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Professional Development for School Marketing


Professional development is a vital part of a school marketer’s life. Things move very quickly in this field. It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day work, and get left behind. If your school won’t pay for your professional development, invest in yourself!

Professional development is not just courses and conferences. It is also about expanding your skills and connections.

Candidates for the Diploma in School Marketing are required to prepare a budget for their marketing office. One item of the budget is professional development. A marketing manager who is undertaking the course asked me, “what sort of things come under professional development?”

Good question and as this may be relevant to others I have listed my response below:

You should include an amount in your annual budget that allows you to:

  • Attend at least one conference per year on school marketing
  • Attend 2 or 3 workshops / seminars / lectures
  • Undertake a course (eg powerpoint, customer service, database management)
  • Buy new books on marketing - especially school marketing. Keep reading!
  • Visit other schools to meet colleagues to compare stories and systems
  • Subscribe to relevant educational magazines and online school marketing materials / articles
  • Join professional associations and networks - in school marketing and beyond

Several years ago Lorraine Boothby, Manager of the Uniform Shop at Abbotsleigh, graduated with a CMS Certificate in Customer Relations. She rang to say she would like a new member of her staff to do the course because it had been so beneficial to her. She commented:

the course built my confidence and helped me find out about myself. It was beneficial to my work and to me personally. I discovered a new me!

A true story to consider...

A long-time CMS Networker told me the bad news that the marketing office at her school is being ‘amalgamated’ for cost-cutting reasons and she will be retrenched. What a shock!

She is looking for a new job, but, although she is a smart woman with marketing experience, unfortunately, she has no formal qualifications. Over the years she has talked to me about undertaking a CMS school marketing course but she just never found the time. She wrote, “I now find that a lack of qualifications is limiting my employment options and income.”

The moral of this story is: professional qualifications are important.

You never know what lies around the corner so make time for your own professional development (even if you have to pay for it yourself).