Your school is a brand – and so is the team!
Educational organisations are businesses, albeit with a very unique product.
They offer a service (teaching and learning), they have customers (the students), stakeholders (the parents and wider community) - and a large number of employees.
Those employees play a huge role in providing the service, supporting your customers and liaising a LOT with your stakeholders. They are also a key part in maintaining and promoting your brand.
People buy into people, so here are some quick ways you can maximise your team’s strengths to help build your brand.
Promote them in school.
It may seem a little old fashioned, but families and carers do like the wall of staff photos. It provides them with a path – ‘who will my child have next year?’ and ensures that anyone coming into the building is clear on where departmental and year group responsibilities lie. This can be online also!
Promote them online.
All classes, year groups and departments can have their own section on your website, in which their skills, their school trips, their teaching etc. can be recorded. This can be as a curriculum based advice section, or in a diary / news format.
Help manage their social media.
Lots of teachers may not engage in social media, but for those who do, it is imperative that they recognise the need to stay professional. Provide training / key messages to be used in all their posts and profiles. Provide them with a clear Social Media policy and help them ensure that their personal channels are set to private. Ensure that they adhere to school values on social media in that same way that they would in the street.
Encourage their professional development.
Training, networking, professional speaking opportunities - these are all opportunities for your staff to promote themselves, and therefore your school or college. Encouraging professional development not only helps develop a good working relationship and boost staff loyalty, it means that your team is promoting the school and all the good work it does.
Promote your staff content
Unique content created by your team should be shared across your channels, wherever appropriate. This could be mentions in the local media, other industry social media channels, awards or recognitions. Ensure your team’s successes are shouted about on the news section of your site, in any newsletters and on your own social media channels through RTs and links. Their achievements reflect well on you.
Involve your team
While budgets and diaries are increasingly stretched, it is sometimes difficult to remind your team of the importance of brand maintenance and help them to feel involved. But staff meetings should have this on the agenda, even if it is just an AOB note at the end. Ask your team’s opinions, check what they are up to, make them feel involved – but try to do it without feeling extra pressure (they’re busy enough!).
After all, as you navigate the choppy waters of reputation management, it’s great to have a good crew behind you.
And when it comes to marketing, sometimes they need to be in front!