We work with leaders and teams to create and defend school community value in an age of digital disruption through trust-building initiatives using our SELLOURSSCHOOL.COM model
Our programs deliver leadership and training, specialist content and inspiring consulting services helping teams optimise the benefits of digital change.
We work with school leaders and teams to sustain the historic role of school community value through trust-building initiatives around our three tools of leadership & training, specialist content and consulting services.
Our vision is to work with school leaders and teams to create and defend the historic role of school community value in an age of digital disruption through trust-building initiatives.
We are happy to complete a preliminary content audit for any school. All you need to do is join our mailing list.
Although we have done this with schools face to face – for instance – if they are working with us some detailed market research – we usually offer this service online. We aim to complete the survey within 48 hours.
The purpose of the audit is to highlight ‘content barriers’ in your web presence that might be lessening your ability to attract enrolments. It might be something as simple as missing information or out of date content.
We also do a first-pass audit of your technical infrastructure and check elements with fancy acronyms such as SEO and HTML5.
We then assign an overall maturity ranking for – this gives an indicator of how effective we believe your web presence to be for purposes of attracting enrolment.
The complete digital content audit is a paid service. This is a comprehensive assessment of your web presence. In this context, we use the ‘optimised framework’ – an emerging best practice framework for school web presence. Digitisation is creating massive change in education in which the story is only just beginning. A regular audit process alerts school leaders to the opportunities and threats that digital disruption engenders.
That’s a good question.
Sometimes there is a lot of ‘hype’ around the internet and digital. However in the case of digital disruption, it is probably justified.
An ‘education content writer’ as distinct from an education author is expected to have all of the research and crafting skills: all of the things that you would expect from a writer. They also need to have excellent skills in digital production and authoring, a good knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) and the many aspects of digital marketing that impinge on the presentation of content.
They would have to have an understanding of the underlying elements of digital content that enable web bots and crawlers to pick up and read content to ensure that their content is discoverable. In some cases, they need to be able to do this work themselves and in other cases, they partner with other digital experts.
It’s ironic but not everyone realises that just to write stuff and launch a web page doesn’t necessarily mean everyone can read the technology that enables the web page creation. There are technical obstacles in creating the text, depending on the type of device that acts as a ‘platform’ for the text or multimedia. There are also issues related to geographies.
So yes ‘creating and delivering digital content effectively is quite different to writing good old words on the page!
Our sense is that this question is a little old fashioned and harks back to the time when school communities had a different role in a place. The biggest change, as we understand it, particularly in education administration, is the empowering of school leaders to operate their school relatively autonomously.
Of course, this differs depending on the school type and the kind of school. Independent and grouped independent schools have tended to have this for some years but now it is something that most schools have in place.
Today, managing a school is no small thing. Often, it involves employing scores of people and overseeing a turnover of millions of dollars. Schools are often the largest enterprise in a local area.
The Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (and their equivalent bodies in the UK) both have a lot of concern about the level of business skills available to the sector. So school leaders’ constant need to communicate with their communities is paramount: often either for fundraising or for raising awareness of a particular health and safety issue.
How school leaders manage such issues going forward is the focus of small and extensive professional learning courses run by AITSL, ACER, ACEL and other providers.
It is the challenge of communicating with communities that have particular connections with digital marketing: where the existing technical infrastructure for parents might be able to be used to support deeper relationships with them through digital technology. Although very fruitful, such relationships are complex and hard to organise: they need leadership, technical expertise and investment.
Our service focuses on helping schools make more of digital marketing in the context of increasing (or maintaining) school enrolments.
We do this in a number of ways:
- by helping a school to create and run school enrolment teams that run in the school year;
- by working with schools to create quality digital content that surfaces the strengths of a school community – especially in teaching and learning.
We also help schools leaders become more aware of their digital assets, to value them properly and to grow and defend their value in the context of digital disruption. We accomplish this directly through consulting and indirectly through our professional development initiatives involving teaching and learning.
Inbound marketing has been described as the way that “marketers “earn their way in” (via publishing helpful information on a blog etc.) in contrast to outbound marketing, where they “buy, beg, or bug their way in” (via paid advertisements, issuing press releases, or paying commissioned sales people, respectively)”
So this approach – which is sometimes termed ‘personalisation’ is the opposite to ‘mass audience’ approaches of the past.
The really special thing we believe from a school viewpoint is the tremendous opportunity that digital technologies provide for a school, their staff and students: reimagining school events as loved and appreciated by local communities that are linking to other local communities internationally.
There are immense immediate benefits. The one that we focus on is enrolments because it seems to us to need attention and the source of a major anxiety for school leaders. So we know that a little bit of effort now can create a major difference and advantage going forward.
However, digital content is really a subset of a much larger context which is the growth in importance of digital communication in the world and the associated ‘digital disruption’ that is happening, very, very rapidly to existing channels of communication between people. As a school leader, you know that schools are not exempt from this at all!
We have pretty good results in enrolments from our school tours and parent referrals - why do we need to change?
It’s tempting for some schools to stick with what has worked in the past. A good example is the school tour. Nothing wrong with a school tour – it’s a great idea but there’s a number of issues to consider:
Most people who ‘buy’ anything these days will have investigated it quite thoroughly online: so people who are coming through the door, like most of us as consumers, are better informed and prepared. So, it’s as well to know that fact and be ready for its consequence in a school leadership team.
The school tour is NOT what it was – it HAS been digitally disrupted
The second thing to say is that because people are looking at you online first, the school is ‘front and centre’ from the get go. For instance, if you choose offer an online booking service for the tour – a great thing – it had better work. AND it had better work as well as the system on Amazon or Qantas or honestly you might be off on the wrong foot with a parent straight away
IF you have great, meaningful content, cleverly produced, accurate.
There is a first-mover advantage for those school leaders who adopt newer techniques. The other thing to remember is that this is ongoing and will be for many years to come. It isn’t just a problem to be fixed once and then forgotten – it’s about an ongoing and very significant increase in the way schools operate.