School Communications

How to Engage and Connect with Busy Parents 2018-10-30

Imagery is a timeless form of communication that engages audiences in various ways. Whether you recognize it yet or not, seeking to increase your use imagery as part of your school marketing is important, easy, and effective. Let’s look at the value of concrete imagery, such as pictures either on a printed page or screen

Why Transparency Matters in Your School Communication Strategies 2018-09-25

In today’s highly-connected world, it is more important than ever to establish trust. One of the main contributors to trust is creating a culture of transparency. To most of us, being transparent means you’re hiding nothing. You’re letting others look through a window into your world, throwing the blinds wide open. 

3 Steps to Improving Parent Engagement 2018-09-11

Nearly every educator will agree that positive parent engagement improves a child’s educational outcome. Besides making common sense, many data-driven studies are proving what we all know intuitively.

Effectively Communicating the Value of Our Schools 2018-08-07

A while back, our CEO, Bonnie Leedy, was invited to be a guest presenter at the annual conference for the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS). We asked participating PARSS administrators to submit a story about a time they successfully shared what was going on at their schools with the community. We chose one lucky winner to receive a copy of the Marketing Your School toolkit. 

7 Strategies for Effective School Communications 2018-06-12

What is effective school communication? Most people would acknowledge that it is critical to the success of our school, but it is a broad topic and difficult to pin down. 

It sounds simple enough, right? 

Merriam-Webster says it is “the interchange of thoughts or opinions.” I think the use of the word “interchange” is significant, as it indicates mutual give and take.

The School Administrator's Dilemma: to blog or not to blog 2018-06-05

Blogging shouldn’t seem like a new fandangled idea any more, especially as you delve into your position as school marketer. You might be hearing about it in conference sessions, in articles about school social media impact, or from other education blogs. 

Blogging for schools is not a new concept, that’s for sure. The question school marketers should be asking themselves is, "to blog or not to blog?" 


Smart School Communication Improves Student Outcomes 2018-04-17

Standardized testing—do these two words raise your blood pressure? It seems as though the school year all comes down to testing, doesn’t it? For administrators, your school grade, your school reputation, your school brand, all rely heavily on the results of how students from your school perform on test days.

School Crisis Management: How Prepared is Your School? 2018-03-20

If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time, you know that we believe communication is at the heart of every school’s success. That includes your school reputation, public relations, school marketing, customer service, and crisis management. In each of these areas, without rock solid communication strategies in place, you risk losing control of the situation. 

Is Your School Back-to-School Ready? 2017-08-22

Back-to-school jitters aren’t just for students and teachers; administrators certainly get their share of the stress that comes along with that first day. 

Creating a Buzz through Strategic School Communication 2017-07-11

Have you ever walked into a crowded room where a hundred little conversations are taking place all at once? It sounds a little like a beehive buzzing, doesn’t it? 

In school communications we don’t throw the term “marketing buzz” around much—although maybe we should.

Summer Bucket List for Updating Your School Website 2017-06-27

It's summer. Are you enjoying the quiet hallways, catching up on paperwork, and working on your summer maintenance? Taking time off for some outdoor adventures on your bucket list?

Showing Appreciation for YOUR School’s Staff 2017-05-09

Working in a school can be a tough job. It is also one of the most important roles in American society.

Need a Rock Star School Webmaster? 03/14/2017

Would you like to improve your school's communication? Start with your school webmaster's role. Learn what would be ideal in a perfect world and how you can make that a reality in your school.

Five School Communication Goals for the Year 2017-01-18

Now that you are headed into the second half of the school year, it’s a good time to refocus on how to best reach and engage parents in this new year.

It’s Not Over Yet 2016-06-06

You’ve worked hard all year long to build up a strong relationship with school families; if you want that relationship to remain strong, you have to nurture it.

Should Your School’s Website Be Responsive? 2016-03-29

The primary task of your school’s website is to facilitate effective communication. If done right, it can not only keep everyone informed, but it will improve morale and create staff, parent, and student enthusiasm for the school.

Effective School Communications is Possible 2015-10-27

The primary task of your school’s website is to facilitate effective communication. If done right, it can not only keep everyone informed but will improve morale and create staff, parent, and student enthusiasm for the school.

Effective School Administrators Know How to Listen 2015-10-13

Take note, today’s staff members want to be asked for feedback and to be heard.1 I think we also recognize that in addition to more frequent communication, how we communicate can mean the difference in how effective we are as leaders. This means better listening skills.

Parents: Talk About What Matters to Them 2015-10-06

I’ve been preaching for years that content is king. I’ve written numerous articles espousing this recommendation. However, I’m kind of old-school and I actually read content—on the Web, in books, in ads, etc. 

Think Twice Before Moving Your School to a WordPress Site! 2018-11-20

In an effort to save money, has your school considered using a do-it-yourself software like WordPress? If so, weigh the pros and cons first.

School Calendars: Your One-Stop School Communications Tool 2018-11-06

As school marketers, we sometimes become distracted by all the wonderful tools we have at our disposal—the website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever the next new social media trend will be—that we sometimes don’t give one of the most efficient tools in our arsenal the attention it deserves. I’m talking about your district and school calendars. 

Red Ribbon Week 2018-10-02

October is Red Ribbon Month, and schools typically celebrate Red Ribbon Week during the last week of October. This year, Red Ribbon Week is October 23–31. Whether your school pulls out all the stops for Red Ribbon Week or you’re throwing together a last-minute plan, don’t miss the opportunity to market your school. 

Meaningful Social Media for Schools 2018-09-18

This month our social media team reminded us that school social media can (and should!) be so much more than the same old, tired news post or calendar reminder on our social media streams. With a little extra investment and the courage to be personal, schools can turn their social media into a truly unifying force with their overall community.

6 Things People Actually Want to See on Your Social Media Pages 2018-07-31

 A strategic communications plan for your social media can improve relationships with parents, build trust, and encourage engagement. When it comes to school communication, parents want important information such as events and meetings, policy changes, and news that affects the education of their child. However, this is information better suited for e-mails, newsletters, and the school website.

Tell Them Thank You 2018-05-07

Here at School Webmasters, we believe that effective school communications are a part of good customer service. One doesn’t happen without the other. And, one aspect of school customer service (aka good communication) includes telling others thank you. 

Instagram for Schools 2018-04-24

A few weeks ago, my 15-year-old daughter competed in a music festival. I was so excited to see that her band teacher posted about it on the school Facebook page! When she got home that day, I said, “Did you see the nice FB post about the competition?” She stared back blankly. That’s right, I remembered, she doesn’t have a Facebook account. Neither do most of her friends. 

School Marketing Road Map to Success 2018-02-27

If you’re hashing out marketing and school public relations on your own, then a full-blown strategic communications plan can feel overly complicated and time-consuming. Sometimes looking at complex processes in different ways can help with understanding and executing and, thereby, simplifying the process. In this blog, let’s look at your school marketing plan like a roadmap—complete with simple, stops along the way to help you reach your goal.

School Social Media FAQ 2018-02-20

When it comes to school social media management, there are those who outsource and those who prefer to learn what they need to keep things in-house. 

5 Ways School Marketing Will Pay Off by the End of the Year 2018-01-30

Benefits are a huge motivator. And whether we realize it or not, much of our day-to-day actions are motivated by benefits. School marketing has incredible benefits such as approval, trust, investment, support, involvement. These benefits are worth your time at least a few hours every week.

This is NOT the End of Facebook! 2018-01-17

Despite what you may have heard, the Facebook world is NOT coming to an end. Still, with a term like “Facebook Apocalypse” being thrown around, we felt it best to spend a little time chatting with you about what Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement concerning the changes Facebook will be making to their algorithm means for you. 

What the Best Elementary School Websites Have in Common—and Why It Matters 2017-12-26

Imagine a scenario involving two parents, Laura and Sue, who live on opposite ends of the city and in different school districts. Each has a child in elementary school. It’s early in the new school year, and on this particular evening, both women realize they need to download a copy of the school lunch menu. But here is where their stories diverge. 

Why School Marketing Matters 2017-09-28

Marketing is usually a word used by for-profit businesses and shunned by educators. Most of us don’t enjoy being “marketed” to, so we don’t like the thought of having to market ourselves when we have dedicated our lives to one of service. We might feel we should be exempt from all that nasty marketing/sales stuff.  But, we may need to rethink this!

Roll out the Welcome Mat at Your School 2017-08-08

How would a first time visitor to your school describe its atmosphere? Is it warm and inviting? Or is it cold and unwelcoming? From the grounds, signage, and parking lot to the front office and the website, your school atmosphere is evident. Is it the message you want to present? 

From Good to Great: School Customer Service 2017-06-13

Who could forget Seinfeld’s 1995 version of “the Soup Nazi”? He served the best soup on the planet. So good that his customers had to follow his ordering procedure (step into the store, move to the right side, proceed directly to the counter, order without comment, and step to the left) to get what they wanted, or they would hear the dreaded words, “No soup for you!”

10 Web Design Trends for School Websites 03/28/2017

Website design trends come and go. But, schools don’t typically do a complete website redesign to reflect fads, simply because of the complexity and expense involved. However, there are some trends that are not simply a fad and are moving from trend status to best practices status.

Style Guide for Website Content Writing 02/28/2017

Let's eat grandpa.

Let's eat, Grandpa.

This is one of my favorite examples of how punctuation can drastically affect the meaning of a sentence. An errant or missing comma has the potential to completely change its meaning. Its misuse as well as misspellings and typographical errors have resulted in extreme losses—some measurable, others not as measurable but nonetheless actual.

Use the Power-Packed Punch of School Social Media Analytics to Drive Your Posts 2017-02-14

You’ve tried everything—pictures, video, funny memes, poignant quotes, carefully planned-out social media campaigns, calls to action, links to thought-provoking articles from education organizations and experts in your field, even shameless begging—and still, crickets. Is anybody out there? What more can I do to get people to respond to my school’s social media posts?

Schools That Do More With Less 2017-01-31

Doing more with less is a beautiful concept. It allows you to simplify processes, be more productive, and use resources most effectively. For schools especially, the notion of doing more with less should be particularly appealing given stretched budgets, sparse staff, and ever-increasing to-do lists. Let me tell you how our friends at Ridgefield Public Schools (RPS) are managing their to-do list all while saving staff time and staying within their budget. 

School Choice: Something to Fear or Embrace? 2017-01-27

 “The very things that held ya down are gonna carry you up and up and up.” 

These profound words were said to Dumbo by Timothy Q. Mouse when he was encouraging him to fly. They may also apply to the possible changes with the incoming Trump administration regarding School Choice.

Make School Marketing a Priority This Year 2017-01-04

Marketing is a key communications function for schools, and it’s one that is often underutilized or sometimes completely ignored. 

Because we think school marketing needs to be a priority this year (and every year), here are three steps that will help you not only make but keep this new year resolution!

Best Practices for School Website Copywriting 2016-12-06

What’s the secret to guiding your audience along a path in your school website? The answer: Copywriting with a destination in mind! With almost 15 years of experience, we’ve learned a few important lessons about writing school website copywriting tips that we’re happy to share with you.

School Social Media Management 101, Part 1 2016-11-08

So, you’ve finally seen the light and made social media a part of your school’s communication strategy. Congratulations! You've read blogs and e-books, watched DIY videos, and your school social media pages are up and running. Now what?

10 Steps in the Right Direction: Starting Each School Year Strong 2016-09-09

It's not too late to make a lasting good impression. Whether your school has already begun or has yet to open its doors, there are some important topics that you should address to make sure you are starting each school year off right. 

Is Your School’s Communication Becoming Irrelevant? 2016-05-24

Your school’s students, parents, staff, and prospects are already using social media to stay involved. So choose your platform, set up your pages, and get involved!

Simple Rules of Word-of-Mouth Marketing 2016-05-09

By understanding the reasons people talk and following these four simple rules to influence word-of-mouth marketing, you are well on your way to being the hot topic of conversation in your community.

What Successful K-12 Schools Do Right 2015-12-15

School website management can be a huge advantage to your school’s branding and communication efforts. Find out what works and why.

Telling Your School’s Stories 2015-11-17

Telling deeply satisfying, meaningful stories isn’t just a tool or device to use once in a while; it’s an essential strategy in communication and in marketing your school.

Choose Your Words Wisely…it matters! 2015-09-29

Are the words you are using undermining your school’s intended messages? The words used in all forms of communication can be some of the strongest branding taking place at your school.

Building a Positive School Culture 2018-11-13

What is your school culture like? How would your students describe it? What about your staff? How can you improve it? Here are some ideas!

51 Ways to Market Your School 2018-10-23

Marketing your school is essential in today’s competitive educational environment. The good news is that there are so many effective ways to do it—you just need to get started. So, here are 51 ideas to get you moving in the right direction.

Storytelling: Your School's Secret Weapon for Successful Marketing 2018-09-04

Telling school stories that inspire, excite, entertain, and encourage your school community is at the heart of successful school marketing. Stories educate, inspire, and entertain us. They carry with them underlying themes connecting us to the organization and people involved. Storytelling and its scientific background affirms its relevance as a powerfully simple tool in school branding. Let’s look at how you can use this tool in your school

School Video Marketing Ideas from Down Under 2018-07-13

Whether or not it’s a conscious effort, we seek to imitate people we admire or view as successful. This carries over into the business world as well. While careful not to infringe on anyone’s copyrights, we look to others for inspiration. When you undertake a website design, do you look at other school websites to see what they are doing? So how about seeking inspiration for your school marketing approach too? 

Going to the Source 2018-04-10

While backpacking recently with my family, I was reminded of the value and refreshing nature of trusted sources. We hiked deep into the Grand Canyon along a popular trail. While water was everywhere, and we certainly enjoyed every minute playing in the turquoise blue pools and staring at the spectacular red rock backdrop, there were really only a few places to access clean drinking water. 

School websites—the Swiss army knife of influence and communications 2018-01-23

One of the most powerful tools a school has when it comes to implementing effective school communications is the school website. It’s like that indispensable Swiss Army knife that has nearly every possible tool in one convenient location. 

Creating a School Video That Won’t Break the Bank 2018-01-09

Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information you have to absorb each day? Beginning to think you are merely roadkill on the side of the information superhighway? Are you inundated with far more information coming in than you can assimilate? Well, you are not alone.

How to Become a Rock Star Principal in Just One Year 2017-10-10

Implementing change is like flying solo for the first time. It scares the crap out of you when you look down at the runway, but once you land, you can’t wait to get back up into the sky.

School Administrators: Leading Like CEOs 2017-09-26

Because our work here at School Webmasters bridges the world of education and the world of business, it is easy for us to see similarities and differences. Here’s what we’ve learned.

3 Proven Pillars of an Effective School Marketing Plan 2017-09-12

No matter what kind of school you run—public school, private school, charter school, or faith-based school—these three pillars of an effective marketing plan should support your school communications. These elements will not only help you transition throughout the year from one focus to the next, but they’ll bring all your efforts together to strengthen your school brand and messaging and improve your public relations. 

How a Website Can Help a Struggling School 2017-05-16

Your school website should be the hub of communications for your school. We understand when complications arise—like ADA compliance—some schools would like to throw the towel in and give up on their online presence altogether. But in today's mobile world and climate of school choice, you cannot ignore your school website—especially if your school is struggling.

Does Your School Website Help You Become a School of Choice? 04/25/2017

School choice and the many possible options available to K12 education have created an environment of competition that was nonexistent even a decade ago.

What Grade Does Your Public School Website Get? 02/21/2017

If your school website were to get a grade, how would it fare? Does it come out on top in the various subject areas like communications, customer service, marketing, branding, telling your school’s stories, or highlighting your successes? Find out how to bring up those grades and move to the top of your class. 

School Website Superheros! 2016-10-28

Find out what our secret weapon is for managing a successful website development project--and it's not what you might expect!

Public Relations for Schools 2016-07-27

As you practice school public relations, you’ll improve your school brand, connect with your community, and boost your marketing efforts. Consistent, strategic messaging with the end goal of creating and nurturing relationships with your publics is key to your school's success.

Whipping Your School Website into Shape 2016-06-20

It's summer and if you're like most educators, you're enjoying the quiet hallways, catching up on piles of paperwork, and working on your summer maintenance projects. While your school is getting whipped into shape with new coats of paint and clean carpets, don't forget that your website needs some summer TLC as well.

The 3 Simple Principles Behind Keeping Your School’s Website Current 2016-04-25

Learn how your school’s website can serve your audience needs while cultivating a positive school reputation using these principles.

School Marketing is Not a Dirty Word 2016-04-11

“You don’t need to brag; when you do a good job, people will notice.” 

Dear readers, this is a lie! 

Civility in Our Schools, Home, and Online 2015-10-20

As a baby boomer, I am not exactly proud of the fact that my generation is stereotyped as rebellious when it is also associated with self-centeredness.