My Account

School Marketing Blog

The professional school marketing manager needs to be up-to-date with the latest school marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the school marketing plan. This school marketing blog enables school marketing professionals to engage in blog discussions relating to the school marketing issues of today. The 'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

School Marketing Plan Evaluation - at least once a year

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The School Marketing Plan (SMP) needs to be evaluated at least once a year - often at the end of each year. If this hasn't been done yet, could I strongly suggest you do it now!


Representatives from the Key Stakeholders groups within the school need to give input. 

These people would include:

•   Principal and Leadership Team
•   School Manager
•   Parish Priest
•   Staff (as decided in consultation with Principal)
•   Parent representatives
•   Student Leaders
•   Feeder School Principals and Leadership Teams 
•   Media Representatives (usually media contacts of yours and advertising consultants you dealt with, as needed)
•   Systemic representatives as needed

Survey and Feedback

Feedback quantity and quality will vary. 

Requested replies would be from both specific and general groups, for example, you may target specific groups of Parents e.g. School Board, but also invite interested Parents through the schools’ newsletters / e-newsletters / e-flyers to respond.

A simple questionnaire sent to these people asking three questions will often give enough detail for a fair appraisal and follow-up discussion with the school leadership team and School Marketing Manager.

You may be inclined to do this through an online survey. (See 'Surveys' section of this chapter in the school marketing manual for examples.)

The questions could be:

•   The SMP for [School Name] for this year was successful in what ways?
•   The SMP for [School Name] for this year was lacking in what ways?
•   How would you suggest the SMP for [School Name] be adjusted for next year?
•   Other comments

The SMM would then summarize these responses in an honest way and present the views to the School’s Leadership Team. 

It is also good to include specific examples from each question from key people e.g. 

•   a feeder school Principal may be the only one who is aware of issues regarding visitations or school involvement in his / her school 
•   a feeder school secretary may be the only one aware of specific  parental / staff issues she hears espoused in her main office; 

It is important that this isn’t lost in the summary.

Others may like to develop a survey which ranks specific statements about the SMP from 5 to 1. The number of statements in the survey would need to be minimal to gain a good percentage of replies.

This type of survey would more than likely achieve a greater number of responses, yet the detail is limited. You may like to try a greater number of statements for groups or individuals you feel are more likely to respond. 

You may also like to include a section for written responses to questions similar to the above three.

SMM Support

It is important that the SMM is supported by all groups to continue on the successful way or make various changes to improve.

Most common changes are made each year in the approach and / or 
forms of marketing used in each subsequent year.

This is normal and leads to a more successful SMP each year.

The ' School Marketing Plan Updated for the New Year' blog post is based on chapters 'School Marketing Plan Evaluation' and 'School Marketing Plan (SMP)' was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2011

 - written in summarized point form containing an exceptional number of strategies and step-by-step guidance on how to market your school, with copyright remaining with Great Development Publishers. Available from Amazon and all good internet stores.

Advertising in the Traditional Media - School Marketing

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Advertising in the traditional media, as part of the School Marketing Plan, is a form of advertising for a broad reach within society. It is still a very successful form of marketing the school. Remember to use both the traditional and contemporary forms of marketing for success overall.

Traditional media advertising goes well beyond the school community.

Common forms include: newspaper, radio, television and magazines.

Purpose and Overview

This form of advertising is mainly used to:

•   Reach a broad audience beyond the school community
•   Build a reputation within the broader community
•   Have the reputation created support those within the school community
•   Advise the broader community of the advantages of your school to society
•   Encourage parents and their child/ren to consider enrolling in your school.

Success rates will vary depending on each individual publication and geographical location.

Advertising costs will also vary according to each individual publication and location.

Thorough cost analysis needs to be done by the SMM prior to developing a School Marketing Plan (SMP).
Often the smaller more localized publications are the best value as they often cost less and usually reach the targeted audience more effectively.

However, you need to be satisfied about:

•   outlet’s philosophy
•   usual content
•   style of presentation
•   advertisement placement positions
•   distribution method.

Advertisement Creation Options

Two options are usually available:

•   The school creates and produces its own advertisement or
•   The media outlet creates it for you

Each media outlet would normally create the advertisement for you, if you so wish. You should provide as much information and as many resources as possible, particularly the branding style needed (see ‘Branding’).

Don’t expect this method to be thoroughly to your liking though. You may need to go back and forth with the outlet until satisfied.

Other Topics in this Chapter

The other topics in this chapter from the ebook by Bryan Foster include:
  • Background Preparation
  • Be Prepared
  • Proofs
  • Signing Off
Specific Details and Examples for:
  • Newspaper and Magazine Advertising
  • Creating the Newspaper and Magazine Advertisement - Instructions
  • Radio Advertising
  • Creating a Radio Advertisement - Instructions and Sample
  • Television Advertising
  • Creating a Television Advertisement - Instructions
The 'Advertising in the Traditional Media - School Marketing' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and

Photos - Key to a Successful School Marketing Plan

Saturday, April 28, 2012
Photographic images are the basis of any successful school marketing plan. The more relevant and appealing the better! Remember - 'a picture tells a thousand words'!!!

How often have you been inspired by a photo or image? The higher the content relevance of the image the greater the success should be. In any school marketing campaign it is the relevance of each component, which will decide the campaign's success. One poor choice can turn that campaign into a flop. A poorly chosen photo / image can lead to the viewer ignoring or not seeing the message on the one extreme, to being totally against the whole message on the other extreme.

The quality of the image is also important, yet this would also depend on the artistic use of it. Most often a quality photo of the chosen subject is necessary for success. Yet, sometimes a poorer quality, or artistically enhanced, image may be quite appealing in a specific circumstance. The product and demographic of the campaign would decide this.

The digital camera has opened up a whole new world for most people. No longer are very expensive cameras and add-ons needed for that successful photo. The quality of many of these digital cameras is quite extraordinary now. The raw photo is often quite good, however add to this the qualities that software, such as Photoshop can add, and a whole new world opens up to even the least qualified photographer.

Of course, quality DSLR cameras, associated lenses, lighting apparatus and software such as Photoshop, will lead to considerably higher quality images in the hands of a photographer of merit. The marketing campaign will dictate the quality of image required.

Even the basic editing tools included with most Windows, Apple and Android products can enhance an image. Often all that is needed is a little cropping or light adjustment.

The smart phone supporting a large enough camera these days can become a part of a successful marketing plan. A smart phone with the appropriate apps downloaded will allow various images to take on that 'Wow' factor.

The digital camera allows for a large number of photos to be taken. Don't be a miser here. You will find that some photos work for you while others won't. Hence, the more you take, the more chance of that 'magic' shot. In time you will develop an appreciation of the number of shots needed to achieve your aim.
The moving video image also has a place to play. The photo image is more often used within a video for special effect.

The photo image is a key component of any successful marketing campaign within so many common media. When an image is used effectively it grabs the attention of the viewer and makes them take note. Use it well and that 'thousand words' will become part of your marketing campaign.

The 'Photos - Key to a Successful School Marketing Plan' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and

The Number One Strategy of School Marketing - Word of Mouth

Monday, April 02, 2012

Word of Mouth - #1 Strategy to Market Schools

Let's keep it simple. From my experience there are a number of classic and contemporary methods to market your school. These should be at the forefront of any successful school marketing plan. A number of these are free or relatively inexpensive. The number 1 method though is ‘Word of Mouth’ is free!

School and Wider Community Support Needed

Now this may seem quite obvious and simple to many, that the number one strategy in a school marketing plan is word of mouth, unfortunately it can be anything but that. Word of mouth requires the great majority of people to be speaking positively about your school. This not only includes those directly in the school community e.g. staff, students and parents, but also those in the wider community who may influence those within and without of the school community. This would include: grandparents of students within the school, others directly associated with the school e.g. suppliers of school goods, professionals e.g. those charged with the finance guidance and auditing, architects and engineers of the building plan, people on the school parents and friends / citizens association and the school board, past students association, etc.

Hence, these people need to be fully informed and communicated with, concerning all the events and happenings within the school. This includes the positive and the negative.

Negative News Can Become Positive News

Why the negative you may ask? If the school is run effectively it will have policies and procedures to deal with most, if not all, circumstances it may face. When people within and without the school see that the school is dealing with those negative aspects in a professional, caring and effective way, they will more than likely support the school. For many of these people they will go much further and espouse how wonderful the school is in the way that it deals with negative issues. This can be a very effective method, overall.


Once this strategy is accepted as the primary means to market a school, it then becomes evident that the next challenge is to select numerous forms of communication and a number of strategies, which are going to be needed for the ‘word of mouth’ strategy to be fully informed and hence, successful.

The 'The Number One Strategy of School Marketing - Word of Mouth' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and

Recent Posts