What is Inbound Marketing and Why Should My School Adopt It?
One great way to encourage positive interactions online is to create a Principal’s Blog where your school’s personality can shine. Remember, you’re planning to talk to real people here, and they want to know you are real people, too.
Of course, your website can only be an effective school communications tool if you make it easy for families to find you in the first place, which is why every effective school communication plan today must consider search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the art and science of tailoring your website to make it easier for families to find you via search engines like Google.
Another important part of any communications plan is the effective use of email. If you’re planning to send emails to hundreds of current and prospective families, make sure these messages are well-timed and targeted.
Finally, your website isn’t the only place families are going to be reading up on you. Many families will also be getting information from online review sites run by Facebook, Google, Niche, and Greatschools. When planning how to reach families online, it’s important to understand how these rating sites work and how to use them to your advantage.
Keeping Enrolled Families Happy and Engaged with an Internal Communication Plan for Your School
Your communications plan can’t end once you get a family to enroll. Once a family is part of your community and entrusting you with their children, school communications are more important than ever!
Unfortunately, not all schools realize this. As LeRoy notes, “When I do school climate surveys, invariably, school communication ranks near the bottom in terms of parental satisfaction.”
So how do you keep parents happy and engaged? By creating a school internal communication plan that engages families the moment they enroll and keeps them informed regularly and predictably.
Create a Robust Family-Onboarding Process
For many schools, the onboarding process for new families is a matter of mailing out a student handbook and hoping families will learn about the school’s practices and expectations through osmosis. The result is families who are confused, frustrated, and may never feel like members of your school community.
If you’re planning to establish healthy communication channels with families, it’s essential to create a strong onboarding process to welcome families to your school. Remember, you’re not just teaching their children — you’re teaching the whole family how to thrive in your educational environment.
Since parents and guardians are busy and can retain only so much information at any time, create a schedule to roll out essential information in easy-to-digest chunks. Allow new families to learn about your school at their own pace and on their own terms.
One effective strategy is to make explainer videos to help new families understand potentially confusing issues, such as how to navigate the carpool lane or how to use your Student Information System (SIS) to check grades. Not only will it make new families feel more comfortable, but it will also save you from having confused parents constantly call the office with questions.