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.

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




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

School Marketing Plans Include Blogs

Thursday, December 22, 2011
All School Marketing Plans should now include the very popular blogs.

Blogs
- Blogs are becoming a very popular form of interactive, digital communication by internet users and are now necessary for schools and their school marketing plans. Content may be brief or extensive.

Effective Blog Use Explained


Blogs are used to allow interaction between the website’s administrator/s and the website’s visitors.

Schools could benefit considerably through the effective use of Blogs. These are ideal avenues to promote your school and the various messages you wish to place in the public or private domain.

These days so many people wish to be valued through their involvement and feedback - blogs are one highly regarded avenue for them to achieve this.

Blog Posts Explained

The website’s / blog’s administrators write a Blog Post (comment, information, news, challenge, etc.) and publish this to their website’s blog page. Blog Posts may also include photos, videos, audios and other graphic presentations.

The visitor to your website’s blog page would then have the option to comment on your blog post’s content.

Blog Posts may be of any length and literary style depending on the target audience. However, in most cases, brevity is the norm in these days of mass communication overload. Think newspaper article lengths for most blog posts. As a general guide I work on 200-300 words per blog post. 300 words is often quoted for a good SEO.

You need to make sure that the administrator has the option to accept or reject all comments posted in response to the blog post. If the blog post is available to the public, you need to be prepared to receive all sorts of comments, including spam (mainly advertising links). Unsuitable comments would then be deleted.

Two Major Blog Uses for Schools

School Marketers could use blogs in two primary ways:

•   School Website Blog
•   External Blog sites, which you would point (link) back to your school website.

The 'School Marketing Plans Include Blogs' 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