Top tips for developing your school’s marketing strategy
Starting to formulate a marketing strategy for your school – like starting anything new – is an exciting process. Now’s the time to define your goals and figure out how you’re going to achieve them.
But, like all things, you need to begin at the beginning. What kind of school do you want to become? What kind of school are you going to market? It’s time to define this in a vision statement – an empowering exercise that allows you to focus on an ‘ideal’ future.
There are many ways to arrive at your vision. Here’s one of them:
Although your principal, and the school management and marketing teams, will be responsible for driving the vision, many people should be involved in defining it. Teachers, admin and support staff, parents, learners and stakeholders from the broader community all play a role here. There are various ways to bring together these people together, but the most effective will generally involve informal meetings where small group discussion is encouraged.
Unique features and strengths
Your vision will identify things that need to change before your school can become more successful, but you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that you already do some things very well. In all your work:
These unique features and strengths could be the basis of a motto or creed, which you could build your entire campaign on.
Getting into more details, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis will help you to think in more detail about your school's strengths and weaknesses. Ask your school’s stakeholders, ideally working in mixed groups, for their input and prompt them to look for both internal and external opportunities. In turn, this will help you to identify your key messages for both internal and external school communities.
Your school’s mission statement should articulate your vision and communicate its unique features. Be warned: this is very hard to capture in a simple sentence or paragraph. But you need to have one.
Your mission statement should:
When defining your mission statement, you should also:
Set specific aims to help achieve your vision.
Aims and objectives
With your vision and the mission statement as a base, you are now able to develop specific aims and objectives – the actions that will bring your visions and mission to life.
Examples of general aims:
Examples of specific aims:
By identifying your school’s aims, you can develop focused, clear objectives. Objectives should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed.
Examples of objectives that would facilitate the achievement of aims include:
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