Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Turn Leadership Communications Goals into Reality
Where the Rubber Meets the Road:
Turn Leadership Communications
Goals Into Reality
Creating a more effective
communication strategy by
doing what Will told me to do
When you come to a session like this, there is a tendency for speakers to create
from the many leadership teams I’ve either been on, or witnessed in the
Who in this room is responsible for your school’s message?
Show of hands:
How many of you would consider yourself “in charge” of your school’s
communication strategy? If it isn’t you, do you know who at your school is in
charge of that plan?
And, of you, how many of you would call the work that you do every day based
on an actual communication’s plan? One that your leadership team agree’s on?
This confusion is why schools can be ineff
THE ERA OF THE PERFECT DESIGN/IMAGE/NAVIGATION:
How we are sweeter yet smarter?
Competitive but not arrogant?
School’s understood that people were going to the web, so they put
Schools put more content up, but they didn’t necessarily change the
The WOW is now in the User Experience
Present me relevant content about my kid
(or class or team or volunteer experience)
and I’ll keep coming back for more
Rocket Science, right?
Is that what you do now?
How do we get there?
Is your school organized to take advantage of this?
What matters to
EVery school has something different that they are trying to get across
That is seen in core metrics of “buy-in”;
Fundraising- All members of your community Giving their hard earned cash to your worthy cause
Educated Community- Your school’s universe should know what your school is all about today
How do we show our key audiences who we are, how we are different?
How do we translate the enthusiasm of our best people - our teachers, our students, our parents, our board members - out to the rest of the world?
How do we show current parents that we are worth coming back for again and again?
How do we educate prospective parents that we are making their kids better than the free public school down the road?
How do we do this?
“Duh” goal # 1:
Must have high log in
ffice knows retention rates
ffice knows how much you are raising
So where do you start your school’s story?
Think of a really good book, blog or magazine article you read,
Why was it good?
It had a good story arc,
it made a particular good point that resonated with you,
or it was really funny,
or it was something that made you say “ man, I’m going to do that so I can change my life for the better”
Learning Management System X
Student Information SystemY
Content Management System Z
Im a visual learner. LEt me show you what I think your current situation is. And how WhippleHill would approach it.
Answering that question from your parents perspective is way you must reframe your The answer to that
o Showing the sense of community.
Step 1 for Leadership Team:
Get on the same &%$*! page about
your school’s story.
If you were to get your head of school, director of admission, Director
of admission, and director of development in 3 separate rooms and ask
“what is it that all people need to know about our institution?”
“Tell us your plan for getting that word out”
Would they have 1 or 6 different answers?
Agree on your
We are the best independent school
in area code 02134 because we’re
good enough, we’re smart enough
The power of “Duh”
Do your Navel Gazing
It is important that you agree, but don’t create a big process where
What content is
What do we need to tell the world about?
Why you should give us money?
Why students should love us
Give them what they
Is it worth it?
Do I like you?
Can I get
Can I apply?
Where is my
Where can I:
Share info Find
Where is my:
Info you were
going to send
from the Head?
Way to talk to
raise 1 million dollars ?
Attract a different kind of student?
More awareness of our IB programs?
What is the type of story that tells this?
Ok, now that you know
what you want to get
across to your
You need to agree that your
communication strategy isn’t
Development Office: We need to tell people why we need their money
Admission Office: We need to tell families that we are better, cooler,
How do we tell that story?
Who is responsible for creating that content?
Who’s arse is on the line if we don’t succeed?
To be eff
How do we take these very over used words and turn them into something that feels real?
Here is who needs to
own the answers:
Who are we?
How do we tell that story?
community group- parents, prospectives, alums, internal
Who is responsible?
I spoke with Carol DeMeli- who heads up our support group and whose
team talks to many of the contacts at your school and I asked her if you
could wave a magic wand and make school’s smarter what would you
school empower their communications folks to
Here is who should own what:
Give the “do-ers” the authority to