An article in Sydney’s major newspaper this week compares the cost of educating a child born this year in the public, systemic and private school systems in Australia.
The survey was done by the Australian Scholarships Group’s Planning for Education Index. How they constructed their figures is not made clear. If a parent reading the article had plans that their newborn baby would end up in a private school, it may make them think twice. Then again, it may help them realise the overall cost of a private school education, and they start a savings plan.
As a school marketer, we can use these articles to our advantage. It can help us focus on what would cause a parent to choose a private school education, despite the long term cost. It is important to continue to promote the benefits of your school. The best form of marketing is word of mouth – current families telling other families. Be sure to provide current families with plenty of great things to talk about. It could also be time to consider conducting a survey of students, parents or teachers to gauge general satisfaction. Surveys can highlight key issues that need to be addressed, and also areas of strength that can be utilised in promoting the school. See the website for details on Surveys.
Dirk Benson did the Diploma in School Marketing two years ago and we asked him to provide some feedback to a prospective student late last year. It was so good to hear his news – too good not to share with the network! If you need some inspiration for your school marketing this year, consider the Diploma in School Marketing. Open now for enrolments.“I took on the course for a possible career change from teaching. I thought that marketing was about signs on buses and media advertising. By the end of the course I knew entirely differently.
The following video has been produced by Flinders Christian Community College. It not only showcases their Carrum Downs Campus unique classroom space, it communicates why they have integrated these spaces into the schooling experience for middle years students.
Displaying Christmas lights can be a way to engage your community, or even just make them aware that you are there!
St Andrews Christian College in Victoria has flicked the switch on its first Christmas lights. At the conclusion of the Presentation night in early December, families were excited to see the simple display up on the roof of the school hall switched on for the first time. Melanie Lepileo, Registrar, took the idea of starting their Christmas light display from this year’s School Marketing Aforia.
Western Christian Schools took the opportunity of Christmas to celebrate their multi-cultural school community by having international students introduce themselves, their family's country of origin and give a Christmas greeting in their native language.This simple video is something likely to be appreciated and shared by the families of these students.
Many schools use students in videos. Writhlington School in the UK instead found some adventurous staff members and had them lip sync and dance their way through a Christmas song. It isn't included on their official YouTube channel but has generated a good number of views. Do you have some staff who would be willing and able to laugh at themselves?
If you are looking for some fresh ideas or school marketing focused reading material over the summer (or your winter), visit our online bookshop.
The 6 month distance education Diploma in School Marketing is another way to advance your skills and invest in your career as a School Marketing professional.
In a newsletter earlier this year, I endorsed YouTube as being my preferred platform for school videos:YouTube channel received a ‘Strike 1’ notification of a violation of Community Guidelines.
As the year comes to a close for schools in the southern hemisphere, give some consideration to a marketing audit. While the grounds are deserted it is the perfect time for an Appearance Audit. As the school office is free of students, consider a Communication
Audit. As you review your school website and update it for the coming year, consider a Website Audit.
Cain McDonald, Principal of Victory Lutheran College shared with us that the school had some amazing marketing this week from a local Member of Parliament, in Parliament!In her speech to Parliament, Cathy McGowan, MP for Indi, VIC, expressed how delighted she has been to be a guest to the school on a number of occasions, and mentioned her most recently meeting with the school Board and the Lutheran Parish Council.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a map of where Australia’s immigrants were born. What it shows is that immigrants of a particular country tend to settle in similar regions. For example, 11.4% of Melbourne’s immigrants were born in China, Malaysia 7.8% and India 5.7%.
Volunteers are some of the unsung heroes of our schools! Parents and community members work in instruction, service, fundraising, advisory and policy making roles in your school. If you stopped to add them up, you may be surprised at the sizable army of unpaid workers who make your school hum.
One of our host schools for the School Marketing Aforia 2015 is Flinders Christian Community College, at their Carrum Downs Campus.
They recently held an inaugural event in their school called the Flinders Carrum Downs Community Fair.
Robyn, the Fair Coordinator, was happy to answer some questions about the event:
Q. What was the purpose of the Fair?
A. We wanted to provide something for our Community. It was an opportunity for us to connect with the wider community and for them to connect with us. We like to work closely with our community, supporting them in real and tangible ways, so by having this Fair we were hoping to make those connections.
Q. Did it achieve this purpose?
A. From the feedback I have received, there were quite a lot of people who attended the Fair who were not directly connected with our school community. They came to have a look at the school, and to join with us in the celebration. We also had a number of stall holders and sponsors, who were businesses and charity organisations that were given the opportunity to promote their goods and services. This was a way that we felt we could support our local community.
Q. Are you planning to hold it every year?
A. Our intention is to hold this event every two years, providing we are satisfied that the purposes of the Fair are met.
Q. What was some of the feedback or stories you received from the Fair?
A. We have enjoyed lots of great feedback….
I had an extremely awesooooooome time at the community fair!!!!! (Grade 3 student)
Thank you very much for the community fair. I hope it was not too much stress :) I especially liked the fireworks and the rides. :):) (Grade 3 student)
It brought my brother in law and sister in law and their family into the school – and they only live off Greenwood Drive and have never been inside our gate! What a great incentive for our college!!! (Flinders staff member)
I spoke to two prospective parents. They don't have a child at our school as their children haven't started yet. I was able to speak to them about the heart of the school etc. What an amazing opportunity for these families to see our school outside of the "normal" school tours. Well done on an amazing initiative. (Flinders teacher)
Well done!!!!!!!!!!! All my children loved the fair and thought it was much better than what they had anticipated. (Parent)
I would just like to say thank you to the Committee involved in organising the Fair. It was a very enjoyable experience for my family – very well organised and planned.The fireworks were really wonderful! (Member of the public)
The staff and students who were there to welcome and assist people as they arrived were extremely helpful and friendly. And the musical entertainment was of a very high standard…..It was a particularly fine effort, especially for an inaugural event. (Parent)
Q. How do you know it's been a success?
A. When the positive feedback far outweighs the negative feedback. The school community and the wider community had a great time of fun and connection, and this has been communicated in many different ways eg. emails, testimonials, moodle messages, text messages, Facebook and letters.
Q. What would you do differently next time?
A. More signage to help with clearer communication, find ways to include the secondary students more, provide more food with some more healthy choices, perhaps do a more ‘unplugged’ stage act so there is a more intimate setting where people can talk around tables and chairs, an outdoor café style setting.
Thank you Robyn, and congratulations to Flinders on a successful first Fair!
As you plan an event, be clear about what you want the event to achieve, or the purpose of the event. Then take time after the event reviewing whether that purpose was achieved. You could make notes as to what improvements could be made so you have it on hand to refer to when planning the next event. Also, asking for feedback will help you understand what was important to, or most enjoyed by, the people who attended.
Take a tour of Carrum Downs Campus on Day 2 of the School Marketing Aforia 2015.
Each week Trinity Christian College in Illinois USA posts a new student testimonial on their website using youTube. The videos are generally under a minute long and use a simple white backdrop. The variety of videos allows them to cover the diversity of subjects on offer. The videos are also an attempt to identify with the diversity of viewers. The testimonials go beyond what each student is studying and include something about their life, goals, interests or the local area. What also becomes clear through the videos is the values and beliefs of the College.
When visiting Victory Lutheran College Principal Cain McDonald showed me the library. It was wonderful with a lovely colour scheme, creative seating and lots of books. As it was the last few days of school, students were returning textbooks. The school, rather than parents, purchased the textbooks and loaned them to students for the year. It is an expense for the school, but it simplifies things for the parents.Other schools give parents a list of what to purchase. Some parents always buy new, others will ask friends with older children for hand-me-downs or arrange to buy them second hand. Some online services like TextBook Exchange are becoming popular for buying and selling, although this one relates to University textbooks only at this point.
Nancy Duarte’s passion is to help shape ideas into presentations which are designed to shift audience beliefs and behaviours in their organisations, communities, and world. Her 18 minute TED talk will teach you how to structure a speech or presentation, if you are wanting to take an idea, and communicate that idea effectively.
The following is an article from our guest speaker at the School Marketing Aforia 2015, Mike Leembruggen.
In my quest to achieve higher online enrolment enquiries for schools, I’m constantly testing a number of variables for optimum conversion rate.
Here’s the results of our latest test:
That’s quite a jump from 9.52% to 20.59% conversion rate. That gets me excited. 116.18% improvement is fantastic.There’s no external promotion or campaign that would otherwise have boosted these results and still we see a massive improvement in day to day enrolment enquiries by changing a few key elements on the website.
So, the big question… What was the winning variation you ask?
The winning variation used the text “Continue” on the button and the simple grey background outperformed a more fancy graphical version. If you are using the standard “submit” text on your buttons, change it! You are losing out on more and more enrolment enquiries every day.
If you have a multi campus school, it can be difficult to know how to create a website that represents each campus well, without it becoming too complicated, or content heavy.
The Centre for Marketing Schools is an international network of people passionate about schools. Founded by Dr Linda Vining the Centre is now led by Neil Pierson.
Join us. Together we can learn, share ideas and tell the unique story of our school community.