Summertime Strategy for School Marketers

 
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You have to make the time. You must. Because if you don’t, you’re only acting tactically, losing site of your goals, using the shotgun approach, hoping something sticks, working in silos, and benefiting only one effort when you could be benefiting the whole school.

I have worked with school marketers every day for 20 years. Well, if I’m not working with them, say, on a weekend, I’m thinking about them. I’m thinking about you, actually.

I’m constantly wondering how to help you be a Super School Marketer: a bodacious brander, a super social media marketer, a fabulous fundraiser, an awesome alumnae/i connector, a perceptive parent communicator, and, of course, an extraordinary enrollment expert. Whatever tool you’re using to work this marketing magic—social media, website, magazine, viewbook, events—the secret sauce is strategy. Yes, you hear this all the time. I’m not the first to tell you this.

But who has time, you ask, to be strategic when you’re running from one fire to the next, crashing to meet another deadline, wondering how you’re going to get it all done with the limited resources you have and with the stakes so high?

You have to make the time. You must. Because if you don’t, you’re only acting tactically, losing site of your goals, using the shotgun approach, hoping something sticks, working in silos, and benefiting only one effort when you could be benefiting the whole school. The good news? Summer is a great time to think strategically.

I know what you hoped would be a slower summertime pace dissolved before the last student cleaned out their locker. I know September looms large. But you must, must barricade yourself for a time into a quiet place where you can get the 30,000 foot view of your goals and how you’re going to get the results you want. Who will be responsible, what are the goals, when are the deadlines, where are the challenges, why does this need to be done, and how will it get done. And don’t forget measuring and assessing results.

Right this minute, look at your calendar and block out time to think strategically this summer. Make it sacrosanct. No changes. No interruptions. No excuses.

By doing so, the work you do next year will be more focused, easier, and results-driven.  You’ll rise from a tactician to a strategist, from a school marketer to a Super School Marketer. And you’ll love yourself later.

You'll want to read 10 Steps to a MarCom Retreat next.


This post first appeared on edSocialMedia, July 2015.