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Issue 710 - 11-feb-2018

Census data to help school marketers

How well do you know your local suburbs? How many school age children are there, how many schools, how many families choose Catholic or Independent Schools instead of Government ones?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has a wealth of Census data for school marketers researching for the Diploma in School Marketing. The Age Victoria newspaper took some of this Census data and made a simple lookup system enabling you to see what percentage of families in a suburb choose each of the main education systems. The data identifies Primary and Secondary age which can also be quite different. If your school is in Australia I encourage you to take some time to learn more about your local suburb. It all helps when talking with families who may be surprised.

Go to: Where do your neighbours send their kids to school?

Issue 711 - 18-feb-2018

Foodbank cookup helps makes a difference

Genesis Christian College ran a “Foodbank” cook up on a Thursday afternoon. Students and staff volunteered their time after school to cook up bulk meals to stock the food bank. Marketing Coordinator Mrs Taryn Thomas explained that "the food bank can be accessed by any family in the school community who may require a meal to help out, whether it be due to time, money or any other constraint. We call these projects, “MAD Projects” – Make a Difference and one is run every term."

A school food bank, community freezer or cook a meal service are all practical ways of helping your community help others in their community. Caring for members of your community is ideally a natural outworking of a school. However creating structures can help encourage and promote it. Allowing recipients to remain anonymous and including an ingredients list are things to consider if you set up a meal service. 

Cooking a meal for someone facing a challenge is not designed as a marketing exercise. Yet the good will, loyalty and positive word of mouth it can generate can be much more than other traditional forms of paid "marketing."

Issue 712 - 25-feb-2018

What is something a teacher had done that you still appreciate?

Marie Lum is an animator who has 47,800 followers on twitter. (Take a moment to consider that potential level of influence – as a comparison Mark Scott, Secretary for NSW Department of Education which employs 49,000 teachers, and is the former head of the ABC, has 122,000 followers). On February 16 2018 Marie asked her followers the question “What’s something a teacher did that still makes you mad?” She had over 6,000 comments. Plenty of people had plenty to say about the negative role of teachers. 

The next day she asked the question “What is something a teacher had done that you still appreciate?” She had 319 comments. The contrast in volume is interesting. Bad news and negative stories were almost 20 times more likely to be retold than positive ones. That may mean we as school marketers need to be broadcasting 20 positive stories for every one negative story discussed in the school carpark.

Nilah Magruder @ ECCC P11 @nilaffle said 
“Senior year of HS, I decided I wanted to apply to art school. I hadn't taken a single art class and didn't have a portfolio. The WHOLE DEPARTMENT rallied around me to get me ready.” 

How many art departments could, or would, do that for a student they had not had in their class? You couldn't write that into a educational instructional teaching manual for your school. I love it .

What positive stories from your current and former students are you recording and sharing about your teachers. I would love to hear them. These past stories are not forgotten and years later will still be generating both positive and negative word of mouth for your school – but you may not know about it. Don’t be afraid to name, identify and honour the teachers who make a positive difference in the life of students. 

Make some time to read some of these positive and negative stories on twitter. You may get some ideas of what stories to be telling to your school community.

> Positive stories
> Negative stories

Source: Twitter users share scarring experiences with teachers that still make their blood boil today

Issue 710 - 11-feb-2018

Generate media attention with fun world records

Setting a world record is something your community will remember and talk about for years to come. Not all world records are hard. The 200 students at St Josephs Catholic School, combining with 200 parents plus staff set a new record for the largest freeze dance. You may remember it from children’s parties where everyone has to freeze when the music stops. Now who knew there was a record for that anyway! Their 412 participants meant they beat the previous record of 390.

Gathering community, having fun, and in this case also raising money for ill children all helped generate positive media attention and word of mouth. 

What fun things have you done at your school? 

Source – article and video at: World record in freeze dance set by Placentia’s St. Joseph Catholic School 

Issue 711 - 18-feb-2018

Time your community events for maxium participation

When should you hold community events? In the United States Thanksgiving is a major event and often the time families travel to be together. It is also during school term. Every year for nearly a decade, Valley Christian School has "recognized grandparents as among the important blessings in their students’ lives with a half-day of activities just before Thanksgiving, when relatives might already be visiting from out of town." While hosting events during a busy time of year may not be ideal if it means more will attend then it can be worth considering.

Another school I know alternates between performing a School Musical one year and Grandparents Day the next to help ease the burden on staff. When scheduling a school event consider what larger sporting or community events may either clash with or complement yours.

Source: Grandparents honored for their legacy, love at Valley Christian School 

Issue 712 - 25-feb-2018

Principal dyes his hair in response to fundraising goal

Principal Peter Randlov of St. Peter Catholic School made a promise: If the school raised $500 during Catholic Schools Week, he would dye his hair its original colour. Students got creative and raised $1,141 in seven days. The white haired Principal now has hair colour of his youth – orange!

This is a great example of a simple and memorable human interest story picked up by their local media. What unusual things have you done at your school?

Source: Principal gives school a hairy challenge

Issue 711 - 18-feb-2018

Try something different with your school promotional videos

On the home page of Woodcroft College is a fun and lively video. The use of a white backdrop, music and no spoken or written words means it is a different format to the vast majority of school promotional videos. It reveals the diversity of educational opportunities, the enjoyment of students and the interaction with teachers - without the distraction of facilities. To me it celebrates and focuses on the people of the school rather than their learning environment.

The video and website were produced by CIMarketing