In our never-ending quest to implement the best school marketing strategies to reach prospective parents, it is important that we don’t forget the power of the student-to-student referral.
Students themselves not only have influence with their parents in the choice of schools, they can also influence their friends.
Current students can reach out to their friends in the community to recruit them to their school.
A couple of years ago I began working with First Baptist Academy in Naples, FL (www.fbalions.org). One of the marketing strategies they had already implemented stood out to me – Friend Day.
Because of the success of this program, I reached out to Rebecca Curran, Director of Admissions at FBA, to conduct a virtual interview with her and to share this with you in a blog post.
I began working with Lane Rice, Director of Admission, and Eric Cook, Headmaster, at Covenant Classical School www.covenantfw.org) in Fort Worth, TX, last July. In our discussions, I recommended that they launch a Parent Ambassador’s Program to expand their reach and to increase word of mouth. The following blog post is a recent interview with Lane about how she launched this program as part of her school’s marketing and enrollment strategy.
Why did you decide to launch a Parent Ambassador’s Program?
“The Parent Ambassador program at Covenant is one of many enrollment strategies recommended to us by Dr. Rick Newberry. When Dr. Newberry visited Covenant in the summer of 2012, our enrollment was plateauing. While we continued to matriculate new students each year, our attrition numbers made us uncomfortable and hindered our potential for growth. In an area where the market is flooded with private schools – and indeed good schools – Covenant needed to implement enrollment strategies to help us communicate our mission, vision, and distinctiveness to our area.”
It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. New Year’s is always a good time to reflect and to plan ahead.
My passion is to help schools grow in their enrollment and to increase their influence in their respective communities. Through Enrollment Catalyst, I am thankful that I have this opportunity to work alongside school leaders to advance their schools. With more students, faculty and staff can impact more students and make a life-changing difference in their lives.
In my reflections on 2012, I am grateful for the many opportunities I had to help schools grow as well as to provide resources for school leaders. The following are some of the highlights:
I am on vacation this week. My wife and I have been enjoying the week on the beach on Captiva Island, FL. Captiva is one of my favorite places to visit in Florida and I highly recommend it as a vacation destination.
As I am reflecting on the beach, listening to the waves crash on the sand and feeling the warm sun on my body, I am thinking about how I can continue to help independent and faith-based schools.
In fact, on Tuesday, October 9, at 2pm, I will be leading a free webinar for EdSocialMedia entitled: “Using the WEB to Inspire WOM for Your School.” You can click on the link to register for this webinar. Read more…
It’s back to school time.
It’s also the day of reckoning for those in school leadership, admissions and enrollment positions.
So how does your enrollment look this year?
Did you reach your goals?
As you celebrate your school’s enrollment, whether you met your goals or not, it is a great time to reflect on and assess your enrollment and marketing strategies and results for the year.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the AISAP Summer Institute. Besides enjoying La Jolla and San Diego, the institute was an event to remember and recommend.
The institute was held at the beautiful campus of La Jolla Country Day School. Every summer the institute is held in one of its member schools rotating throughout various regions of the country.AISAP is the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals.
AISAP is the admissions organization created by admissions professionals for admissions professionals.
This year I had the opportunity to present three sessions at the institute. I have made these sessions available for you to download if you are interested.
Click on the link and a PDF of the presentation will download. Because of the large file size, it will take a a few minutes to download. The file will appear in your browser when it is downloaded fully.
I would like to share some private school resources for your enrollment and marketing strategies.
This week I presented at an AISAP Roundtable at The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach and at Independent Day School in Tampa on the topic of “Developing Your Word of Mouth Marketing Plan for Enrollment Success.” As part of my presentation, I reviewed 400 websites and Facebook pages and shared some of the best ways that AISAP schools are using the Web to share their story. I will be sharing some of my findings with you in my upcoming blog posts.
To get a taste of what I presented, you can access a blog post that I wrote recently for AISAP 52 about this topic. AISAP (Association of Independent School Admission Professionals) is a great organization that every admissions professional should join! You should also plan to attend the AISAP Summer Institute at La Jolla Country Day School from July 8-11 (I will be there as one of the faculty members). Read more…
If you were developing a theory of school growth, what would you propose as the most important factors that influence enrollment growth?
Based on my experiences in working with private, Christian and independent schools throughout the country, I believe that there are multiple factors that contribute to enrollment growth and decline at a school. Let me highlight some of these factors for you: Read more…
Building on my previous blog post, I want to continue our discussion on the use of parent satisfaction surveys in private schools. We will examine the timing of your survey, the response to expect, the delivery method to consider, and the results to communicate.
Parent surveys can be launched any time throughout the year. However, I have found that this type of survey works best either during the fall months of October and early November or late January through early March. By choosing one of these time periods you will avoid the holidays, the end of the school year months and summer vacation—all of which will negatively affect your response rate. Once you decide on the timing of your survey, you should make this a part of your annual effort at this same time every year. An annual survey will enable you to compare satisfaction levels—your improvements and challenges—from year to year.
One of the trends I have seen in the private schools I have talked to in the last several months is stagnate or declining enrollment in the lower grades. For some schools experiencing an increase in enrollment, this has mainly occurred in the middle and upper school grades.
I would like to ask two questions about this issue: Read more…