Welcome! Marketing Mindset is a resource for Adventist schools in Northern California, and beyond. The two sections below provide overview information. Beneath that, you’ll find a series of recommended specific marketing actions organized by when to do them.
An overview of the best practices for staff to use in talking with prospective parents, scheduling a visit with the principal and ensuring your school stays in touch until the family chooses a school. (The following tips are more detailed information for various steps outlined here.)
Using effective communication to parents as a way to increase parent satisfaction (Research has demonstrated that parents evaluate teaching quality based on the school’s communication to them. You are right! This is not fair to you, but it is the reality not just for schools but for other professions.)
Encouraging a positive school culture — Our research is documenting that developing Christian character traits is the primary reasons parents seek and choose a Christian school for their child(ren). Seeing positive behavior in students during their interview process and experiencing it once they enroll is a critical factor in recruiting and retaining students. And besides, training the heart of each child is part of why we are an Adventist school. The following are samples you can adapt and adopt to reinforce positive behavior.
Sample form: Positive behavior form — Sample pdf form for teachers to report students doing something praise-worthy (Lodi Academy)
Be welcoming — Set the attitude, then ask a volunteer to look at your school from a visitor’s point of view
The next several messages share ideas other schools are using to help new families feel they are part of your school family. Research in both schools and churches demonstrates that people who do not feel they are part of the group are unlikely to stay.
How teachers should focus only on terrific teaching and primo parent communication
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 1 Focusing on what parents find most important
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 2 Character development is your highest priority
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 3 Academics are still vital
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 4 Prioritize communication as essential
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 5 Communicate in a way that is convenient for parents
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 6 Commit to primo student progress communication
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 7 Communicate progress conveniently for parents
Teachers’ Role in Marketing: Part 8 Listen, listen, listen
Whether you call this event an open house or an education expo, you need an event where you can highlight the great learning that happens at your school. This can both energize your current parents and be an opportunity to invite potential parents. The following messages focus on prepping in the fall for an event in January or early February.
Education Expo: Plan an open house — The first steps in planning an open house to demonstrate and celebrate great learning to current & prospective parents
Education Expo: Open house activities — A list of possible activities for demonstrating the quality of your academic program
Education Expo: Open house activities idea list — This links to a new page with ideas from teachers in NCC. This list will be updated as we hear of new ideas
Developing Church Referral Sources
Parents who are already committed Adventists and other Christians are your primary target audiences. And where do you find groups of those parents? In church. So this series gives some ideas for building relationships and credibility with churches, both Adventist and others.
Enrollment materials — Ensuring that all the materials a parent sees when applying and registering are attractive and consistent. Note: this message used to include samples of print materials. However, since you can now all use Renweb for online applications and enrollment I strongly recommend you do so. It will save your parents significant time if they have more than one child and for re-enrollment––and it saves you time in data entry.
Satisfaction surveys: Survey parents now — Options for parent surveys Note: you need to prep now so you can send the survey by the end of the month and have it back by spring break.
Satisfaction surveys: The ultimate question — Using one question to learn how your parents view your school
Survey resource: GraceWorks Ministries survey — This is the best survey option for your stakeholders. It has norming to 850+ Christian schools with 140,000+ respondents, it has very useful statistical analysis, and provides actionable data for you, your teachers and board.
Inspire your staff (and yourself) for customer service: Recommendations of books for summer reading on customer service. Some of the August “Marketing Corner” messages include discussion questions for talking with your staff about how you can apply the principles to customer service in schools.