Ah, summertime. The kids are gone. Camp is starting soon. Calm has arrived. This the moment when you can relax and actually get stuff done with long stretches of concentrated focus.
I'd like to suggest that the first thing on your agenda is to schedule a MarCom retreat and take a day to immerse yourself and your team in 30,000-foot thinking. Figure out where you've been, where you want to go, and how you're going to get there. Do group thinking about what's been successful, what has not, where your holes are, where your needs are, where the threats are, and where your dreams are.
Dreaming is inspirational. Dreaming reveals what's possible. Dreaming is cathartic.
A retreat like this isn't a "want-to-have," it's a "must-have." You must do this now. There is no better time. There is no reason not to. There are a multitude of reasons to. The benefits are enormous.
Here are 10 steps to guide your way.
1. Schedule a day-long retreat
2. Invite key players…for whole day or segments pertaining to them.
3. Develop agenda..and stick to it…stay on-course and “resist the drift.”
4. Focus on the big picture and don’t get stuck in the weeds.
5. Use data to support decisions. Don’t have data? Go get it. (Preferably before the meeting, but in real time if you need it.)
6. Make decisions based on your ability to execute. Not enough time or resources? Don’t do it.
7. Make decisions based on its potential for effectiveness. Not because it’s cool.
8. Make decisions based on the results you want and work backward. Ask yourself “What do we want [this audience] to do?”
9. Assign a note taker who is not the leader.
10. Wrap up with a master to do list with who’s doing what by when.
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Master Electrician, InspirED School Marketers
Master Electrician isn’t just a fun title for me. It’s how I feel about sparking school marketers to do their best work, connecting them to one another, and helping to make their jobs easier. In 1991, I founded Turnaround Marketing Communications, a branding and marketing firm that serves independent schools exclusively. After working with close to 100 schools, I realized that school marketers needed a marketing and communications community to call their own — a place where they can find brilliant ideas and brain food to take their school marketing to the next level and feel supported in their jobs. InspirED School Marketers was born in 2014 to fill that void and with the help of my fabulous Best Boy, Rob, we are on a quest to make InspirED a resource you can't live without.