Where could my marketing efforts be going wrong? It’s a question that so many in business and in school leadership have asked themselves.
Even if you’re following a good school marketing strategy, if it’s not working, you need to find out what’s going wrong. For this blog we’ve identified three mistakes almost all schools make. To find out how to avoid these common errors, read on.
Working in Fits and Starts
Costly, ambitious marketing campaigns don’t make much of an impact if they are the only time your organisation communicates. Results are earned through well-thought-out and comprehensive marketing plans that build and maintain brand presence on an ongoing basis.
Schools especially, are better served by investing in a strategy that works cyclically around the school calendar. With a good plan, schools can grow their audience throughout the year, then focusing on key dates such as admissions deadlines or good news events such as results days.
If you are unsure how to go about producing an effective marketing strategy, talk to us today.
Not Recognising Good News for What it Is
So you need to produce year-round comms? Where might this come from then?
Schools we talk to tell us that they struggle to find enough to say when producing marketing content. Viewing school events from an external perspective shows how unwarranted this concern is. Schools play a huge role in raising every child. Pupils have new experiences and make leaps in their learning every day. While it can be hard to see if it’s what you’re working on for 50 to 60 hours a week, this is something worthy of communicating about a regular basis.
Your teachers should be sharing positive stories and pupil achievements with their marketing team. Good writing can then turn this information into content that highlights the transformative work of your school and the opportunities available to pupils.
Wonderful things happen at your school every day, get the news out!
Reacting Defensively to Negative Press
A parent has taken a story to the press and it has led to a negative report about the school. How should you respond? Should you respond at all?
As much as we’d like it not to be, crisis management is a consideration in any school marketing plan. Reading a negative story about your school can be enraging and frustrating. It is tempting to quickly respond with a press release that ‘fires back’ at the accusers. A quick clarification or a helpful call to the press can help defuse a bad situation. However, a confrontational response comes across as defensive and draws more attention to the negative story.
Rather than reacting to bad news, school marketing should work on a long-term basis to prevent and minimise the damage done by unwanted stories.
An important step to take that can reduce and even help you avoid negative press, is to build a positive relationship with the local press. To do this, you should be regularly sharing positive news about the school in the form of press releases. As well as potentially boosting your reputation among a broader audience, these also benefit journalists, who are always glad to receive newsworthy, publishable content.
If you are unsure how to write appealing press releases, we’ve written in further detail about how to write for journalists and determine newsworthiness.
School Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be So Difficult
Schools need good marketing. However, unlike many businesses, it can never be one of their primary focuses and it is difficult for schools to find the necessary capacity to run an effective marketing strategy.
Consequently, it is unsurprising that schools tend to make the same mistakes. At the root of each of these problems is the lack of an informed strategy and plan.
At Eduprise, we can provide this for you.
If you think we can help your school get real outcomes from your marketing efforts, contact us today.