5 Ways to Promote your First Day of School

It’s hard to believe that it is August already? My youngest son begins his senior year on August 14 at the same school he has been a student since preschool. I am not sure if I am ready for the reality of his senior year!

However, as we all prepare for the first day of school, and in some cases a few schools have already begun, I wanted to share five ideas you can use in your marketing effort (all of these ideas are being used by some of my current and former school clients):

1—Countdown to the First Day of School – Everyone loves a good countdown. With the first day of school around the corner, this is a great opportunity to conduct a countdown on your social media channels. Whether you implement a 10-, 20- or 30-day countdown, you can showcase a different person or group with the number of days remaining until the first day of school. This is a powerful way to get different members of your school community involved including board members, administrators, faculty, coaches, students and alumni. The screenshot is part of the 30-day countdown that Ware Academy in VA posted on their Facebook page last year (pictured out the bus window with 12 days to go until the first day of school — Tom Thomas, head of school; Dawn Fleet, enrollment/marketing director; Glen Taylor, development director). Countdowns can also be used for the last day of school or some other significant event on your calendar.

2—Facebook Group for New Parents – A Facebook group is a great way to connect your new parents before the beginning of school. One of my school clients, Redwood Christian Schools in CA, recently launched their closed Facebook group. They set up the group and invited their new parents by email. The purpose of the group has been to share news and information relevant for new parents. They have shared some live broadcasts and interacted with questions on the minds of new parents. This group is also helpful to connect new parents to one another before the school year begins. Teresa Hendren, marketing director, is pictured to the right in her live kick-off broadcast to the group.

3—First Day of School Pictures – Every parent loves to take a first day of school picture of their child. Some schools have set up a “picture spot” or frame for parents to take their pictures. In other cases, the parents take pictures of their child at home dressed and ready to go in their new school uniform. Regardless, you can encourage your families to use a unique hashtag for posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (e.g. #yourschoolnamefirstday). You can then search on the hashtag to view and share back to your school’s social media channel the first-day pictures that are posted. North Cobb Christian School, located in Kennesaw, GA, encouraged students to pose for their first day of school photos. You can check out the NCCS Facebook Page to view some of their posts.

4—A Creative Way to Announce Teachers – I recently saw a video posted on the Parkview Baptist School Facebook
page. Parkview is located in Baton Rouge and I had the opportunity to work with their team a few years ago. This video showed a Kindergarten teacher tying balloons to a mailbox of a family with an incoming Kindergarten student. They were given the instructions to pop the balloon to find out the name of their child’s Kindergarten teacher inside. This is a great tradition that students and parents look forward to as they learn the name of their child’s teacher for the year. You can check out this post on the Parkview Facebook page.

5—The Ice Cream Man – Providence Christian Academy, in Murfreesboro, TN, just began school at the end of July. I think they get the prize for the earliest start date! This year was a banner year for their enrollment growth – the school increased by 25% over last year from 370 to over 460 students. This is incredible growth as I haven’t ever seen this size of increase in one year! To celebrate, their head of school, Dr. Bill Mott, dressed up as an ice cream man and delivered ice cream treats to every student in the school on the first day of school. Now, this is a very “cool” way to start the school year! Check out this post on the Providence Facebook page.

What are you doing to celebrate and promote the first day of school?

Do you have an idea that you want to share?

These are just a few of the ideas discussed with school clients in which I provide ongoing coaching or are shared in our own closed Facebook group–a benefit for all Enrollment Catalyst current and past clients. If you are interested in learning more about my coaching through my Enrollment Catalyst Program, please reach out to me personally at Rick.Newberry@enrollmentcatalyst.com.