How does a school reduce an often overblown mission statement containing overused words to less than five to seven pithy, powerful and memorable ones? How does a school communicate them effectively internally and externally according to a carefully thought out marketing strategy? Can a school do this cost effectively and engage the appropriate support of the faculty and parent body where it can be most helpful?
With the assistance of Littleford & Associates, many schools have launched a comprehensive marketing program with several components aimed at increasing enrollment and retention. It begins with this consultant conducting on site focus groups with current parents and faculty to hear their interpretation of the school’s mission and how it delivers on that mission in all aspects of its program. The participants hear that feedback in summary form and the School acts on it in any or all of the following ways:
- Improves the articulation of its mission
- Revamps its handling of admission inquiries from the initial phone call to enrollment
- Recruits and trains enthusiastic parent volunteers to cultivate prospective families
- Identifies more ways to sell the key strengths of the School to prospective parents
- Responds to existing parents’ most important concerns in order to increase retention.
After this work, one Head said, “Your time with us recently has had a huge impact on our community. The Focus Groups and feedback session have allowed us to build enthusiasm in our community and to acknowledge our strengths as well as the challenges we face. Since your departure we have recruited leaders and many volunteers to work in each designated area with a kickoff meeting scheduled for next week. The morale has been very high!”