How to Recruit for your Private School
By: Sharon Penn - August 10, 2015
Too often private schools rely on the traditional method of recruiting students for the new school year. They simply place an advertisement in the newspaper when school ends, and then place another just before the new session starts. But there is a lot more to marketing your school effectively to recruit new students – and to retain those who currently attend your school.
Here’s how to build an effective marketing plan to recruit students for your private school:
Create an Identity:
No two schools are alike, and chances are your private school attracts a particular type of student. Do your programs cater to underachievers, or do you offer programs that draw students with a record of academic excellence? Do you provide strong mentoring with advisors and small class sizes to focus on the individual learner? Determine what sets you apart from other private schools, and communicate that message to prospective students and their families.
Tip: A strong logo along with proprietary font, colors and graphics on marketing materials can provide the appropriate image and help brand your private school. Count on the art department of a full-service commercial printer to guide you.
Pinpoint your Target Market:
Determine your audience and target your market. Do you tend to draw local students, or are your programs and reputation powerful enough to attract students from around the region, across the country or around the world?
Tip: Direct mail pieces like recruiting packets, brochures and postcards can be sent to your potential students directly to their doorstep by means of targeted marketing lists.
Pay Attention to “Internal Marketing”
A potential student and his or her family may stop by at your school for a first-hand look around, either with or without an appointment. This is your chance to give your “elevator speech” – a brief explanation of the positive points about your private school that will encourage the student to sign up. A welcoming receptionist willing to take the time to provide information can make all the difference.
Tip: Put together a recruitment packet in a presentation folder for prospective students. Include a message from the headmaster or president, a colorful brochure with graphics that explains the mission of the school and outlines main points, a sheet with contact numbers if the student has questions, and an application form.
The Marketing Plan
From Internet and radio advertising to open houses and billboards, marketing opportunities seem endless. For maximum impact, track which strategies are the most effective for your school and go with what works. Keep your eye on your ROI, your Return on Investment.
Tip: Cost-effective direct mail to a target audience has a higher rate of success for private schools than for other businesses. You may also consider community outreach at fairs, festivals and trade shows. Make sure to have enough recruitment packets on hand as well as posters and banners.
A full-service commercial printing company such as ScholasticPrintingFL.com can provide the high-quality custom printing you are looking for recruitment. Whether it’s a direct mail postcard, a presentation folder packed with information or a curriculum guide, count on the professionals at ScholasticPrintingFL.com to provide the printing you need.
ScholasticPrintingFL.com is a division of PCA Delta, a full-service commercial printer.