To achieve success with your communications, planning is key. Taking the time necessary to research, plan, and design your communications will be repaid in the form of improved results.

There are many things to consider while you are developing your communication strategy. Each consideration should be used to develop an effective plan. In this blog post, we look at the research and planning your school should undertake to improve its communications. So, without further ado, here’s our school communication planning guide.

Outline Your Goal

Every plan should start with a goal. Without one, your communication plan is a ship without a rudder. The decisions you make should all contribute toward achieving your initial goal. That is why setting out the desired result of your communication from the outset is crucial.

Some examples of common school communication goals include:

Once you have outlined your goal, make sure everyone has a clear understanding of it. By uniting those involved in the communication plan, you can better focus on achieving your aim.

Learn about Your Audience

The primary audience of your communications will be determined by your goal. It may be parents, qualified teachers, businesses, or the local community. No matter who your audience is, you must take the time to profile them.

By doing so, you can learn many important things to help guide your school communication plan. This includes:

  • Audience motivations and values.
  • How your audience consumes content.
  • How the audience prefers to receive communications from your school.
  • How the audience currently engages with your school.

Remember, you may be speaking to more than one audience. Regardless of which is your priority, you should still research all relevant audiences. Equipped with a new, in-depth understanding, you can develop communication strategies with each audience’s specific needs in mind.

Identify the Most Effective Channels

Many schools still rely on traditional channels of communication, such as letters, posters, and radio adverts. Your new school communication plan should also consider modern channels, such as social media and your school website.

As part of your audience research, you should have already determined which channels they rely on the most. For the modern-day parent, this is usually social media and other internet-based channels. However, this will vary greatly between school communities. Furthermore, which social media channel you use should also differ depending on your goals.

For example, in some areas, the local newspaper will be far more influential than in others, or in some areas, there might be a local parents’ magazine with a good reach.

The behaviour of your audience should help you decide the channels you prioritise in your school communication plan. This will broaden the reach of your messages and increase the likelihood of your audience engaging with them.

Plan Future Content Opportunities

Some school communications can be planned in advance. For example, if your goal is to increase admissions, then social media posts and adverts for your school can be pre-prepared. Other communication strategies, though, require more ad hoc content.

School communication with parents, for example, is often based around their child’s learning and events that take place at school. Although you may not be able to write these communications in advance, you should certainly prepare for them. By taking a look at your school calendar and earmarking upcoming events, you can schedule in time to create content around each event.

You can also plan communications around strategic dates, such as the school transfer windows. Teachers can only transfer during these times, so your recruitment efforts should intensify before and during these periods.

You may not always be able to produce communications in advance, but make sure to always have an eye on what potential newsworthy events are coming up.

Know How to Measure Results

You can’t make improvements to your communications if you don’t know what works and what doesn’t. That’s why it’s crucial to be able to measure results.

When you create your communication plan, you should determine exactly what success looks like, and how you can measure it. Then, as your plan progresses, you can determine how successful it is. Social media and website analytics are useful tracking tools, but it’s also important to be able to measure engagement driven by non-digital communications.

Following each communications campaign, gather analysis to help inform your overall communications plan.

Preparation Is Vital

No matter what your aim is, good communication will help you achieve your goals. To improve your communications, you will need to carry out the necessary planning and preparation.

At Eduprise, we’ve developed communication plans and strategies for schools across the UK. We will guide you through the preparation process, conducting the planning and research necessary to ensure your school’s plan is a success.

If you would like expert help in developing your comms plan from scratch,or simply need some tips on how to make it more effective, contact Eduprise today.