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…)
As the Head of School, you want to have a voice where parents, students, alumni and prospective families hear directly from you. While inviting them to campus a few times a year may allow you face-to-face interaction, people nowadays expect more frequent communication.
Watch the video below to learn how to set up your own Head of School blog in 15 minutes or less using WordPress, one of the most popular blogging platforms.
RECOMMENDED LINK: https://www.yourschoolmarketing.com/hostgator
.In case you are new to blogging, here are 3 ways a Head of School can effectively blog for your school:
- PERSONALITY – your school, especially to prospective families, is an institution. While you likely are familiar with the many families and faces of your school, to the prospective family, you are a building with brick walls and curriculum. Having a weekly or biweekly blog (or more often, but not less), these families get to your heart and your vision. Even current families and alumni (who may not know you if there were different administrators) will be encouraged by learning more about the individual leading their school. You can be serious, funny, or offer a combination of emotions that stimulate interest in your school. Let them know about your family, your hobbies, and the things you do outside the school, too.
- MULTI-SENSORY – most of the time, we think of blogs as platforms for written content. However, from time to time, or exclusively, you can offer a video blog (or “vlog”) if you find this easier or more effective than writing. In a vlog, families and students are inspired by your words, but also captivated by your body language and eye contact.
- CHALLENGE – when choosing your content to blog about, consider more than just boring announcements about the latest fundraising campaign. Rather, take trending topics (especially peruse Facebook and Twitter for what’s on the minds of people) and address these from your point of view. Perhaps there is education legislation that needs explaining, a spiritual examination of a controversial topic in the news or providing a unique worldview challenge for a global crisis making headlines. You are a leader so use this platform to show your students and families what kind of leader you really are!
Additional blog resources:
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
In the post-secondary market, most colleges and universities are registered as .edu. However, for the rest of you in other schools in the U.S., what domain name should you select for your school? Should your school select .com, .org, or even .net? Or something else?
Let’s look at a few examples: (more…)