Three Writing Tips for Your “Head’s Column”
Vol. 14 No. 4
Your school’s newsletter is a powerful internal marketing tool, in addition to being an ongoing source of vital information for the school community. As such, you can work to guide casual conversations through your “Head’s Column”—the portion of your school’s newsletter in which you can talk as School Head about important topics that directly impact the school. Writing such a column on a monthly (or even bimonthly) basis can feel daunting, but take a deep breath. We have three things you can do that will immediately improve the column—and your community's response to it.
- Your column should focus on the present and the future. In other words, your column should discuss the current wonderful ways in which the school impacts the lives of children, reminding current families of your school's work while offering prospective parents some food for thought. At the same time, there should be some mention of how you, as School Head, see the school progressing. Offer your personal perspective on new programmatic initiatives, for example, or the status of a capital campaign for new facilities. These forward-thinking topics can remind parents that your school constantly improves for future students, all while showing a constant attention to growing current students.
- Avoid controversy. The Head’s Column is a place to present a positive image of the school and the broader community. Avoid addressing controversial topics or toxic rumors in the school newsletter. Doing so could put the school’s stability in jeopardy, as you make definite things that were just “what ifs” circulating in the rumor mill. Only School Heads who’ve led their schools for extended periods of time and are sure they are secure (fiscally and culturally) should risk broaching such topics in their Head’s Columns—and then, only rarely.
- Get help from the experts. Writing for marketing purposes—even to manage such informal things as word-of-mouth among parents and faculty—isn’t a natural talent for many, and that’s okay. (Ironically, it often requires great effort for a piece of writing to appear effortless.) When you run into trouble, don’t be afraid to turn to those in your school who are expert communicators, particularly those who craft the newsletter in the first place. Their insights can better hone your writing into something that’s both easily read and still effective for its intended purpose.
How do you write your Head’s Columns? We’d love to feature samples for others to enjoy.
Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Admission Directors Vol. 10 No. 1 Crafting Your School's Newsletter
The Source for Admission Directors Vol. 9 No. 4 Your School's Newsletter—Is It Informational or Junk Mail?
The Source for Admission Directors Vol. 13 No. 8 Newsletters: Important for Prospective, Current, and Past Parents
Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 27 No. 11 Cyber News: Designing Your Online Newsletter
I&P Vol. 35 No. 10 Internal Marketing Strategies for Your Summer Program