Office of Catholic Schools Enrollment Marketing Newsletter  
March 2012

Marketing & Enrollment Newsletter

Each year college basketball teams participate in a championship competition referred to as the NCAA tournament or more commonly-"March Madness."  The tournament is exhilarating for both avid fans and casual observers.  It's a time of celebration, anticipation, triumph, failure, and most often, chaos. Our schools are experiencing their own version of March Madness right now and I'm sure many of you can relate to this range of emotions.  Although March Madness is a crazy time, the tournament is special because there is an unbelievable energy, passion and sense of school pride. Again, I am sure many of you reading this newsletter feel the same way.

Springtime is packed with uncertainty and chaos, but these feelings are eclipsed by the enthusiasm and pride on display at our schools. As we settle into the spring season, focus on the positives, embrace the "madness" and enjoy the ride!        

In the NCAA tournament, a team  is successful when they follow a plan and work together to accomplish their goal. Below are some questions to think about as you formulate your enrollment actions for the coming months.
What is your enrollment goal for next year? How many 8th graders are graduating?  How many new students will you need to enroll to reach your goal? Are there any grade levels that are particularly low? Why? How can you grow enrollment at these grade levels?  How many families have already re-registered for next year? How do you plan to thank them? How do you plan to reach out to those families who have not yet registered?

John Wooden, one of the most successful college basketball coaches, says it best- "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." Big things are happening in our schools and we can't wait to celebrate your success! 

For more info and resources please visit:
We appreciate all of the 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. 
Customer Service 
At our AMEN meeting in February we concentrated on customer service.  Our focus was on internal (how we treat our current school community) and external (new family sales) customer service. Spring is the season for re-enrollment, but we must continue to create a welcoming environment for our new families. Customer service is at the center of any enrollment and marketing plan.
If  you were unable to attend the workshop, here are some highlights from the meeting. 

Videos of the presentations are also available.
Video Part I
Video Part II
Video Part III

Carrie Bucaro from Disney focused on external customer service. She highlighted different types of buyers of any product or service.
There are 4 types of buyers:
Respect Buyer
-Always right
-Let them go through the process and share information they’ve researched
-Logical thinker and detail oriented
Power Buyer
-Likes options and is controlling
-Quick decisions
Approval Buyer
-Wants everyone to approve and will ask everyone’s opinion
-Will vote by committee
-Loves testimonials and needs validation
Recognition Buyer
-Needs to feel special
-First impression is a big deal
-Makes quick decisions

 How can you approach each of these buyers in a different way? Please see Carrie’s presentation to learn more about different buyers and the “Value Chain” at Disney and at Catholic Schools.

KK Neilsen Cleland presented on her experience with customer service at Sacred Heart School.  She focused on the internal customer service and how Sacred Heart works to keep current families satisfied.
Customer Service and Retention Goals
-Make the mission relevant – constantly and consistently.
-Keep families engaged and committed. . . Purchase each year!
-Approach decisions/policies with customer in mind.
What is driving retention?
-Academic Programs
-Student Life and Student Services Programs
-Integrated Communications Plan
-Internal Operations, Protocol and Policies
-Parent Education and Engagement 
Does everyone have the customer service/retention lens?
-Faculty and Staff
-Pastors and Parishioners 
Learn more about how Sacred Heart views customer service by taking a look at KK's presentation.

What does customer service look like at your school?
Customer service is the way…
-a “customer” is treated when she calls the school office and needs information.
-a prospective family is greeted when they come to the school for a tour – by everyone.
-students are treated in the classroom.
-new families are welcomed in their first year.
-parents are communicated with in regards to tuition and fees.
-the Finance Council communicates with the whole school.

View the OCS presentation here


Customer Service and Cultural Responsiveness 

 A big part of An important aspect of Latino outreach is creating an environment in our schools that is culturally responsive.  Here's an excerpt from The Catholic School Advantage "Culture in Catholic Schools."
What do we mean when we say Culture?

Culture is a type of identity toolkit that describes our ways of being in the world. This toolkit is a set of resources that help us make sense of our lives (Ann Swidler, 1986). Culture, then, is both learned by us from the people around us and it is created by us through the actions and interactions of our daily lives. In other words, our beliefs, values, language, rituals, and routines all reflect our culture. And we experience culture whenever we engage in saying-writing-doing-being- valuing-believing (James Paul Gee, 2005).
You can view the entire article here .

Juana María Sánchez, Field Consultant for the Catholic School Advantage Campaign in the Archdiocese of Chicago provides strategic guidance to selected schools with developing a culturally responsive school climate and marketing and outreach recruitment tactics; positioning schools with successfully serving Latino students; and developing strategic alliances among Latino community organizations to advance recruitment efforts. Please contact or (312) 402-5905 for more information. 



March Projects
- Advertise Spring Open House and summer programs
- Mail flyer or postcard to families in the area
- Reach out to your community and participate in a service project
- Sponsor your neighborhood little league team
-Host pre-k and kindergarten morning “open houses”
-Announcements in church bulletin
-Update website

New Family Sales
-Follow up with families from Open House
-Pair newly registered families with current families; create buddy program
-Create new family "manual" to address any FAQs
-Track potential families and follow up appropriately

- Letters from teacher (next grade level) to current families
-Celebrate retention success
-Email current families with any news
-Send home copies of important press releases

March Calendar

Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Schools

835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611