Plan to succeed - get your education marketing year sorted now!
The suitcase is unpacked, the washing has been done. The lessons are planned and the classroom walls prepared.
That’s right, Summer is over and it’s a new school year. But as you admire your new stationery and start looking at your welcome assembly, you need to ask yourself whether your marketing is ready.
If this is something you haven’t planned in advance, it needn’t take long. Here are our six tips on how to map out your school’s marketing for the next year, to ensure you get the most out of the process.
1) Consider your school’s objectives
What do you want to get out of the new school year? Write a list of no less than five. If you can do more, great, but five should be enough to start with. Try to be specific - are you looking to expand your STEM offering? Recruit new PE staff? Raise a certain amount of funds for a new playground? Put them in order, the most important at the top.
2) Now list your marketing objectives
Your marketing objectives feed from the school objectives. So, for example, if you are looking to recruit new PE staff, then how can marketing help? You need to promote your PE offering, communicate to potential PE staff in your area, raise awareness of the school needs. Once you have those marketing objectives down then you can start to look at tactics.
3) Plan your tactics
The tactics flow from the marketing objectives. So if your aim is to communicate more with potential PE staff, the next step is to consider the routes towards them. What do they read, where do they go? Social media is a great place to start, you can quickly create a Linkedin strategy to connect with them and then share posts about your PE department. Twitter is also a good place to find people. Have you any sports events planned that could be promoted to the local media? Are there any sports education conferences that you could speak at or send a delegate to, for networking opportunities?
4) Budget allocation
Everything costs money and some of the tactics you have looked at may be outside the realms of possibility. But by prioritising your school objectives you will be able to see where the budget is best spent.
Once the tactics are created and the budget allocated, you need to delegate the tasks to the right people. If your school has a marketing team then great, but often the tactics will be the responsibility of teaching staff. We all know how stretched things are, so you need to ensure that this is not seen as a chore or something that will eat into planning or evaluation time. Look at how other responsibilities can be shared with teammates to ensure people do not feel short-changed: marketing can be very rewarding but those helping need to be on board and enthused about the process.
Keep checking how the marketing activity is going. It can naturally take a back seat amongst all the other many things that need to be progressed, so set time aside to have updates which will help you ensure that things are going to schedule. External communication is an essential part of achieving your school objectives, so do include it as part of your planning.
Enjoy the process! Welcome back to school! Let’s smash this year!