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…)
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
Keeping Custom School T-Shirt Costs Low [by Eric Uzelac of TheShirtPrinter.com]
Often we find that many design custom T-shirts only to find that it won’t be cost effective for their budget. Here are a few tips that will help you make your own T-shirt in the most cost effective manner possible.
- Tip #1. Order your custom tee shirts in large volumes when possible. Printing custom t-shirts is like printing business cards, newspapers, or any variety of items, the cost is in the set up. As such, the higher the quantity of custom apparel ordered the lower the cost per unit becomes.
- Tip #2. Look for a cotton mix product vs 100% cotton. The product chosen plays a factor in the price of custom apparel. Name brands, type of fabric and specialty items will drive the price up. Changing a product from a 100% cotton ringer tee to a 50-50 white tee will dramatically bring the cost down.
- Tip #3. Be flexible on the colors of your custom tee shirts. Color of your custom t shirt also enters into the mix. Because color shirts require extra steps in the printing process you will find that it is less expensive to print custom t-shirts on white rather than color.
- Tip #4. Be aware, the more elaborate and more locations of the t-shirt design, the higher the cost. When you make your own t-shirt for your school, your t-shirt design plays a big factor in the cost. How many colors and where you want it printed will determine how much you pay. Basically, the more colors and the more areas you print, on your custom t shirt the higher the cost. When you make your own t-shirt the best rule of thumb for a cost effective custom T-shirt is, one color and one side.
- Tip #5. Stick with sizes less than XL. Lastly, size plays a factor. You will find that custom tee shirts sizes above XL cost a bit more. Unfortunately the only thing one can do to change that is hit the gym!
Have a great day and remember when you make your own t shirt:
Price = Quantity + Product + Color + Design + Size.
[ABOUT ERIC UZELEC – TheShirtPrinter.com]
Eric Uzelac has printed thousands of T-shirts for schools and churches all over the U.S. While some party-poopers may discount the need for “yet another T-shirt”, Eric understands how each T-shirt provides your students and staff the opportunity to be a walking billboard and word of mouth marketing voice in the community. Eric can help you avoid the pitfalls most screen printers make and give you tips on designing a T-shirt that really creates buzz! One unique thing about Eric’s company is that they also provide FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the U.S. – so let Eric’s team design and print your next T-shirt! Launch your idea today in the world famous Design Lab at TheShirtPrinter.com!
Watch this tutorial video from TheShirtPrinter.com about “How to Add Names and Numbers to Your T-Shirts”.
Like TheShirtPrinter on Facebook and see Eric’s ad on the side of the full version of our site.
I have been working in advertising for private schools for over 10 years. I visited about 100 schools this past year. Our initial visit is first and foremost to establish relationships with the school, learn about what makes them different, and hear what their needs are. I get to meet all kinds of people answering the telephones and working at the front desk. This person is one of the most important representatives of your school.
Last week I had an experience that illustrates the importance of basic customer service with front desk personnel. I had in my calendar a meeting with “ABC High School” (we’ll call it that for privacy reasons). I wanted to confirm the visit especially since it was the Tuesday after a 3 day weekend and a 50 mile round trip. I called the administrator and got her voice mail. I even called administrators in adjoining offices. None of them were in either. I called back again to the secretary to explain my dilemma, that I was driving 50 miles and wanted to confirm the meeting but could not find the administrator. She let me know that the administrator would call me back within a few hours. Not wanting to miss the scheduled meeting, I drove to the school. When I arrived the secretary called the administrator to let her know I was there. The secretary proceeded to tell me very rudely that the administrator had only 10 minutes to meet with me. She was the same person I spoke with in the morning. I perceived that my multiple phone calls an hour earlier had disrupted her routine. I felt discouraged and very unwelcomed after all the work I had done to secure the appointment.
Being that it is my business to connect with schools, I bypassed the sour experience and made the most of it. Fortunately, the administrator had good follow up.
Nonetheless, it exemplifies that your front desk/phone person is such an important part of your recruitment. People in sales such as advertisers or book consultants are just as important as prospective parents. A bad experience with even the front desk person can leave a lasting impression. And it likely will get talked about. It is even worse when it’s a prospective or current parent or even another administrator.
When schools approach me for marketing consulting, I always ask them to evaluate their secretary and/or front desk personnel. This person is vital to maintaining a healthy and positive customer service experience to ALL people that connect with the school. Front desk personnel/secretaries can do their part by making sure courtesy is extended to all guests. Your guests will feel appreciated and well taken care of. That way the really hard work we do for recruitment does not get lost by a single bad experience.
Mia Johnstone is Publisher of the Los Angeles Private School Guide www.findaprivateschool.org. She loves building relationships with schools, visiting campuses, and finding great things about them. She also consults with private schools on marketing and growth strategies. Read about school marketing and advertising tips on her blog at www.lapsgnetwork.com.
Mia recently wrote a great article for AISAP, “6 Tips on How to Create Positive and Lasting Relationships with Feeder School Administrators“. Follow Mia on Twitter.
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…)