I admit that my possibly offensive title probably sounds like I think volunteers are a nuisance. Actually, the point of this article is to help you find practical ways to involve school volunteers who are always asking, “how can I help?”
First of all, while volunteers are a blessing, they come with conditions. It cannot be denied that volunteers on your marketing team operate differently than paid staff or outsourced consultants. Administrative officials and hired contractors work for results which are often tied to how much money they make or how long they keep their job. It’s one reason to consider NOT assigning critical, timely marketing tasks to volunteers. While they may indicate a willingness and eagerness to help, they MAY not operate with the same sense of urgency you have. Nor may they offer the same level of excellence you would demand of an employee or contractor. You want to have the freedom to dislike their work without feeling like you are going to offend them and run them off from volunteering ever again (or worse, writing a bad review about your school . . . uh, see #7 below). You want to be able to “fire” them if they do not perform. But how do you fire a non-paid volunteer?
So what jobs can you create for your eager beavers? Here are 7 ideas your school volunteers can do from any computer or mobile device: (more…)
Who determines your school’s online reputation? Do you control this? What about those things said about your school online?
Managing your school’s online reputation requires diligence, not just a casual glance from time to time. You spend thousands of hours and dollars to project your school’s perfectly crafted brand messaging, attempting to communicate your school’s value with the needs of prospective families. But do you have control over all that is said? In one fell swoop
Here are 3 common areas where negative comments can affect your online reputation:
- Online Review Sites – whether it is GreatSchools.org, your Google listing, or perhaps some other site like Yelp, people have a forum to say pretty much whatever they want (more…)
When prospective families are looking at schools, they are armed with the tools to investigate and know everything about you and your competition. They compare you based on many factors, but one of the most powerful is the testimony of current families.
Online reviews (good and bad) affect how your prospective families see you – what is your online reputation?
As well, you will learn what do you do when you receive a negative review from an angry parent? How do you respond, or do you? This course has been created in response to the concerns of many school administrators who wonder how they are presenting their brand online.
No one believes your billboard, brochure, postcard or even your website.
This may be over-dramatizing a reality but it’s not far from the truth. Why? We live in an age where consumers are skeptical of marketing spin and speak. We are sophisticated consumers armed with a plethora of tools of research and connected with social networks like we’ve never seen before. Having lived through several generations of manipulation by marketers, consumers are savvy to your ways.
Families are suspicious if your school seems too perfect.
Your prospective families may doubt the authenticity of your representation online. It is almost as if, in effort to put your school’s most polished brand forward, you may have subsequently put a distance between you and the families you’re trying to reach. That’s not the way communication is supposed to work.
Families may assume they will fit in at your school (especially true if coming from the public school where kids get to wear normal clothes instead of uniforms). They may assume that the proverbial elitism of private schools will keep them on the outside (they may have witnessed this at church where all the Christian school kids hang out together after worship). Some of your picture-perfect presentation may reinforce the feeling that your prospective families may not be a good match with your school.
This is why the parent review or testimonial is so crucial. The impact that authentic voices of experience will far outperform the slick presentation of your marketing materials. In my guest article on social media.com I outline the 3 best venues where you need to be getting reviews so that prospective families can begin believing in you again.
Click here to read the full article
This is the 2nd of a 3-part series called “9 Steps to Marketing Your Christian School.”
Don’t forget to register for our free webinar – “9 Steps to Marketing Your School”
In this episode of this series, we will address the CONTENT component of the 9 steps, which includes steps #5 and #6. You will learn:
- Content must build trust and content can educate prospective families (and existing families, too)
- Where to engage online – how to “be everywhere” but also doing it well!
See our shownotes at the conclusion of this post for details, links, and other resources that we may have mentioned in this episode.
This is one of our more popular posts over the past several years. Seems like schools ignore their online reputation until someone finds out about it and then panic sets in!! The key is to including the securing of online reviews into your overall systematic marketing efforts. Read on . . . (more…)