appearance
4.    School Website
5.    Use of the Media - both traditional and contemporary – including editorial, images  and advertising
6.    Information Sessions - night and day times – including observation of the school in action (a transparent approach), parent nights, entertainment by students, school boards and parent associations, open days, etc.
7.    Newsletters and Flyers - digital (and hardcopy where needed)
8.    Front Signboard
9.    Social Networking Sites e.g. Facebook and Twitter
10.  Cross Information (within the region’s schools or parish)

The number 1 strategy, ‘Word of Mouth’, is dependent on those espousing various views about the school being well informed. To do this, the next 9 strategies have an important role to play.

The school needs:

•    to have a high quality curriculum,
•    an easy to use professional website,
•    the ability to engage the local media so that the good stories are told to the whole community, and even the negative stories being told with the school’s professional approach for solutions being seen in a positive light,
•    openness to various visits to the school and
•    the acceptance of the place of the digital flyers and newsletters

•    acknowledgement of the place of social media in today’s digital world.

Conclusion

Free key strategies are often the best approaches to marketing your school. When the school has set up a professional website and the school community has a positive attitude toward the school and what it offers, along with what the digital age can offer, then a free, or relatively inexpensive, school marketing plan is possible. This approach can also work when the attitude of the community is not as high – however, there may need to be a need for various forms of paid advertising to counteract such negativity. The best school marketing plan would incorporate most of the free top 10 strategies for marketing your school.

The 'Top 10 Free School Marketing 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



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





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