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Every school is committed to nurturing each child’s unique journey through life. This is a given, but for parents it’s often not just about a school’s reputation, but rather about which school is the right fit for their child. That’s why it’s so important that your school’s individual qualities are effectively communicated. Here are four top tips for engaging with the parents and pupils who are about to make one of the most important decisions they’ll make in their children’s lives.
Consider your headteacher’s profile
A school’s headteacher is an invaluable ambassador and for many parents encapsulates the ethos of the institution they represent. As experienced educators, they have a lot to offer the wider sector in terms of thought-leadership. Keep an eye on developments in the press, and where possible offer to contribute to the conversation in the media. This can greatly enhance a school’s reputation as innovative educators, reassuring parents that best practice is always updated and applied to teaching methods, as well as giving back to the sector.
Clearly define your offer
What is it that makes your school different? You might be surprised to find that if you ask your staff, you’ll get many conflicting answers. Take the time to get staff together, from senior teachers to admin staff to garner their opinions, then distil it into a short elevator pitch which clearly communicates your offer. You must also ensure everyone understands and buys into your vision.
Visual and written communications
Once you have defined your offer, it’s important that everything you put into the public domain communicates your brand effectively – whether through pictures, words or events – and that potential parents can quickly grasp your ethos and approach to education.
Be seen, read and heard by the right people, in the right way, and at the right time
Where are your audience? Again, this depends on your unique point of difference. Take the time to look at your social media, chat forums, print and online media to find out where your audience spend their time. If you have worked to clearly define your offer and engage with the ‘hooks’ and influences that will appeal to your audience, they will find you. And if you measure how your parents have arrived at your door through your communications channels, you can refine your marketing and PR accordingly.