Recently in his blog entitled The Irrational Thing About Trust Seth Godin wrote:
In most commercial and organizational engagements, trust is something we want and something we seek out, but we use the most basic semiotics and personal interactions to choose where to place our trust. And once the trust is broken, there's almost no amount of transparency that will help us change our mind. It turns out that we grab trust when we need it, and that rebuilding trust after it's been torn is really quite difficult. Because our expectations (which weren't based on actual data) were shown to be false.
When a family sends their children to your school there are implicit promises that they believe have been made. The safety of their children. That their children will get an extraordinary education. That they will learn, beyond academics, about morality, kindness, respect, caring. There is even an implicit promise that there is true value in the choice of your school.
There are also promises that schools make that are explicit. Class size. The quality of faculty and facilities. The existence of diversity. The opportunities for leadership. The availability of technology. Even that a student will get into a college of a “certain status.”
The point is that when we talk about our schools we are making a promise and asking families to trust us. If a family believes that those promises are not honored, or even were made falsely, it may be impossible to regain their trust. And without trust all of our efforts to develop and communicate a brand for our schools are pointless.