It’s ‘snow’ joke how far communications have come…
How quickly we forget. When snow used to descend upon England, ALL PARENTS would be glued to the local radio station. Usually, for the first time since the last snow we had, scrabbling to pick up the elusive signal (remember it’s analogue!). Listening attentively for the scrolling new-reel of which schools were open and which were closed.
Imagine that – having to actively go and find the information out for yourselves? Rather than it being… delivered to you personally via text, email, twitter or any of the other social networks. Or it not being a simple ‘click’ away on the school website, helpfully updated by one of the teachers, at home probably, via a content management system.
We have so many blooming amazing communication systems and tools available to us now, with more being added every day it seems.
All of which should be helping and benefiting parents – to know what is going on at their school, to feel involved and to keep them up to date. It’s just up to us to work out the best ways of doing this for our school and for our parents (there isn’t a one size fits all).
Especially as we ALL quickly forget about cramming round the ‘wireless’. Everyone’s expectations have risen- independent school parents want and expect more communication. So please don’t assume just because you’ve got the tools in place that you are ‘done’.
Let’s take snow as an example:
- Do parents know how they can / will be informed about school closures?
- It’s all very well putting it up on Twitter or Facebook, but if your parents aren’t using these tools, then they won’t be aware of the situation or your efforts to tell them!
- Have you communicated to parents that the reason you use Twitter/Facebook is to keep them informed of ‘snow’ or other emergencies? (It might drive interest/sign ups)
- I assume you’ve got answer phone messages, text messaging, emails, urgent news sections of your website sorted and use these to inform parents?! But have you got all the access codes / information of how to do this at your home so that you can still do it even if you can’t get out of the house?!
- What about those parents who choose not to be online or have a mobile – do you have a list of those parents who need to be contacted by telephone if there is an emergency?
- Do you ask your parents after snow closures/potential closures how they thought the school did in terms of communicating with them? How they could improve?
And on a more positive note… Remember to take some lovely snow pictures, if you don’t, you’ll be kicking yourself later on in the year when you’re designing the school Christmas card!
Louise aka 134marketing provides pratical and tactical marketing advice to independent schools. If you want to find out a bit more about me visit my website, follow me on twitter or go mad and google+ me (it’s my new shiny toy - not much on it if I’m honest!!!)