You’re going to blog for your school! Before sitting down to write your first post, consider your blog’s purpose. After all, your school has a mission that serves as a North Star, keeping the community facing—and moving in—the same direction. A successful blog is equally directed and purposeful.
Your blog should be one component of an overall communications strategy. Who else will be blogging at your school? How will your blog complement others in a manner that optimizes the school’s online presence to all constituencies? Discuss your mission with your marketing team!
You have great freedom at this exciting moment! Keep your desired audience in mind. A Head of School or Dean of Students might dedicate a blog to “This is what I’m thinking about this week.” Notice that the audience for this blog—the school community and parents—is highly defined and finite. That’s OK! A coach or Athletic Director might say, “I am inviting conversations around sports, sportsmanship, teams and specific games.” The audience (now including alumni) is much larger, but still finite. As an Admissions Officer or Communications Director, you might say “I’m branding this school and constantly clarifying its unique market position.” This mission invites an audience that transcends the school community to include unknown potential applicants, their families, and Dilbert (who—until now—knew nothing about your school)—sitting in an office cubicle.
Don’t be seduced by your desire for an ever-growing readership! Readers will come if your blog is informative, entertaining and meaningful. (Much more to come on these points!) But saying “My mission is to grow my readership” is like your school declaring, “Our mission is to be financially solvent.” Keep your focus on the value you provide, and your dreams will come true.
Next Up: Blogging Step 2: Find Your Voice