- Who are we trying to reach?
- Why are we trying to reach them?
- What are we trying to communicate?
- How can we reach them most effectively?
- When should we communicate our message?
This structured approach ensures that your message will be unified and on message as it progresses from your keyboard to the recipients. Let's look at examples of how we can reach each segment of our school community. My suggestions are merely suggestions deigned to get you thinking in a structured manner. Adapt my suggestions to suit your particular requirements.
Who are we trying to reach? Everybody in our community as well as everybody outside it.
That approach doesn't work very well today. Your demographics have changed. More and more of your target parents belong to Generation Y. They get their information from social media.
The diversity goals your school has require different approaches too. You need to extend the reach of your advertising campaigns by using social media which is easily shared. Your market has become more segmented and much more competitive. As the economic outlook makes the future look more and more uncertain parents are examining the educational foundations which their children will need in order to be successful in their adult lives.
The uncertain enconomy which has dogged us since 2008 causes financial concerns for both you and your school and your current and prospective families.
That's where social media comes in. Done well, social media will improve your admissions yield. Done consistently, social media can cement value in place in the minds of your target audience.
But remember: social media is still marketing. It requires planning and execution of that marketing plan to work. It cannot be a hit or miss approach. Neither can you leave your marketing...
Dedicate resources to social media.
My first bit of advice is simple but really quite necessary: devote some resources to your social media program. Your school's web site used to be the only front door your school had. It was the first thing people saw. Now it is the first thing parents or anybody over the age of 40 will see. Facebook is your new front door for folks under the age of 30.
You wouldn't be casual about creating your catalog, would you? (Did anybody ask about catalogs?) Your catalog and other printed materials which you send to prospective families are always professionally produced, aren't they? Same thing with social media. Allocate staff time and money to social media for the best results.
Social media principles are the same as with any professional, well-crafted publicity materials.
Develop an editorial calendar so that your postings are organized and have some consistency.
Your school year has its own unique rhythm to it. Anchor your postings around those milestone events and happenings. For example, if Grandparents' Day is the 3rd Wednesday in October, you would start a few weeks before with...