Enhance the Content of Your School Newsletter
Once upon a time, school updates and “newsletters” were little more than photocopied to-do lists for parents, reminding them of upcoming deadlines and maybe including the next week’s lunch menu. Since then, the school newsletter has evolved, becoming a powerful communication and relationship-cultivation instrument.
The primary purpose of newsletters now is the celebration of student learning, meant to educate students, families, and constituents about the benefits to students of your program and educational experience. To encourage readership of your newsletter, keep these items short and visually rich. Here are some suggestions to enhance your publication.
- Create branded online versions of your newsletters, and transmit or upload them on a predictable schedule.
- Carve out predictable “pieces of real estate” in the electronic newsletter, e.g., a bulleted list of important dates and sign-up links in column form on the right or left side, a consistent placement of alumni news, a featured teacher spot, and a message from the School Head or other administrators on a rotating basis.
- In each issue, publish a question that will be answered in the following newsletter. Focus on teacher and student accomplishments, school history, statistics, and other items that showcase your school’s success. This continuity between issues keeps your readers involved.
- Compile a list of campus improvements made over the summer during the school year, funded with the generous contributions of donor constituents. If you have a number of reports, publish four or five per issue. When appropriate, provide before photos of the improvements around your school.
- Include short items on projects going on in the classrooms. Highlight upcoming concerts, student performances, and other events involving your students. Be sure to include students and faculty in your photos—and emphasize photo and video links over text. Limit explanations to two or three sentences—slightly more than a photo caption, but far less than a “story” to boost readership.
The cumulative effect of refocusing the newsletter’s content will be to demonstrate the exemplary quality of the school’s education, the student body, and the people who deliver the program. While you can only spotlight a few areas, by implication, other aspects of the program are just as remarkable.
Sharing this kind of upbeat, snapshot-style information has an impact on recruitment and re-recruitment, and builds pride among personnel, as well as interdivisional engagement that inspires the long-term enrollment commitment you seek. It reinforces for your best marketers—current and past parents—the decision they made to enroll their children. It also gives readers the “talking points” they need to spread good word of mouth to potential families who want their children to enjoy the same educational experience.