As Australia looks for a responsible response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including restricting mass gatherings and reducing individual contact, many schools are looking to reduce their unnecessary gatherings and have cancelled their promotional events, such as open mornings and group tours. Many school marketers have shifted their attention to communication responsibilities to keep current families up-to-date with protection measures and date changes.
This will put enormous pressure on our marketing departments in the second-half of the year, when we find the need to catch up on lower than usual enquiry and enrolment numbers for 2021.
The current question for school marketers should be, ‘How can we keep the momentum going while having COVID-19 protection measures in place?’
We are working on strategies with our clients to maintain their school growth and have included a few recommendations to help you maintain yours:
- Do not pull-back on your brand presence. If national isolation measures are implemented, our target audience will look to media for their social connection and the use of the internet and social media will soar. Think about ways you can increase your presence on social media and push out brand-defining content using video.
- Try to find a replacement for families that would have attended your open event. This can include creating online Information sessions using webinar software. The focus of these online information sessions will shift from your facilities to your differentiating teaching practices, which as been shown to sell schools better than facilities in any case.
- For many schools, it is uncertain when they will be able to reschedule their open events. Despite the date uncertainty, we advise our clients to build their audiences with remarketing lists so that when replacements events are announced, they have a warm audience ready to go for targeting.
This season has put a large amount of pressure on school marcomms departments. Through all the busyness, take the time to look after yourself and stay well through this season.