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Magnet School Marketing Workshop. Presenter: Marcus Ortega.

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magnet school marketing workshop
Magnet School Marketing Workshop

Presenter: Marcus Ortega

slide2

This workshop will assist you in the development of your Magnet School Recruitment Plan and its implementation. The Magnet School Recruitment Plan should define your mission and outline the best course of action to achieve your recruitment goals.

topics to be discussed

“Selling Points”

Making the transition as educator to recruiter

Identifying what makes your school unique

Coordinating resources

Working with partners

Following consistent branding

Creating a marketing plan

Defining your magnet program(s)

Identifying your target audience

Marketing channels

Direct marketing

Unique selling proposition

Topics to be discussed:
slide4

Selling the Magnet Program

Your Unique Selling Proposition

what are the selling points of magnet programs

How many times have you been asked, “What are Magnet Schools?”

Magnet Programs are high-quality and innovative educational programs that specialize in a particular theme open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements.

When compared to other schools options such as charter, private or other public schools the differences are the following:

What are the “selling points” of Magnet Programs?
slide6

What are the “selling points” of Magnet Programs?

Selling Points for the Students:

Magnet Programs offer dedicated classes with specific instruction of the theme of choice.

Magnet Programs work within existing M-DCPS schools, which allows the student full access to other resources within the school and the school system.

Magnet Programs attract the finest and most dedicated students who are passionate about the chosen theme.

Magnet Program teachers are “highly qualified” through specific theme-based training and professional development.

what are the selling points of magnet programs1

Magnet Programs better prepare students to advance their studies/career in an accelerated and specialized manner

Magnet Programs consistently have higher attendance rates, graduation rates and lower drop-out rates.

And they’re FREE!

What are the “selling points” of Magnet Programs?
what are the selling points of magnet programs2

Selling Points for the School and its Staff:

Increases diversity in the school

Increases FTE

Increased FCAT scores

Boosts parental support

Generates community and industry partner participation and sponsorships

Improves student conduct and attendance

Enhances school image

What are the “selling points” of Magnet Programs?
what are the selling points of magnet programs3

So what is Your Unique Selling Proposition? “Why is YOUR Magnet Program unique?”

Magnet Programs have their collective benefits shared by all Magnet Schools. It is important to clearly list what makes your program(s) so special and their own unique benefits.

Here are some points to consider when developing your list;

Your Mission Statement

Unique activities/events associated with the program

Associated partners to the program

Future careers and/or fields of study related to the program

What are the “selling points” of Magnet Programs?
what are the selling points of magnet programs4

Marketing Exercise #1

Create a list of “Unique Selling Points” associated with your Magnet Program

Organize your points in order that they can easily understood by prospective parents/students

What are the “selling points” of Magnet Programs?
making the transition from educator to recruiter

As recruiters it is important that you understand the following concept:

Perception is everything,

sometimes the only thing!

Making the transition from educator to recruiter
making the transition from educator to recruiter1

Most educators think that their program is outstanding and unique, and make the assumption that others will automatically see these features.

They Don’t!

You have an obligation to those visiting to show (by way of presentations, question and answer sessions, print and digital materials, open houses) the unique and outstanding features of your program.

Making the transition from educator to recruiter
making the transition from educator to recruiter2

As a successful recruiter you must put a recruitment plan in place. A recruitment plan should define your mission and outline the best course of action to achieve your enrollment goals. The six stages of a targeted recruitment plan campaign are to:

Identify the target audience

Coordinate with your resources

Define the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When and Why

Design the plan of action

Maneuver personnel and resources to attract the target

“Close the Deal” register students for your program

Making the transition from educator to recruiter
defining your target audience

Internal Audience:

1). Students currently enrolled in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. All schools are encouraged to promote the Magnet application option for students transitioning out of their work location (example: elementary schools should be making 5th grade students aware of their magnet options, middle schools should be making 8th grade students aware of their magnet options).

2). M-DCPS students currently enrolled in charter schools. These are registered M-DCPS students, each with a valid M-DCPS ID. M-DCPShas access to all registered students’ contact information. Postcards can be mailed out to specific addresses using this data.

Defining your Target Audience
defining your target audience1

External Audience:

1). New students to the education system. Primarily PRE-K and Kindergarten aged students. Also defined in this group are home-school students.

2). Students new to Miami-Dade County. An example of this is foreign nationals, military families, work-related relocations, and general family relocations.

3). Private school students. Students in and outside Miami-Dade County currently enrolled in a private school.

Defining your Target Audience
coordinating your resources

M-DCPS & Your School:

Engage your PTSA, parent/student body and friends/partners of the school to assist in your efforts.

Promote articulation within M-DCPS directed at the INTERNAL AUDIENCE.

Coordinating your Resources
coordinating your resources1

Chambers/Civic Organizations/Trade Groups:

Identify various groups in-line with your particular theme(s) in order to create alliances.

Coordinating your Resources
coordinating your resources2

Fairs/Festivals:

Seek opportunities where you can attend and participate in local, community and cultural events to attract potential parents/students.

These events also create positive visibility to your school. A repeat event over time begins the process of positioning your school as “house-hold” name.

Coordinating your Resources
coordinating your resources3

School Choice & Parental Options office:

The School Choice & Parental Options office is capable of assisting schools obtain mailing lists, vendor lists for various needs, as well as working with schools to provide additional marketing presence at the county-wide level.

Coordinating your Resources
slide23

Understanding the 5 W’s

Who, What, Where, When, Why

understanding the 5 w s who what where when why

Who:

The better any school defines its “WHO"—and the more it can know about their lifestyles, behaviors, attitudes, opinions, wants, and needs—the more effectively it can address the remaining four W‘s.

The obvious answer to WHO is, the Target Audience, however there is more to it than just that.

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
understanding the 5 w s who what where when why1

Who:

Consider the following when asking WHO:

WHO can be further defined to a niche group within a general Target Audience. (example, veterinary assisting is a niche group within students interested in medicine)

Understanding WHO might mean entering their world, swim in their waters, breathe their air, walk in their shoes; meaning you need to see the product from their eyes and not yours.

WHO may be a combination of targeting two sets of education levels, age and cultural backgrounds as is the case with parent and student dynamics.

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
understanding the 5 w s who what where when why2

What:

What exactly is the program you are marketing? And what are the benefits it brings? If you're not crystal clear on what you're really offering, there's a good chance your target audience won't be either -- and a confused mind does not register.

Understanding WHAT is going to require you to have a solid understanding of your program, its vision and curriculum objectives.

It is important that the school work as a TEAM and have a consistent, unified understanding of WHAT your program is. This will avoid any confusion and pave the way for open communication with prospects.

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
understanding the 5 w s who what where when why3

Where:

WHERE do advertise your marketing medium?

Marketing mediums are simply the paths we use to communicate our marketing messages to our target audience, such as a brochure, postcard, evite or roadside banner.

So where will you do your marketing? What mediums will you use and why? What mediums does your target audience prefer? Knowing how your target audience prefers to be communicated with can go a long way here.

Remember to swim their waters and breathe their air!

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
understanding the 5 w s who what where when why4

When:

WHEN an HOW LONG is really the question to be addressed. Timing is critical. Consider working around fixed dates such as the Magnet Application Period, school recess, FCAT testing periods, etc.

How long should a campaign last? Typically it takes 4 contacts before you are officially recognized by the target audience! It takes up to 7 contacts before you have a successful registration!

Plan on making repeated attempts at getting your program out in the public’s eye. Plan your attempts strategically so you hit opportune points throughout the year.

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
understanding the 5 w s who what where when why5

Why:

There may be many reasons for WHY you are offering a Magnet Program.

For the purposes of marketing your program, it is important to stick to reasons that your target audience to which you can relate.

Your reasons for putting together a Magnet Program should be clearly to offer a benefit to your student body.

Lets refer back to the “Selling Points” for students:

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
slide30

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why

Why: Selling Points for the Students:

Magnet Programs offer dedicated classes with specific instruction of the theme of choice.

Magnet Programs work within existing M-DCPS schools, which allows the student full access to other resources within the school and school system.

Magnet Programs attract the finest and most dedicated students who are passionate the chosen theme.

Magnet Program teachers are “highly qualified” through specific theme-based training and professional development.

understanding the 5 w s who what where when why6

Magnet Programs better prepare students to advance their studies/career in an accelerated and specialized manner.

Magnet Programs consistently have higher attendance rates, graduation rates and lower drop-out rates.

WHY?

We do it for the students. We do it in the hopes of:

BUILDING A GREATER MIAMI ONE STUDENT AT A TIME!

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
understanding the 5 w s who what where when why7

Marketing Exercise #2

Review the previous Exercise #1 and use the listed “Unique Selling Points” to plan Exercise #2.

Think carefully about your 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When and Why. On a sheet of paper consider your Magnet Program’s 5 W’s. You will use this to lead you successfully designing a plan of action.

Understanding the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why
design the plan of action

Branding:

Simply put, Brand is the personality that identifies a product.

Brand should be consistent. Brand should be unwavering and dependable. Just as you have friends with certain personalities, a brand is your product’s personality.

People expect a brand to deliver a promise, in other words, the brand should stand for something, offer something and consistently produce that promise the audience expects.

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action1

Branding:

Magnet Schools have been aggressively creating a brand image. The Magnet Schools brand has been publicly released county-wide for a period of time to consistently and predictably showcase what products it has to offer.

Your school is a child of the parent brand, Magnet Schools. This is known as Family Branding.

To successfully market your Magnet Program it would be a smart move to incorporate yourself within the larger Magnet Schools parent brand. This would increase your distribution power, associate yourself to a larger “family” of brands thus increasing your exposure.

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action2

Image Development:

Image Development – This includes a logo, slogan, theme colors and overall look and feel.

The goal here is to keep within an overall Magnet Schools family branding but, also inject your own program’s personality too!

Have fun with it, think like the target audience. Swim in their waters; understand what your program’s personality should be, and deliver it.

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action3

Communications:

Before moving forward in the communications, it is IMPORTANT to work in a linear fashion and incorporate all the previous information collectively. (Unique Proposition, Target Audiences, 5 W’s, Branding)

It is a good idea to study other similar marketing pieces and study what makes those pieces successful or unsuccessful.

Keep the design simple and to the point.

Keep in mind that marketing materials serve to spark interest and drive your audience to the next level, commitment.

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action4

Communications:

Copy should be kept brief, to-the-point and free of educational jargon. Remember that this is a marketing piece for the community and not an article for an educational journal.

If you choose to use specific names, dates, phone extensions, etc., keep in mind that will date your materials and possibly shorten the life span of the materials.

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action5

Communications:

Always include a CALL TO ACTION!

Make the audience do something, whether its calling a phone number to apply, driving them to a website to learn more, or encouraging them to attend an event such as an open house.

This is the most important piece of a marketing plan.

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action6

Basis Startup Set:

Logo and/or Crest

Brochure

Informational Flyer

Postcard

Website

School Signage

Booth Materials (table throw, pull up banners, etc)

Presentation Folder

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action7

Initial Advertisement & Promotions:

Press release

Public service announcement

Local/Community Papers

Site Banners, flags or signage

Postcard / flyer local distribution

Community message boards

In-school flyers

Connect Ed messages

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action8

Initial Events & Activities:

August-Spring

New student orientation

Fall open house

Recruitment activities (fairs, community & cultural events, business & civic meetings, store front recruitment)

Spring-June

Spring open house

Mini-mall fairs

Participation in career days

End of year activities

Awards & recognition reception

Recruitment receptions

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action9

Other Communication Ideas:

Posters

Bumper stickers

Acceptance letters

Newspaper/Newsletters

Business cards/Stationary

Outdoor banners, flags

Evites

Video entries (Youtube)

Social networking pages

External links from partners

Pins

Wristbands

T-shirts/hats

Magnets

Stickers

CROSS-SELLING

Pizza boxes

Coffee sleeves

Event sponsorship

Restaurant napkins/placemats

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action10

Other Event Ideas:

Auctions

Mini mall fairs

Open house

Ice cream socials

Parent booster meetings

Pot luck dinners

School tours

Community meetings

Talent based events

Community fairs

Event sponsorship

Flyer hand-out day

Theme related event with program partners

Event hosting at your school (ex. Boy Scout meetings at your cafeteria)

Participation in career days

Design the Plan of Action
design the plan of action11

Marketing Exercise #3

Based on what we have determined about your 5 W’s, we are now going to build an initial Plan of Action.

Considering the importance of Branding, Exercise #3 will focus on building a Informational Flyer as one of your initial communication pieces.

Your message is the same regardless of the medium you choose. A flyer can quickly become a brochure!

Design the Plan of Action
maneuvering personnel and resources to attract the target

Working as a TEAM:

You have learned valuable steps to building a successful Recruitment Plan. Now it is your duty to educate your team to this information.

As a school YOU MUST ALL AGREE on the program’s:

Unique Selling Points

Target Audience

5 W’s

Plan of Action

Maneuvering Personnel and Resources to Attract the Target
maneuvering personnel and resources to attract the target1

Working as a TEAM:

Schedule a time to go over your proposed Recruitment Plan with your school staff.

Make it a point to spread the enthusiasm! Take ownership of your school and work to get your community as excited as you are.

We are communicators by nature and marketing is nothing more than targeted communications.

Maneuvering Personnel and Resources to Attract the Target
maneuvering personnel and resources to attract the target2

Working as a TEAM:

Make a BOLD statement! Prepare your communications to be relevant to your school and the target audience. (remember, swim in their waters)

Be ready and have your team ready for questions. Do not ever assume your audience knows anything about your school.

Remember and reiterate your school’s unique selling points! Make that, if nothing else, the one thing the audience remembers.

Remember and reiterate your school’s unique selling points! Make that, if nothing else, the one thing the audience remembers.

Maneuvering Personnel and Resources to Attract the Target
maneuvering personnel and resources to attract the target3

Marketing Channels:

A marketing channel is how you get your communications from the school to the target audience.

Zero Level Channel

This type of channel has no intermediaries. The communications go directly from the school to the parent/student. (ex. Event fair, Open House)

Even though this method is very effective, it does require a lot of time, work and resources.

Maneuvering Personnel and Resources to Attract the Target
maneuvering personnel and resources to attract the target4

Marketing Channels:

One Level Channel

This method involves another entity such as the School Choice & Parental Options office or a school partner. Provide these entities with your message, allow them to also share your Recruitment Plan and properly “sell” your school.

School Choice & Parental Options is always working on your behalf to communicate your school’s message to the general public.

Leverage your community, friends of the school, partners of your program, civic organizations and trade groups to also promote and communicate your schools Recruitment Plan.

Maneuvering Personnel and Resources to Attract the Target
slide54

Closing the Deal

Registering Students

closing the deal registering students

Achieving the Goal:

The ultimate goal of the Recruitment Plan is to register new, and retain existing students.

Develop and system of being proactive and pursuing interested parents/students. Encourage them to take a school tour, offer them an acceptance letter to have them feel as if they are a new part of your school’s family.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students1

Building a Reputation:

Some of the most successful M-DCPS schools have kept their brand promise. They have consistently delivered the product they promised to their target audience.

A key objective to the retention of existing students and expectation of new students revolves around your school’s reputation.

You have put together a recruitment plan, use this plan to develop a consistent brand that will begin to attract students because of its earned reputation.

Once a brand is brought to life, it must be nurtured and sustained!

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students2

Customer Service:

96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain; they simply go elsewhere next time.

Of the 4% who do complain, if we handle their complaint well, between 50% and 74% will return. If we solve their problem instantly, however, 97% will return.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students3

Customer Service:

Listen!

The customer is likely to be angry when they complain. You have probably not lived up to their expectation of your promise and/or they have not received what they expected.

Quite often just letting the customer talk will be enough to defuse the anger.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students4

Customer Service:

Empathize

If you argue with the customer, you have lost. It doesn't matter whether the customer is right or wrong, as far as he/she is concerned he/she is right. A very useful technique at this stage is to say to the customer "You know, if I were in your shoes, I would feel exactly the same way that you do." This sort of empathy takes the sting out of any complaint. If the customer thinks that you understand then he will lower his tone and listen to what you have to say. This does not mean that you are agreeing with the customer, just letting him know that you know how he/she feels.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students5

Customer Service:

Take the complaint seriously

Your customer wants to know that you care.

You may have had 20 people complaining this morning but he/she wants you to make this complaint is the most important thing on your mind right now.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students6

Customer Service:

Don't pass the buck

The person who takes a complaint call is now the person who has to make sure the problem is solved. Even if you happen to pick up the phone by mistake, it is your problem now.

Customers do not want to be passed around having to relate their complaint to a number of different people before they find somebody who can fix it.

At the very least, follow through with the problem until it is fixed.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students7

Customer Service:

Write it down

Listen carefully and write down all the details. Make sure you get the customer's name correct and his/her contact details.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students8

Customer Service:

FIX IT!

The last stage is to make sure that the solution happens within the time scale.

You may not be the person who fixes the problem but you are the person who mediates with the customer.

Get back to him/her at each stage to make sure he/she knows that it is happening as you promised.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
closing the deal registering students9

Customer Service:

FIX IT!

Lastly, I would like to leave you with one thought: "The sun never sets on a customer complaint."

If a customer raises a problem with you today, if he/she doesn't have a solution by the end of the day, it will be a much bigger problem tomorrow. Sometimes complaints take more that a few days to solve, so we have to keep in regular contact to make sure the customer knows we care.

Closing the Deal: Registering Students
slide65

Closing Thought

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.