Our school is a very small PK-8 nestled in the farmland of the scenic Shenandoah Valley. We run a skeleton crew, with a very minimal layer of support in each department, so we all share a number of different roles – you know, that quintessential lexicon in small schools; “other duties as assigned.”
Due to the size of our school, we don’t have a MARCOM professional on staff. That function is primarily absorbed by Admissions and Development. Traditionally at small schools these offices tend to be fairly siloed, with competition for resources.
Amy Sluss is our new Development Director. She is a smart, talented, and engaging person who is full of terrific new ideas and likes to put in the time and effort. We’ve been meeting regularly and have collaborated on four initiatives already this fall, with a number of new ideas we’d like to see come to fruition in 2016. One of the simple themes we’ve discussed at length is: How do we help each other to maximize the few resources we do have when it comes to web content?
One quick approach is reusing or repurposing existing content. In a perfect world, content that resonates with prospective parents should, with a little tweaking, connect with donors. Our goal is simply to maximize our resources while minimizing our time on task.
We’ve been in the silent phase of a campaign to raise $1.3m for STEM enhancements across campus. We went public this fall with the immediate addition of a Lower School Science Teacher and a designated space for the Lower School Science Lab.
In a word, the student’s reaction to the lab has been fantastic. Back in September, I crafted a blog post highlighting a fun lab in the new space with the goal of highlighting our new teacher, Mrs. Coutts, to prospective parents while sharing the great vibe within the classroom. Within that post was a quick video showing third graders immersed in the lab. I added it to our e-newsletter for prospective parents, pushed it on social media, put it in our weekly school newsletter (current parents) and used it specifically in a micro-campaign with prospective families considering third and fourth grade.
The video was shot with my iPhone and took $0 to produce.
Two months later, Amy took the same video and put out a quick “thank you” post on our website for donors, updating them on the impact their donations have made already in this area.
Didn’t have to recreate the wheel.
The web makes it easy to repurpose and reuse content. Look around your campus – are there opportunities for you to do the same?
Get more brilliant ideas and brain food! Sign up for our popular newsletter.
Director of Admissions, The Powhatan School
Mike Hatfield is the Director of Admissions at Powhatan School, a small PK-8 school tucked away in the beautiful Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Responsibilities include admissions, marketing, financial aid and is the varsity soccer coach. Before joining the leadership team at Powhatan he spent 7 years in college admission and 5 years in alumni affairs and development. He is a member of AISAP and SSATB. Past memberships include CASE, NACAC, SACRAO and VACRAO.