You are educating the next generation.
It’s an important responsibility.
With the options afforded by school choice, your district must consider how it is positioning itself as an educational leader. You have an important service to offer. If you want parents to choose your school, you must evaluate the effectiveness of your image and message, including your online presence. Your website is the core of your school marketing.
Many schools are unprepared for this culture of choice. Simply having a website is not enough—sites that look outdated or haphazard don’t inspire confidence. If a parent visiting your site doesn’t get the impression that you value excellence and are current in technology, they may wonder if you can meet the needs of today’s students. If your message doesn’t resonate, they have the option of sending their children elsewhere.
We are passionate about this! Schools should look professional; they are an integral part of the community. They need to serve students, parents, and other stakeholders with a spirit of trust and excellence.
Your mascot is your identity.
No doubt you have one. Make sure yours:
- is scalable. It looks clear and legible in any size, from letterhead as well as on a gym wall. Too many details make scalability difficult.
- is high quality. You need it to look crisp at every size—not blurry or pixelated.
- is accessible. Place it in a shareable file for use by athletics, the music/drama program, office staff, etc.
- has style guidelines for use. What colors are acceptable? What fonts? Where can it be used? Who needs permission?
Creating an effective website is a big job.
Your website is the face of your school. You have a variety of users—parents, staff, students, community members. And a lot of content. And accessibility requirements. This is not a job you hand off to your technology guru to get to when he/she has time. It’s not a job for a student in a web design class.
Consider the family moving to your area. They value an exceptional school district; in fact, the school system will determine what neighborhood they choose to live in. What are they looking for, and does your site deliver?
Parents want a school that’s current in technology. If your site is old or outdated, it’s sending a message that you are not cutting it in today’s culture. If your site has scrolling text in Times New Roman or does not adapt to different screen sizes, parents are less likely to trust that you are keeping up with technology.
Parents want a school that values children and education. If your home page focuses on administration and athletics, the unspoken message is that student learning is not the top priority.
Parents want information, and they want it now. In fact, all site users want to find information easily. If your site is unorganized or crowded with links, frustrated visitors will move on.
Parents want a school that values quality and excellence. A poorly designed site says just the opposite.
Your website plays a critical role in communicating with all community members. And with today’s competitive climate, it could affect your bottom line.
It’s time to shine on social media.
Social media is a wonderful way to reach out to your community and potential student families. Sometimes schools are reluctant to embrace social media, but it is a fantastic way to connect with stakeholders and develop a reputation for being current and relevant.
Engage the community by highlighting:
- students. Share their accomplishments, ambitions, and humor. Show the community what a great bunch of kids you serve.
- staff. Shine the spotlight on the humble people behind those great student stories.
- events. Social media makes it easy to remind folks of parent-teacher conferences, the Veterans Day assembly, and Drive Your Tractor to School Day.
- programs. Let the community know when the band concert is, what the Volunteer Club did last week, and how the volleyball team is doing this season. Better yet, have each program also set up their own social media accounts for interested parents, students, and fans.
- individual schools. There are so many potential stories to share, each building could have its own social media account to share important information with their target audience.
We would love to tell the world how great your school and students are, but we feel it is more efficient to have a district staff member in charge of your social media accounts. This person has better insight into school happenings and community interest as well as greater accessibility for shooting photos and videos.
We can help you with your social media program by:
- helping to create a social media policy.
- setting up social media sites with images and content.
- training staff in social media best practices.
Be consistent in all your communication.
Schools create plenty of documents that put their professionalism on display. Your consistent brand identity—which includes the use of your mascot and other style choices, such as font and color—instills recognition and trust in your audience.
Communication projects that reach a variety of stakeholders include:
- Business cards
- Staff handbook
- Student handbook
- Policy formatting
- Employment application
- Event programs
Ready to look professional?
Please introduce yourself—we’ll talk soon!