There are so many tips and tricks to help you market your school and make it stand out from the crowd, and there is a ton of information right there under your fingertips nowadays. But even after you get your education marketing strategy and web design right, you feel like something is lacking in what you do and that there is room for you to improve your school marketing practices.
Beyond Web will help you shine a light on simplifying your school communications and helping you build a better reputation, student success, and community support thanks to a simplified communications plan. If you are ready, here are five valuable tips to implement into your school communications plan today to help your school look more approachable and accessible.
Simplifying Your School Communications
Technological advancements have brought ease and mess into our lives. Millennial parents and Gen Z students have difficulty getting through to their school representatives. Having a plain and straightforward school communications plan for your institution is crucial. But how are you going to do it? Roll up your sleeves, and let’s dive right in!
Step 1: Set Your School Communication Goals Clearly
If your school website doesn’t point out your school’s communication plan, that should be the first thing you get your hands on. If you don’t grasp your district’s overall strategic plan, get informed on it, as you will need it to set what you are communicating to the onlookers of your school.
Increasing the number of enrolments in your school will require you to provide clarity on your school’s communications plan. This will significantly help manage the expectations of parents and students interested in your institution.
If you are wondering what kind of questions can lead you to clarify the goals of your school’s communications, answering questions such as the following can help you immensely:
- How can you identify your target audience as? How should your school’s digital voice and presence be shaped to appeal to this audience?
- What does the district aim overarching?
- What are the things the specific district values the most? What is its purpose?
You must include your school or district’s strategic plans in your school’s communication plan. This way, you will assure parents and students that your institution is aligned with the core values of your district or school. This won’t require you to take paths that have never been taken before. Research on the already existing district communication plans will give you plenty of ideas as you prepare to create your own.
Step 2: Do a Survey to Learn About Your School Community
When the goal is to communicate what your school is about, shouldn’t you know more about your target audience’s preferences of reach and communication?
As your second step to creating simplified school communication, get ready to dig deeper into your target community’s daily routines and likes. Do research and, even better, survey them to learn the best ways and platforms to reach them.
Would your school community like to see you on social media? Would they be entertained more by the idea of an email? Or take it a bit more old school and receive text messages from their school? Or are you taking things more seriously with a mobile app to download and browse through?
Parents and students of today are more involved with their schools than ever. Conducting an audit of your district communications can bring you impressive amounts of data to help you create a more effective school communications plan.
If you don’t know what to ask your school community when creating your survey, asking yourself these questions can help you immensely as they clarify the data that you need:
Will you prefer personalised communication practices?
Personalised communications help your school when creating the image you care about. Don’t miss out on the chance to keep your parents happy and informed with customised communications that will provide them with targeted and relevant content they will love to receive.
Your school’s technological channels should be able to provide your parents with the most up-to-date news about your institution, making them feel like you are approachable and accessible when they need you to be. Implementing personalisation into your school communications plan is a practice we highly recommend. It will not only raise your community’s satisfaction with your communication practices but also increase engagement with your digital content.
On a related note, if you’d like to learn about “5 Free School Marketing Tools To Increase Engagement,” don’t miss out on our fantastic article!
Can everyone access your technology?
It’s always best to make it open to not only those who are enrolled and their parents but everyone who wants to access the content of your school website through your apps and tools. Making sure that all users can reach your communication channels will paint a better picture of your school’s transparency.
Does your technology provide security?
School websites overtook the top rankings of cyber-attack targeting as education was taken over online with the pandemic. It might be much riskier if your school’s website is hosted on open-source platforms like Drupal, WordPress, or others. Prioritising your website and user data safety is a must.
Step 3: Get Your School Resources Organised
Resources like content that drove the highest traffic to your website and evergreen information like back-to-school information should always be more accessible than the rest. Organising and keeping them at close reach will help you reuse them without bothering those who worked with them. This will be especially useful if people who used to take care of these are not around anymore, and you are trying to sort things out yourself.
For this third step, organising and condensing the following will be of significant assistance:
- Calendars for important dates.
- Registration forms.
- Permission forms (for field trips, media waivers, etc.).
- Orientation info.
- Vaccination forms.
- Dress codes/uniforms.
- Bus routes/transportation.
- Lunch menus.
- Class supply list.
If you previously opted for posting PDFs, remember that they aren’t accessible for all. It won’t be fun to revamp or renew them every other year.
For a better user experience for the school marketing team and parents and students of your institution, locating crucial information conveniently in one place will be the best option. This will also help you easily update and share them with families whenever necessary. Ensure you link these resources to your school’s communications hub or back-to-school portal. This way, the external assistance needed to reach them will decrease.
Step 4: Utilise the Power of Parent-Teacher Communication
What could be regarded as effective customer service for school communications?
Parent-teacher messaging, possibly.
Provide the means for your teachers to tell beautiful stories about your school and share them online. This practice will help you build equity for your brand with content shared on digital media or through notifications.
Integrating a school-to-home messaging tool into your school’s communication plan can help you build healthy communication between parents and teachers. When students, parents, or guardians are kept posted on critical classroom updates, creating a more consistent experience becomes more effortless.
Step 5: C.O.P.E.
C.O.P.E., aka Create Once, Publish Everywhere, revives outdated communication practices from the dead.
Create content and write messages once, place them onto the proper means and channels through your most preferred communication methods, and publish them within a well-planned communications strategy. This method will save you unimaginable amounts of time, help your marketing team ideate alternative practices to increase parent and student satisfaction, create consistency and showcase your informative side to your community.
Stack some content up, divide them into parts and share when it’s due. Easy, peasy.
Don’t forget to add your school’s district news to your communication plan. Whatever affects your school’s organisational flow should always be communicated to your parents and students, as it will affect them too.
Now that you know the five crucial steps to simplify your school communication plan, you have the basics to polish up your school’s communication plan. But is that it? No. Here are a few extra tips to ponder before we leave.
3 Simple Practices to Level up Your School Communications Plan
After receiving guidance on creating a simple and effective communication plan for your school in five steps, we’d love to sprinkle in something extra to simplify your school marketing practices further. Here are three additional tips to try:
Bring Parents and Teachers Together
Organising a parent-teacher night can create an environment where parents can receive feedback on their children’s learning and progress in school while providing the means for both parties to get to know each other. Depending on your school’s yearly calendar, this can be organised once a year or once each semester. It can be conducted even more frequently when it’s possible to arrange.
Make Use of an Email Service Provider
Adding an emailing feature to your school’s communications channels can be highly effective when managing your school’s communications. With well-known E.S.P.s like Mailchimp, Send Pulse, and others; you will have ready-to-use template options that will make it easy for you to create emails and later send them in bulk. You can even ask for their offers in pricing when you sign up as a representative for your school.
Create a School Calendar
Creating a school calendar can help you significantly as it lets you see the important dates and events that are coming up. This will also provide insight into your school’s availability and keep parents and students informed, providing them space to take care of the businesses they want to tend to that aren’t related to academic life.
Place holidays, breaks, and early dismissals into your school calendar, so the parents will rest assured knowing when to use this time before the actual dates arrive. Making this calendar digital can deem it more accessible than a physical one, but consider a published and distributed calendar as well, as that has its place in people’s daily lives.
Trust is built on efficient communication, and efficient communication plans are those created with simplicity as their focus. Integrating these practices into your school marketing strategy will help you create a better bond with your school, parents, and students. But if you still want professional assistance from those with work references and testimonials, as Beyond Web, we are here to help.
Simplify Your School Communications Plan With Beyond Web
At Beyond Web, we use our school marketing expertise to help your institution rank higher than others in the education market. To this date, we worked with some of the best educational institutions to recreate their whole digital identity and branding, enabling them to outshine their competitors.
See John Monash Science School’s wondrous digital transformation with Beyond Web from here: Innovative curriculum co-written with Monash University.
And look at the magic we created for the Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools Deputy Principals’ Association from here: Providing valuable support & networking opportunities.
And now, it’s time for your educational institution to join our winning team.
With our award-winning school web design and education website projects, we ensure you get the best service to build your brand and showcase your reputation when you collaborate with us.
If the insights help, but you’d still prefer to hand the operation to those who know how to do things best, we would love to chat with you to discuss what we can create for your school. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
And if you’d like to receive more insights on the best practices in education marketing, keep browsing our blog to find other impactful articles. There is more that we can offer you.