Thanks to advances in digital technology, there are more opportunities now than ever before for promotion, communication, and information exchange. This leads to more choices for consumers, businesses, and those who offer public services. A plethora of options encourages increased competition, and like most organisations, Australian Schools compete.

From the 1970s onwards, the Australian government has supported School choice. This is the right of parents to choose a School which best caters to the needs of their children, and accords with their values. These may include the parent’s religious affiliation, and/or cultural and ethnic identities, and other value systems. Federal and State Governments demonstrate their commitment to School choice by partially or wholly funding most Australian Schools, whether they are independent or public.

Why Marketing is Important For Schools

The reality is that Schools can’t function without students. Schools need to be confident about future enrolments and their efforts to make lasting positive contribution to the lives of their students, staff, and the wider community.

Great School Marketing and Public Relations matter because:

  • Research demonstrates that there is a link between School image and academic success.
  • The flow-on effect – high-profile Schools with great reputations attract and retain the best teachers. This improves success and further cements a School’s positive image. Promoting your School can lead to a renewed focus on School improvement in your area more generally.
  • People are reluctant to support Schools with a negative public image. A poor reputation decreases a School’s prospects for improvement, as potential supporters will simply look elsewhere.

PR and Marketing School Strategies are crucial to maintaining and improving enrolments. Marketing involves attracting parents and students to your School and securing their long-term loyalty and support. This is achieved by creating a strong public presence and favourable image for the institution. Let parents and students know what your School has to offer and why you can be trusted to provide a quality education.

Top 10 Tips to Attract Students and Supporters

  • Take stock of current enrolment and retention rates. Then set a realistic yet challenging goals to improve them.
  • Consider who your target audience is. Tailor your School image accordingly. What kind of Students do you want to attract. Ensure that your School brand and logo are attractive, memorable, and aligned with Students suited to your School.
  • Revamp your School’s website regularly. Don’t hesitate to consult professional website developers and marketing teams. Your website is an essential facet of marketing in the modern world. Regularly update blogs and online newsletters, as they provide a window onto the workings of the School. Include stories of personal interest about the staff and students. Encourage contributions from community members.
  • Present your School’s vision in a clear and concise mission statement. Highlight what sets you apart from other Schools. State-of-the-art facilities?  Your commitment to academic success? Your engagement in the local community?
  • Put resources into improving your School’s online presence and visibility on a range of social platforms. Use online Marketing Strategies such as SEO, and Internet ads rather than traditional media to target the needs and desires of the School community. Ninety percent of millennials use social media. Many prefer to receive updates and messages on apps, pay online. They want to be active members of School communities. Students and parents are also enthusiastic about digital technology as an educational tool, so it pays to use it in the classroom.
  • Taylor your School to suit Individual Differences. Offer families a choice of payment options and students a range of activities and experiences.
  • Provide incentives for Parents to enrol their Children. Scholarships and hereditary qualifications with automatic enrolment places for children of the same family will attract Students. The School can become part of the family tradition, creating ties of loyalty that last for generations.
  • Ensure that School facilities are impeccably maintained. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders.
  • Organise and sustain well planned and implemented recruitment campaigns Enlist the support of families and ex-students to recruit new students. Hold well-publicised open days. Double the chances of getting people involved by contacting potential supporters more than once. Encourage them to spread the word to friends with children.
  • Finally, monitor your School’s progress with regard to Marketing and Enrolment Campaigns. Respond promptly to feedback and enquiries, and keep track of them. These good indicators of the success of your Marketing Strategy.

Changes and improvements take time and dedication to implement, but they are worth it. Reflect, act, monitor your progress – your School will reap the benefits!

About the Author

PhD in European Languages and Cultures