Since it’s time to start the “cycle” of the elements of Advancement once again, let’s start with Marketing.

“Hang It Up” doesn’t mean it’s time to give up (although I continue to hear stories of incredible anxiety).

Several years ago, I bought a plaque that says “I Will Not Worry,” with the Scripture reference in smaller letters underneath. Philippians 4:6 reminds us to “Be anxious about nothing!”

And there are many times we all have to remember that.

A wise priest once told me that worrying is a sin against God, since it means we’re forgetting that He is in control. The best we can do is keep planting as many seeds as we can, water them, hoe around them, and manure them every now and then (too much manure isn’t good…another good thing to keep in mind) to help them grow.

While expenses continue to be scrutinized as budgets for the coming school year are being prepared, here’s something to market your school that doesn’t cost much, can involve the creativity of your school’s children, and will take a weekend afternoon of your parents’ time…especially for elementary schools.

Create door hangers.

Think of the “Do Not Disturb” signs you hang on a hotel room door, but these ones promote your school, as shown in the photo.  Some schools have them professionally designed, printed by a local printer who supports (that is, who will print them as a contribution to) your school, and could promote your school’s upcoming “Come and See” event.

Yes, a “Come and See” event.

Do NOT call them “Open House” events anymore!

If you want to know why, email me at [email protected] with the words “No Open House” in the subject line – and it’s not because we’re emerging from a pandemic, either).

If you lead an elementary school, you can have your students create them on some heavy card stock, choosing from some templates that you provide to offer some guidelines and samples. Remember to include the name of your school, it’s Web site address and a phone number so parents can call to find out more information.  And that’s about all the text you need.  Don’t put a lot of words on it.

Even better, put a QR code on it, so interested parents can just scan the image to be taken to your school’s responsive Web site.  Just a few months ago, a school converted their inquiry link to a QR code an put it on every piece of print material they created – like posters in shop windows in the community.  Just a month after doing so, they had 24 inquiries from families, and tours were scheduled.

Why is this significant?  The school NEVER had 24 inquiries for the whole year in past years!

And if you lead a high school and have a graphic arts program, this would be an AWESOME project for the students.  Have the QR code lead to a page where they can tell their story about their experience of your school!

Then, assemble your school’s parent community (or at least your school’s marketing committee) on a Saturday morning and canvass the neighborhoods around your school.  Or, give them to your school’s parent community so they can hang them on the doors of their neighbors who have kids

Since Spring is on the way (at least here in the Northeast, we hope it is), the weather may cooperate during an upcoming March weekend.  Parents might even start to talk to their neighbors, and once again, begin to form and solidify their real, and not their virtual, communities.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2024