Marketing Communications

Effective communications are vital to a school's success in a competitive marketplace. Let's face it; with information every day that bombards the community about public schools, it's our obligation to make sure that parents and the public have the facts.

Three Hot Tips for Effective School Marketing

  1. Identify what your target audience knows (or perceives) about your school.
  2. Create a message that addresses the needs and concerns of your target audience.
  3. Make sure every employee understands that he or she is a school ambassador: 24 hours a day!

The School PR/Communications Audit

Every school principal knows that to spread the word about outstanding students and school programs requires lots of printed materials. But how effective are these communications tools? Are they effectively delivering your messages to your targeted audiences? Consider the strategies and tools you currently use to communicate and then answer the following questions.

Does my school have a communications, public relations, and marketing plan?

If yes...

  • Does the plan have clear, measurable goals and objectives?
  • Are the themes and messages clear and tailored to the target audiences?
  • Are the timelines for activities reasonable and is someone designated to be responsible for them?
  • Do all school staff members know and understand their roles in the plan?

Does the school have a newsletter?

If yes...

  • Does the design quickly explain the source and the purpose?
  • Are the articles easy to read and free of grammatical errors, jargon, and acronyms?
  • Are articles written so that the first paragraph captures the reader's interest?
  • Do the articles match the reader's needs and interests?

Does the school have a brochure or other printed materials?

If yes...

  • Does the design quickly explain the source and the purpose?
  • Is it easy to read?
  • If there are photos, are they large, clear, well cropped, and do they show action?
  • Do the graphics and art enhance the printed word?

Does the school have a Web site?

If yes...

  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Is the site well-written and free of grammatical errors and jargon?
  • Is the site visually appealing?
  • Is information current?

Public Relations Activities That Really Work!

Do you want to create good will and promote your school to key audiences you've identified as key to your school's success? Here are 12 activities successfully used by your colleagues to build support for their schools and to increase market share.

  • Host a coffee with the principal and invite parents and key community members.
  • Allow parents each spring to request specific teachers for their child's next school year.
  • Designate several days throughout the year as open house for prospective parents in your resides area to visit and observe classrooms.
  • Create school history and trivia contests in the school newsletter to increase readership, and offer prizes (donated by local businesses) for correct answers.
  • Let community groups hold their meetings in your building. Prominently display student work and the school's most recent achievements.
  • Invite past graduates to annual events such as the Fall Festival.
  • Create an alumni chapter.
  • Hang banners inside and outside the school building to communicate success.
  • Take a walking tour through the neighborhood and meet your neighbors.
  • Before school starts visit or call each new student to welcome him or her to the school.
  • Involve local officials into school events, awards ceremonies, and read-ins, or invite them to attend student concerts.
  • Court the senior citizens who live near your school and invite them to your school for special activities.

 

Date Modified 10/18/10