Telling Your School’s Story

Most school leaders do not tell their story very well.

Think about it. We live in a world that thrives on stories. We pay money to sit in front of a large screen for two hours to be drawn into a story. We sit around the table telling our family members stories about our day and our lives. We read a book that tell us a story.

And you know what?  A good story is read. A good story is viewed. A good story sells. A good story is experienced.

We have an opportunity to tell the story of our school, but we just don’t do it very well.

Marketing is more about telling your school’s story than putting together a slick ad campaign. It’s the story of your key brand messages, what I call your unique selling propositions (USPs), wrapped around stories of real people and real experiences.

Take a look at everything you and your marketing or leadership team has written and published in the past month about your school. Is there a story that you are telling? Or, is it a series of updates about events and activities that don’t captivate the reader? What are the underlying messages about your school that you are trying to communicate?

Let’s say that one of your school’s USPs is college preparation. It’s one thing to say that you are a college prep school. It’s quite another to share stories of your alumni demonstrating this core message.

Perhaps one of your school’s USPs is the integration of faith and learning. Again, it’s much more powerful to tell stories about your faculty and how they intentionally do this in the classroom.

What if your Facebook updates told real stories of your faculty, students and alumni? What if you began every email newsletter with a story? What if you had short video vignettes on your website that told these stories?

I really liked the theme of this video introduction on Providence School’s website: Can you imagine if they took this theme to the next level and actually told the stories of their faculty, students and alumni? Now that would be powerful marketing!

It’s important to realize that your school has a story to tell. Your job is to effectively tell it. When prospective parents are drawn into the real life stories you tell, they will be much closer to selecting your school for their children.

Marketing is really about telling your school’s story.