How To Get Parents To Engage With Your School
More and more, schools are focusing less on getting their mission across.
Does this statement surprise you?
Millennial parents are somewhat different than previous generations when it comes to big decisions.
They want their choices to say something about themselves -what kind of people they are, what kind of things they value, and what kind of experiences they seek.
So, if you want to be attractive, your school must learn to highlight, first and foremost, the attributes that appeal to your target parent demographic.
The fear for schools is that this will eventually move them away from their mission as they cater to every whim of every family.
This fear is very much misplaced. Just as some businesses invent new products and services by examining customer behavior, so too can schools learn what’s important to parents by being responsive to their needs.
While schools shouldn’t renounce decades of educational standards, they must understand that the old ways of engaging and serving parents need to evolve. Your first concern should be understanding how your prospective parents want to be marketed to…
When Marketing To Parents Authenticity Is Required
The key to connecting with parents online is to realize the different pressures they face and responding to them in an understanding way.
What makes for the best kind of school marketing; the ads we don't want to skip, the billboards that make us laugh? Well... it's the kind of marketing that really doesn't feel like marketing at all.
Moms and dads often aim for perfection.
Our interview with Sarah -one of our schools' parents- turned emotional last August: “Everybody wants to be the best parent and raise a perfect kid. The hardest thing about parenting for me is knowing if I’ve given or done enough for them every day,” she said.
To become a trusted source of advice for parents in your community, focus on authenticity.
You have to become more realistic and honest, rather than portraying the mythical perfect school, filled with flawless families.
Emotional Marketing Is A Strong Tool For Schools
Study after study confirms that parents seek compassion in their interactions rather than a know-it-all paternalistic presence. For example, mothers would rather take advice from like-minded parents, who are in the trenches, than from celebrity doctors, pediatricians, or dieticians.
They want to see more honest depictions of themselves they can relate to and engage with.
Whether it’s through nostalgia, a feeling of comfort, or sheer excitement, emotional marketing can produce parent engagement, retention, and inquiries.
If there is one takeaway from the above, it is this: when reaching out to parents, make sure your messaging speaks to an emotion that they can truly connect with.