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Marketing Your School with Strategic Communications

strategic communications = effective school marketing

Okay, okay, we know it has been a tough year. What we need for this new school year is a restart, and we hope you’ll rise to the challenge by doing just that. While students return to full in-person learning and you scramble to help students who may have fallen behind catch up, this is a perfect time to institute some marketing strategies to increase your enrollment (and encourage any lost students to return to your school).

Now, mind you, this is not a single strategy that you can just knock off quickly. It requires some planning and processes. Luckily for you, we have a solution that will get you started and help carry you through to success in all the various aspects of effective school marketing.

School Webmasters has been serving K–12 schools with communications, public relations, and website management for 18 years, and we’ve taken much of our expertise and put it into a year-long marketing toolkit to help schools implement marketing even if they don’t have personnel trained in these areas. 

This calendar/workbook is packed with the right information to implement an effective marketing strategy for your school without any prior training. Whether you are a public relations pro or a newbie at marketing communications, this is the perfect solution for your school. Each week includes Marketing Monday, Training Tuesday, Website Wednesday, Throwdown Thursday, and Follow-up Friday for each of the 50 topics the calendar covers.

school marketing strategy street signs

School Marketing Strategies

So, what are some of the strategies that will help your school marketing efforts? Here are a few topics to whet your appetite and get you thinking about that restart for the school year:

#1: Your website. Using your school website to attract new students and keep the existing parents happy means keeping it current and interesting. It means having an area that provides information for prospective parents. It means using the right tone in your content and a consistent brand in your design. It means understanding your customers’ needs (both existing and prospective parents and students).

#2: Customer service. Have you ever thought of your school’s staff as service providers? You know, like those folks in businesses who fulfill customer needs? Wait. Isn’t that what you do? You provide services to students, their parents, and the community at large. How customer friendly is your school? Is excellent customer service a critical part of marketing your school? You bet it is—or at least, it should be.

#3: Starting the school year. We know you already have a checklist a mile long. But don’t forget that establishing and nurturing relationships with your primary stakeholders is vital to your success this year and to your marketing efforts. Create a basic communications calendar (sample provided in our marketing toolkit), set deadlines, and be consistent with your follow-through.

#4: Gear up your social media. If you haven’t set up or updated your social media pages, what are you waiting for? Have you added social media buttons to your website that link directly to your platforms? Have you scheduled out posts for upcoming events and activities during the year (which you will link to on the news page of your website)? Have you had your staff add a graphic signature to your staff emails with links to your school social pages?

#5: Improving personal communication skills. This effort will make all marketing efforts (and your interpersonal relationships) more successful. Whether unifying your staff, getting parents and students to help you achieve the school’s mission, or having a productive working relationship with your co-workers, communication skills can make or break you. The key elements of effective communication include listening, nonverbal communication, and emotional intelligence. We dedicate one day of the week to each to get you on the right track.

#6. Public relations and setting the tone. Public relations refers to your relationships with your key audiences (parents, students, staff, volunteers, community, tax payers, etc.). How can you help your staff set the tone for outstanding relationships while incorporating your school’s commitment to your missions and values?

#7. Saying thank you and encouraging others. A critical aspect of good communication and marketing is expressing gratitude. But did you know that saying thank you also influences how others perceive you and your school? Incorporating thank yous and showing appreciation and gratitude as part of your personal and your school’s culture will produce amazing results in marketing and in your life.

storytelling is the best marketing

#8. Storytelling. A story can be 22 times more memorable than facts alone. Building a positive brand for your school, improving its image and reputation, and creating effective communication channels will depend on your ability to use storytelling to communicate. Use stories to elicit actions like increasing enrollment, highlighting your schools differentiators, creating staff engagement, and strengthening your customer relationships.

#9. Using testimonials. Testimonials are free endorsements and are a great way to prove that your school climate is nurturing and effective. They provide firsthand account endorsements for your teachers, your curriculum, and your leadership abilities. Make gathering testimonials easy, and then use them effectively. We devote one week to learning how to use this valuable tool.

#10: Marketing to parents. Although much of your marketing focus is centered on enrollment, it is important to remember that once a student is enrolled, it cannot and should not be the end of your marketing efforts. You know, of course, that parents can be some of your strongest advocates. For many schools, parents are their strongest marketers (at least happy parents). But unhappy parents can be detrimental to your school’s reputation. That is why it is essential to continue outreach and communication to the parents of your currently enrolled students. Are you listening to them and addressing their needs and concerns? Make it a goal to be proactive and focused on your current parents, which includes involving and engaging them.

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Now, get to work!

These are only ten of the 50 topics we cover in the school marketing calendar/toolkit. We've packed it with 50 weeks of training, tips, and strategies. You can select what works best for your school needs or go day by day through each week in order. Either way, you'll make steady progress toward your marketing and communication goals. Plus, so you can begin immediately, we'll give you 30-day access to an electronic version of the calendar so you don't have to wait on the mail to get started!

In addition to this strategy-packed workbook, you’ll receive access to our secured companion website with hundreds of additional resources like survey forms, templates, checklists, project plans, resource links, example content, and spreadsheet samples for your immediate use. You will have everything you need to take your school marketing and public relations to the next level. 

Place your order today and you'll also receive a personal login to all of the companion resources on our members-only website. And, because you are a blog subscriber, you can enter the coupon code of “success” and get $100 off the purchase price. That means a year’s worth of school marketing strategies for $179 to use year after year!

Place your order today!

P.S. Don’t forget to use your discount code "success" and save $100!