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Office of Catholic Schools Enrollment Marketing Newsletter  
February 2012

Marketing & Enrollment Newsletter


Tomorrow morning, Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his burrow in rural Pennsylvania, and according to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring.  If this week’s mild temperatures are any indication, Phil won't see his shadow and spring will be here soon.  In the spirit of spring and new beginnings- now is the time for a marketing spring cleaning! Clean up your school’s website by replacing outdated images with new, fresh pictures and be sure that your tuition prices and calendar are up to date. Clean up your brochures or flyers by asking a trusted colleague to view them- consider adding new photos or testimonials. Clean up your communication plan to ensure that your current parents and prospective parents are hearing from you multiple times and in multiple formats. Small steps can have a major impact.
 
One idea for cleaning up your school's communication plan is to utilize digital communication. In the August newsletter we said, “Families need to hear multiple times about all the good things happening within your school. Every communication is a chance to reinforce the value of Catholic education.  While students are great messengers (and happy students=satisfied parents), we cannot rely solely on our students to communicate the positives of the school. Amazing things are happening in Catholic school classrooms every single day, but it is the school’s job to share success stories with parents.” Technology allows us to share these stories with our parents and prospective parents more frequently and for less money. Facebook and other social media outlets allow us to reach a broad audience in a short time for little to no cost.  Consider creating a Facebook page for your school this month or setting a goal to improve the number of people that “like” your school’s page. Visit the OCS facebook page to get a flavor for how other schools are using Facebook.  Sending newsletters via email is a great way to communicate with your parents; e-newsletters are a professional and powerful format for recruiting and communicating with parents. Consider using an e-newsletter program or sending out more frequent communications via email. QR (Quick Response) codes are special barcodes that can be read by Smart phones and allow users to link directly to mobile content such as a video or website.  Consider adding a QR code to your next flyer or poster. We cannot ignore the importance of digital communications and should find every opportunity to embrace technology in enhancing our communication with both current and prospective families. 
 
Here are some tools that may help you re-vamp your communications:

LIKE us on Facebook and we'll be sure to LIKE your school back!

Registration is now open for the February 17 AMEN Workshop on the topic of Customer Service-Marketers in our Midst. http://bit.ly/AMEN_CustomerServiceFeb17 
The workshop will feature Carrie Bucaro from the Walt Disney Company's Disney Vacation Club.  She will provide insights from Disney's guest services approach and how they connect with our enrollment efforts. We will also hear from KK Neilsen Cleland, a new Enrollment Marketing Consultant with OCS and a trustee and chair of the Enrollment and Marketing Committee at Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago.  She will share about Sacred Heart's approach to Customer Service, with an emphasis on Retention Sales.  Finally we will conduct a guided best practice discussion on Customer Service in our schools.
 
For more info and resources please visit: http://ocs.archchicago.org/SchoolVitality/MarketingEnrollment.aspx
 
We appreciate all of the hard work that you are doing and want to continue to support you as much as possible. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance. 

A Principal’s Reflection on Electronic Communication…


Tony Simone is the Principal at St. Kieran School in Chicago Heights.  The St. Kieran community has embraced technology for communicating with both current parents and prospective parents.  Below Tony shares his thoughts on how this new approach has helped the school.

“We are a society of iPhones, laptops and iPads. Communicating with parents via the take home folder and hard copy memo has gone the way of high button shoes and the Pony Express. All of us in education know that after 5th grade the student backpack becomes the black hole of the student universe and any letter home disappears, never to see the light of day. As educators we must embrace the social network, and use it as a valuable inexpensive tool to publicize and market our superior product. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are instruments schools can use every day to inform parents about coming events, field trips and homework. Parents do not wait at the mailbox for letters or sit by the phone for a call. They are mobile. They commute and they carry their phone, e mail and Facebook with them at all times. If schools communicate electronically with parents, they can reach them anytime and anywhere. At St. Kieran School, we boldly stepped where few schools have gone. Fueled by lack of access to the local papers and expensive printing costs, we turned to electronic communications and found that our message went further and had far more impact than anything we did in print or poster. Communicating through Facebook, Twitter, email etc. is free and the impact was felt immediately. If we don't embrace the social network then we miss opportunities to market the school and keep our current parents happy.  In the past year, we linked our school website to Facebook and to individual parent e mails. This gives parents immediate access to homework and allows them to e mail faculty. Several of our organizations are linked to our website and members can blog, call meetings and discuss planning without having face time meetings- just think- a week with less meetings, yet more productive. Electronic communication has certainly changed the way we operate at St. Kieran.”
 
Please visit St. Kieran’s website http://stkieranschool.org. Be sure to “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. 

 

The Catholic School Advantage: The Campaign to Improve Educational Opportunities for Latino Children
 
  The following reflection looks at how the combination of faith, academics, and service are important to the community –including the Latino community –around Blue Island, Ill., near Chicago. Through the “parent ambassadors” group at St. Benedict’s School in Blue Island, Ill., Latino parents have been invited to play a growing part in supporting the school, and building bridges between the school and the local community. Particular progress is being made in the school’s connections with the Latino community. The comments are excerpted from the full story found in the ACE Newsfeed.



     

 

 

February Projects

 Marketing
-Communicate referral program for current families to introduce new families to school-
-Use your Lead Source List and deliver registration posters
-Host a shadow day for Religious Education students or  host an Open House for RE families
- Send African American History Month Press Release
-Host pre-k and kindergarten morning “open houses”
-Create Facebook page
-Update website

New Family Sales
-Follow Up with families from Open House
-Track potential families and follow up appropriately

Retention
-Communicate registration incentives
-Email current families with any news
-Send home copies of important press releases

Print Calendar

Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Schools

835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611