Marketing Your School Is Easier Than You Think

The following blog was contributed by Margaret Kaplow, director of marketing communications, public relations and publications manager at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

Tell your story. How many times have you heard that? If you have a finger in marketing at your school, you have heard this plenty. The good news is there are stories to tell in every school and NCEA has a cadre of stories you can use as you please. This blog post is not a Marketing 101 refresher, but more a signpost pointing in the direction of good stories to tell.

Good news stories attract new enrollment, fundraising opportunities, help with retention, local business partnerships, alumni interest and support and much more.  Your stories are the best way to market your school. Whether you have a part-time volunteer parent or a full-time marketing team, marketing content can be easy to find.

Start with a quick review of your school’s channels for communication. They include:

  • Website
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Print

Once they are up to date, you’re ready to tell the good news stories of your school community. For instance:

  • Was your school open for in-person classes when other schools were not? Make sure everyone knows that and publicly thank your teachers, staff and administrators who made that happen.
  • The fact that your school has applied to be a Blue Ribbon or Green Ribbon school or for any other local or national recognition needs to be announced to your school community, just as it will be when your school is awarded the honor.
  • The number of graduates entering highly regarded high schools or moving on to college or vocational schools needs to be shared.
  • The ratio of teachers to students in your school might be the information that sways families considering Catholic school for their children.
  • The number of service projects and the names of the organizations can go a long way to helping your community understand the importance of service in Catholic education.
  • Do you have regular Masses for your school? Post the days and times and invite the community and prospective families.
  • Introducing new curriculum? How about sharing that on all your channels?
  • A schedule of professional development dates and titles tells prospective families that your school is engaged and relevant.  

There are plenty of good news stories to go around in the halls and classrooms, athletic fields and courts of your school. But if you are looking for other ideas, NCEA has some to consider: 

  • For 20 years the NAEP results have showed that Catholic schools consistently outperform public and other private schools in national assessments. Your entire community, current and prospective, needs to know this.
  • The Catholic Schools Week Year-Round Marketing Kit is a great tool to help your school devise a marketing plan that can be worked all through the school year. It also contains infographics that can be posted to your channels.
  • The data brief on New Students in Catholic Schools contains data to make your marketing message stand out for enrollment, retention and activism. This is also a great source of data on parent satisfaction.
  • Distribute the link to the NCEA Book Store to your students’ families so they can access some of the same books and resources being read and used by faculty and staff. 
  • The infographic on Catholic school data is a great visual on the highlights of Catholic schools in the U.S. And the information can be parceled out one piece of info at a time to keep your channels busy and your community informed and prospective families intrigued.

Tell your story. Put your good news to work for you.