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.
It is important that the SMM is supported by all groups to continue on the successful way or make various changes to improve.
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
- Define what you have to offer
- Define your target group
- Personnel and Talents available - including School Marketing Manager
- Develop School Marketing Aims and Objectives – from previous information
- Select Marketing Strategies
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