I love the new beginning of a school year. This is the time when you are able to celebrate the success of your new family and student recruitment efforts. From first day of school pictures to back-to-school nights, the energy for the new year is high.
Your new parents bring a lot of new love to your school. This is something that you should capitalize on in your marketing efforts. The following are six strategies that you should implement now.
1. Conduct a New Parent Survey – As part of your comprehensive research strategy, you should plan to conduct a new parent survey in August or early September. By assessing their school search process and evaluation of your enrollment and marketing effort, you will gather critical information to help you improve this year’s strategy. I have developed a new parent survey that can be customized for your school. Please contact me if you are interested in utilizing this important tool.
2. Collect Stories from your New Parents – Stories are powerful way to market your school. Your new parents have great stories to tell about why they selected your school. Through a personal interview, questionnaire, or video vignette, you could collect stories from your new parents and share them on your website and social media channels. This will help to spread word of mouth by showcasing real people and their real stories of why they selected your school. I regularly recommend that school marketing leaders share these new family stories throughout the month of September.
3. Call all New Parents – It is very important for the head of school and principals to welcome new families to your school. While this happens naturally at back-to-school nights, I have seen this strategy work well when the head of school and the principals call new parents during the month of September to welcome them to the school. Your head of school could simply call three to four new parents every day. Even if the new parent is not reached, a personal welcome message could be left on their voice mail. This is also a great way to check in on the new parents to find out how they are adjusting to your school community.
4. Continue Contact from your Parent Ambassadors – Many schools have Parent Ambassador programs and assign new parents to them to help ease their transition in a school. Although the school year has begun, continued contact from Parent Ambassadors can help new parents navigate the newness of the school during the next several months.
5. Connect New Parents and Students to your School Community – I believe that if a parent and student are both connected with their peers and are involved in groups and community on your campus, then they will be less likely to leave your school. Therefore, it is critical for you to make sure that your new parents and students are making connections and developing relationships at your school.
6. Convert New Parents to Parent Ambassadors – Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing, often talks about the power of new love as one of the best forms for word of mouth marketing. Your new parents represent this new love for your school. They have just gone through the school selection process and chosen your school. They are in love with your school (and nothing has gone wrong yet!). Because of this, your new parents will make great parent ambassadors for your school and should not be overlooked.
Click here to read this article on the Enrollment Catalyst website.