How to Conduct a School Marketing Communications Audit

How to Conduct a School Marketing Communications Audit
How to Conduct a School Marketing Communications Audit

Time: 3:00pm ET

To cut through the clutter in an increasingly crowded marketplace and connect with families, prospects, and alumni in meaningful ways, private-independent schools must take a targeted and strategic approach with every email, every publication, and every post. It all starts with the question, “Why does this matter to our audience?”

Get to the heart of every action you take through a marketing communications audit that uncovers constituents’ wants and needs when it comes to your school’s messages, methods, and means for information distribution and consumption. Join this webinar for step-by-step instructions, including timelines and templates, on how to conduct a marketing communications audit in your own school to deliver maximum results.

  • Do some of your families complain about receiving too many emails while others tell you they are uninformed?
  • Do you wonder if the time and money you spend publishing your magazine or newsletters is a good use of limited resources?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of communications you are asked to create and send out on a weekly, or even daily, basis?
  • Are you confused about whether you’re prioritizing the right strategies and tactics when communicating with your audience?

As private schools attempt to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market, the role of marketing communications has never been more important. But with all the available communication channels, you might not be sure that what you’re doing is effective. Often the messages, methods, and means used to communicate with constituents are more guesswork than data-informed.

Conducting a marketing communications audit in your school can help you get to the heart of how your constituents access and digest information, uncover what they need and want, and measure their satisfaction with your efforts.

You will learn how to:

  • conduct an audit through a step-by-step guide;
  • evaluate which messages and means of communication align with your mission and constituents’ needs; and
  • investigate what your audience prioritizes and where you should focus your efforts.

After this webinar, you’ll be:

  • ready to conduct a marketing communications audit to optimize your office’s operations;
  • confident that your chosen strategies serve your audiences’ needs; and
  • clear about where to focus your resources and energy.

This webinar is for:

Marketing Communications Directors and those who are involved with their school’s marketing communications function.

Penny Abrahams

Penny Abrahams, IAP-L

ISM Consultant | Virtual Advancement Summit Convener


Penny Abrahams first joined Independent School Management in 2010 as a member of the Advancement Academy’s founding faculty. As a Consultant, she specializes in marketing communications, enrollment management, and development. Her experience in these areas comes from working in private-independent schools for more than 13 years, and serving a variety of other non-profits for an additional seven years.

Her areas of expertise and passion include building and implementing enrollment management and marketing plans as well as strategic advancement plans; implementing donor-centered development programs; developing mission-based messaging; crafting digital marketing and social media strategies; establishing crisis communications plans; and advising on optimal staffing structures and functions.

Current Role

As a Consultant with ISM, Penny:

  • consults in marketing communications and enrollment management planning and audits, conducts advancement and development assessments, crafts campaign Case Statements, and develops marketing message frameworks; 
  • leads workshops and webinars focused on marketing communications, enrollment management, and development best practices; 
  • speaks at regional and national education conferences; 
  • convenes ISM’s Advancement Academy for experienced school practitioners; and
  • writes for ISM’s publications, including Ideas & Perspectives.

She holds the Leader Certification through ISM’s International Advancement Program (IAP-L).

Prior Experience

Penny began her career in schools in 2001 at Ravenscroft, a PreK through grade 12 school in Raleigh, N.C. As the Annual Fund Director, she managed all aspects of the school’s annual giving program, overseeing a team of volunteers responsible for raising nearly $600,000. Penny later became Ravenscroft’s Director of Communications and was charged with building the school’s communications program from the ground up.

From 2013-17, Penny served as the Director of Admissions & Marketing at Academy at the Lakes, a PreK3 through grade 12 school located in Tampa, Fla., where she helped the school reach record application and enrollment numbers.

Prior to her time in private-independent schools, Penny worked in publications and media relations for the University of Texas, the Memphis Center City Commission, and U.S. Synchronized Swimming.


Penny graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her International Advancement Program—Leader certification in 2012.

If several of us at the school want to attend the webinar, do we each have to register and pay?

If two or more people at your school want to attend the webinar in the same location (for example, in a conference room with one monitor), then you only need to register and pay for one person who will receive the email and link. If you have people in remote locations, each person will need to register and pay separately. Essentially, a registration and payment gives you one link to the webinar.

Will I receive a reminder about the webinar I’ve just purchased?

Yes. A message will be sent to the email address you registered one or two days before the run date. You will receive a link to the webinar as well as PDF slides of the presentation you will be attending.

What happens if I miss my webinar? Will the fee be refunded?

If you’ve missed your scheduled webinar, don’t panic—you will automatically receive a link to the recorded webinar, barring any technical difficulties that prevent us from recording the session.

Will I receive a recorded version of the webinar after it concludes?

Yes, a recording of your webinar will be sent 24–48 hours after the recording concludes. 

What if I have questions about the presentation? Whom do I contact?

You will be able to type questions, thoughts, and concerns in the communication box throughout the webinar. Each webinar allows 15 minutes for answering questions.

Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

We will correspond with you through email as soon as your workshop is confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to its start date. Occasionally, we may be forced to cancel an unconfirmed, scheduled workshop due to insufficient registration. So we ask that you do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive notice that your workshop is confirmed. (ISM will not be responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by your airline or travel agent.)

Tuition Payment and Cancellation Policy for In-Person, Group-based Programs

Tuition must be paid in full 10 business days prior to the start date of the in-person, group-based program. An attendee with a balance due on the start date will be denied entrance to the program until the balance is paid in full.

Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing, faxing to 302-656-0647, or mailing to: Professional Development Coordinator, ISM, 2207 Concord Pike, #417 Wilmington, DE 19803.

  • Cancellations received more than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will be fully refunded. Gold Dollars will also be fully refunded.
  • There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 15 business days before the start of the program. For registrations paid for with membership Gold Dollars, the member school will receive a 50% refund of Gold Dollars.
  • Non-payment of tuition or no-show to the event does not constitute a cancellation. Full tuition will be due and payable.

The Substitution Option and Wallet Option

Should an attendee need to cancel less than 15 days prior to the start date of the workshop, the school has two options to avoid penalty. Schools may also exercise these options at anytime for cancellations. 

  1. The school may substitute another employee.
  2. The school may bank the funds for a future ISM registration. These funds must be applied to a professional development event within one year from the start date of the original workshop. After one year, the funds will be forfeited. To use banked funds, please call the Professional Development Coordinator at 302-656-4944 x152.

*We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.


Our Guarantee

ISM believes in providing quality and excellence in all of our events and in ensuring the satisfaction of everyone who attends. Nearly 100% of our participants say they would recommend our events to their colleagues. If you are not satisfied with your event for any reason, ISM will credit the fee you paid toward another similarly priced workshop or will refund it.

See our Confirm/Cancel policy here. If you have any questions, click below to send us an email. 

Webinar Registration

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