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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



Schools Need Social Networking Websites

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Schools can benefit from the use of social networking sites being an integral part of their school marketing plan and its associated strategies.

It is best for this to be appropriate, and most times creative. Increasingly, this form of communication is becoming more obvious for schools. A special note is to be aware of all the privacy and legal issues!

The Challenge

We are challenged to meet our school community, and potential parents and students, where they are at, or might be, in the near future. The social networking tentacles are reaching further into the various demographics affecting our communities, often way beyond the awareness of school and systemic leaders. No longer is it just the teens and '20 something', it is now common for people in their 50s and 60s to have one or more social networking accounts.

The Misconception


The misconception is that this form of communication is just used for inane chat amongst 'dizzy lightweights'!

There is a considerably large and ever growing group of people who use this for much more than chat, even though legitimate chat does play an important part in many forms of communication.

These people are not only building and strengthening relationships amongst friends and newly formed acquaintances / friends through their engagement online with each other and often doing so simultaneously, they may also be adding depth to key aspects of their lives.

Assumptions Underlying Social Networking Websites?

There are a number of interesting assumptions an ever expanding group of people of the 21st century make, with representatives being in most age groups, :

• People like to build trusting relationships with others before doing 'business' (Schools need to be open to appreciating this belief and then adapting the way they communicate with such people.)
• The busyness of life often limits face-to-face opportunities
• The relationship does not need to be a face-to-face encounter, even though this is often preferred
• 'anonymity' allows for a less inhibited sharing of ideas and thoughts. (Easier for some people to make a comment when the contact person isn't actually in front of them. Similar for some people when using telephones or email.)
• The internet often provides the answers people are seeking (How often do you hear more and more, "Google / Yahoo / Bing / MSN it!")
• Digital communication is the easiest and quickest means of communication
• Digital communication allows for multiple conversations simultaneously
• People using these forms of communication eventually trust in the results due to their experiences of it.

Why Consider Social Networking Websites?

To reach this ever growing group of people in our communities we must meet them where they are at!

In many circumstances, this may not be your chosen form of communication. But you do have control over who sees and comments on your school / alumni social networking pages if you follow the security directions. You may limit membership to only the direct school community or past students and hence only these people will see what you say and show.

It is, however, a successful method of informing an ever growing group of your community of whatever it is you would like to inform them about.

Topics which could be included on a school social networking site:

• School and Contact Details
• News from the Principal, Parish Priest (if a religious school) and Responses from the school community
• News about and Responses
• Upcoming School Events
• School Photos telling of the recent events / successes / happenings, etc.
• Principal Recommended Websites for the school community

Social networking sites can be used effectively by schools. Once a number of challenges, misconceptions and assumptions underlying social networking sites are initially explored, each school will be able to make the decision whether to proceed with a social networking webpage.

The 'Schools Need Social Networking Websites' 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

Social Networking Website Use for Schools and School Marketing

Saturday, May 29, 2010
Schools, and their school marketing plan, can benefit from appropriate, and sometimes creative, use of social networking sites.

Increasingly, this form of communication is becoming more obvious for schools.

Be aware of all the privacy and legal issues!

The Challenge

Once again we are challenged to meet our parents, staff, students and other interested community members where they are at, or might be, in the near future.

The social networking tentacles are reaching further into the various demographics affecting our school communities, often way beyond the awareness of school leaders.

No longer is it just the teens and '20 something', it is now common for people in their 50s and 60s to have one or more social networking accounts.


Misconception?

With respect, and only to make a point shout out loudly, the misconception is that this form of communication is just used for inane chat amongst ‘dizzy lightweights’!

Yes, this may be so for a number of users, however there is a considerably large and ever growing group of people who use this for much more than chat, even though legitimate chat does play an important part in many forms of communication.

These people are not only building and strengthening relationships amongst friends and newly formed acquaintances / friends through their engagement online with each other and often doing so simultaneously, they may also be adding depth to key aspects of their lives.

Underlying Assumptions

There are a number of interesting assumptions an ever expanding group of people, with representatives in most age groups, of the 21st century make:

•   People like to build trusting relationships with others before doing ‘business’ (Schools need to be open to appreciating this belief and then adapting the way they communicate with such people.)
•   The busyness of life often limits face-to-face opportunities
•   The relationship does not need to be a face-to-face encounter, even though this is often preferred
•   ‘anonymity’ allows for a less inhibited sharing of ideas and thoughts. (Easier for some people to make a comment when the contact person isn’t actually in front of them. Similar for some people when using telephones or email.)
•   The internet often provides the answers people are seeking (How often do you hear more and more, “Google it!”)
•   Digital communication is the easiest and quickest means of communication
•   Digital communication allows for multiple conversations simultaneously
•   People using these forms of communication eventually trust in the results due to their experiences.

Why Consider Social Networking Websites?

To reach this ever growing group of people in our communities we must meet them where they are at!

In many circumstances, this may not be your ‘cup of tea’.
But you do have control over who sees and comments on your school ‘Facebook’ pages if you follow the security directions.

You may limit membership to only parents and former students (and students?) and hence only these people will see what you say and show.

Staff should not have students as ‘friends’ on their social networking pages due to the inappropriateness of this.

Other topics discussed in the school marketing manual e-Book:
  • Examples
  • Which Social Networking Sites to Use?
  • Approaches to Use
  • School Group Membership
  • School Leader Membership
  • Facebook - chapter
  • Twitter - chapter
  • Linked In - chapter
  • Caution Needed When Using Social Networking Sites
The 'Social Networking Website Use for Schools and School Marketing' post was written by Bryan Foster author of 'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed) 2010.

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