NCC Office of Education

Pleasant Hill | CA
Marketing Corner
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Marketing Corner


Use the links below to download specific marketing ideas. Forms are available both as pdf files and Word documents in case you want to edit and customize them for your school.

Data to help make the case for Christian and Adventist education
CognitiveGenesis study summary

The big picture––What works in marketing Christian schools, and why?
Concept #1–Word of mouth (pdf)
Why is great word of mouth essential for Christian schools?

Concept #2–Three benchmarks (pdf)
What must come before increasing enrollment?

Concept #3–Five steps (pdf)
What specific steps should you take to effectively market your school?

Commonalities amongst growing schools (pdf)
Factors that were shared by NCC schools that grew between Fall 2015 and Fall 2016

Tip–Ensuring parents enroll (pdf)
An overview of the best practices for staff to use in talking with prospective parents, scheduling a visit with the principal and ensuring your school stays in touch until the family chooses a school (The following tips are more detailed information for various steps outlined here.)

Form-Inquiry checklist and tracking (pdf)
Form-Inquiry checklist and tracking (Word)

Form with script for phone answerers and tracking each step between first contact and enrollment

Tip–Talking to prospective parents (pdf)
Outlines best practices for principals talking with parents during their first visit to your school

Tip–Thank someone (pdf)
Process for principals (and others) to systematically create positive contacts between the school and your supporters

Tip–Exit interviews (pdf)
Explains exit interviews for teachers, principal and board members, with a suggested outline for the conversation

Form–Exit interviews by board members (pdf)
One-page (front and back) to give to board members who are doing exit interviews

Tip-Take compelling photos with your phone (pdf)
Tips for taking photos for social media or your website's photo gallery

Newsletters––Using effective communication to parents as a way to increase parent satisfaction

Encouraging a positive school culture
Tip-Constituency meeting (pdf)
Spreading enthusiasm amongst potential referrers 

Tip-Add this call to action to your website (pdf)
Invite website visitors to schedule an "Education Success Consult"

Tip-Don't recruit. Connect and follow up (pdf)
Ideas from successful schools for meeting with potential parents

Tip-Accept only excited families (pdf)
Why accepting only parents and students who are excited about your school is important
Form-Questions for a new student/principal interview (pdf)
Form-Questions for a new student/principal interview (Word) A list of questions created by Tim Kubrock for talking with applicant students to ensure they are excited to attend.

Tip-Schedule and plan an "advancement" ceremony (pdf)
For schools with multi-grade classrooms, shift your graduation event to an advancement ceremony for the whole school

Tip-Don't offer discounts for first year students (pdf)
Why offering discounts for first time families is not a good idea

Tip-List local VBS programs (pdf)

Suggestions for the most efficient way to create a list of local VBS programs

Tip-Participate in VBS programs (pdf)
Ideas for ways to help local VBS programs while making connections in your community

Spring break (pdf) 
There is nothing to do in this message––just a reminder that rest is also good

Tip–Skip up day (pdf)
Outlines helping current students preview the next year and giving prospective students the chance to try your school for a day

Tip-Schedule the three annual marketing events (pdf)
While you are setting next year's calendar, remember to include the annual marketing events

Tip-Create an expenses worksheet for parents (pdf)
Helping parents plan for expenses by outlining all costs in your registration paperwork.

Tip-Offer "Bring a Friend Day" during public schools' spring break (pdf)
Encouraging students to invite a friend to school during spring break for your local public school district
Tip-Measure your school's improvement with a survey (pdf)
Thinking of a satisfaction survey as standardized testing for your school

Tip-Survey parents now (pdf)
Two options for parent surveys: NCC survey (paper or SurveyMonkey) and Graceworks
Tip-Survey available in SurveyMonkey (pdf)
The pros and cons, and how to use the custom-written, free school satisfaction survey available for you in SurveyMonkey.

Tip–Open house timing (pdf)
Timing your open house to get re-enrollment commitments for next year

Tip–Schedule a "back to school" event (pdf)
Create an event to inform and integrate families into your school

Tip-Use non-exit interviews to improve retention (pdf)
In the spring, talking with non-returning parents without assuming they are leaving

Tip-Combine your constituency meeting with a spring concert (pdf)
Scheduling a single event that schowcases student achievements and provides your constituency report to a larger audience
Tip-Two events for the work of one (pdf) A reminder and small addition for combining constituency meeting and spring concert.

Tip–Testimonials (pdf)
Taking the time to get great quotes from parents and students to include in everything you publish

Tip–Publish graduates' colleges (pdf)
Demonstrating your academic excellence by showing where your graduates are attending or have been accepted

Tip-Remind parents and board members of this year's great learning (pdf)
Sharing the good news and events you've collected in your Year in Review tickler file
The Year in Review school board sheet for Lodi Academy, as an example
Tip-Ensure graduation represents your school well (pdf)
While focusing on student achievements make sure your visitors leave impressed
Tip-Prepare for contributing to VBS programs (pdf)
Planning for the commitments you made to help with local VBS programs

Tip-Choose next year's improvement goal (pdf)
Working with your team to choose, plan for and communicate with parents about improvements next year

Tip for 2018 only-Start transitioning your ASC 2.0 website to 3.0 today (pdf)
Signing up and starting to build your 3.0 website

Tip for 2018 only-Tell me who will handle your transition (pdf)
If you are leaving your current NCC school, please give me contact info for the person handling the website transition

Tip for 2108 only-Check the default "About Us" page in the "Ivy" theme (pdf)
Letting me know which of two default pages is displaying for "About Us" 

Tip–Recruit a cheerleader (pdf)
Finding someone to make presentations about your school's successes without bragging

Customer service––Inspire your staff (and yourself) for customer service
Recommendations of books for summer reading on customer service
Tip–Research and write your school's talking points (pdf)
Creating a consistent message for you and  your volunteers to communicate

Tip-Rethink your student handbook (pdf)
Ideas for rewriting your handbook to be family-friendly and promote your school

Tip-View your school from the outside (pdf)
Looking at your facilities from an external perspective

Websites––make your website effective for recruiting
Website transition from Adventist School Connect 2.0 to 3.0. Starting with Part 3, these messages have information on how to edit and use ASC features that are especially important for schools.
Tip-What is on your gym walls (pdf)
Using your most public space to communicate what is most important to your school

Tip-Graduate photos show success (pdf)
Showing all visitors that your graduates go on to lead productive lives of service.

You are missionaries (pdf)
There is nothing to do in this message––just a reminder of the amazing importance of what you do

May your school be blessed so it can be a blessing (pdf)
There is nothing to do in this message––just a reminder that we are a conduit for God's blessings

Tip-Plan your back to school event (pdf)
Starting the year with positive expectations and enthusiasm

Tip-Discuss customer service with your team (pdf)
Reviewing the book you assigned for summer reading

Tip-Outline customer service details to improve this year (pdf)
Making tangible changes to increase parent satisfaction

Tip-Mail a friendly welcome letter to all families (pdf)
Send a personalized letter to all school families and also invite them to refer a friend.

Customer service––Raving Fans discussion ideas for pre-session with your team
Tip-Apply for the Marketing Mentoring program
Summary of how to apply for the NCC-sponsored marketing resource program

Customer service––The Starbucks Experience discussion questions for pre-session with your team
Customer service––29 ideas to make your customers (parents and kids) smile (pdf)
Ideas from Mark Witas, presented at Pacific Union Conference Spring Education Council 2017

Connecting new families with enthusiastic ones at your back-to-school event
Tip-Cast your school's vision (pdf)
Writing a mission statement to set your course and inspire your community

Tip-Share your improvement plan (pdf)
Telling parents about your school's plan for improvement at your back to school event

Tip-Share state of the school information (pdf)
Reminding parents about your success indicators as well as plans for further improvement

Tip-Check your outgoing phone message (pdf)
Ensuring your message is up-to-date and conveys professionalism

Tip-Call parents monthly (pdf)
Actively listening to parents

Tip-Be welcoming (pdf)
Set the attitude, then ask a volunteer to look at your school from a visitor's point of view

Tip-Start positive buzz in your community (pdf)
Improving your school's visibility and image through board members and yourself

Tip-Delegate exit interviews (pdf)
Ensure both staff and school board members do different types of exit interviews––then act on what you learn.

Retention––Overcoming toughest retention points

Tip-Explain the importance of IA tests with advice for parents (Word)
Sample messages for helping parents help their students do well on the IAs

Teachers' role in marketing: Terrific teaching and primo parent communication

Tip-Start open house planning––reminder (pdf)
Reminder and overview of open house planning

Tip–Plan an open house (pdf)
The first steps in planning an open house to demonstrate and celebrate great learning to current & prospective parents

Tip–Open house attendance (pdf)
Outlines ideas for getting people to come to your open house

Tip–Open house activities (pdf)
A list of possible activities for demonstrating the quality of your academic program
Open house activities idea list 
This links to a new page with ideas from teachers in NCC.  This list will be updated as we hear of new ideas

Tip-Plan a "Helping Your Child Succeed in School" seminar
Offering a seminar for school and community parents to learn how to help their child succeed in school

Tip-Promote your seminar internally
Ideas for encouraging school and church parents to attend your "Helping Your Child Succeed in School" seminar

Tip-Ready or not?
Determine readiness to promote your school success seminar to your community

Tip-Promote your seminar externally
A template and steps for customizing and using it to promote your seminar to your community

Tip-Schedule in-home visits with students' families (pdf)
Building positive relationships with parents

Tip-Ask school board members to combine a satisfaction survey with in-home visits (pdf)
Building relationships between parents and board members while learning how parents view the school

Tip-Research potential feeder schools (pdf)
Learning which schools you will want to try to promote through

Tip-Build relationships with feeder schools (pdf)
Connect with the educators at potential feeder schools

Tip–Enrollment materials (pdf)
Ensuring that all the materials a parent sees when applying and registering are attractive and consistent
Samples–One page applications (zip)
Folder of sample application forms from two schools
Samples–Application & registration forms (zip)
Folder of sample forms from two schools

Tip–Find the good news in your IA results (pdf)
Creating positive talking points for your community

Tip-Find the bad news in your IA results (pdf)
Creating credibility by evaluating and addressing areas to improve 

Tip-Thank You Sabbaths (pdf)
Refocusing Education Sabbaths to thank your constituent church(es)

Tip-The ultimate question (pdf)
Using one question to learn how your parents view your school

Tip-Create a "year in review" folder (pdf)
Have a place (digital or physical) to gather good news and significant events from throughout the school year.

Tip-Create the materials for promoting your open house (pdf)
Templates available for you to customize in Canva

Tip-Offer options for visiting your school (pdf)
In promotional materials list more than one way for parents to see your school

Tip-Thank families and supporters (pdf)
Sending thank you cards during the month of November as part of your school's giving thanks

Tip–Know where you can promote events locally––for free (pdf)
Researching organizations where families gather information and hang out 

Tip-Make your Christmas program count for community building (pdf)
Planning events that help families and staff create and strengthen community bonds

Tip-Prepare open house packets #1 (pdf)
Ordering supplies for packets to give open house visitors

Tip-Prepare open house packets #2 (pdf)
Gathering the items to go in your open house packets
The checklist Napa Christian includes in their open house packet

Tip-Start promoting your winter open house (pdf)
Inviting parents and church members to come and bring their friends
The postcard Chico Oaks gave to parents and church members for promoting the open house
Tip-Updating the media release (pdf) 
Adding five words to expand your media release and allow social media use for images and videos

Thanksgiving (pdf)
There is nothing to do in this message––just a reminder to be thankful for your personal blessings

Tip-Make your Christmas program welcoming (pdf)
Creating a comfortable environment for your students' guests

Using Google Adwords 
Tip-Create a Google account for your school (pdf) Setting up an account to use with Adwords
Tip-Check your website for three critical items (pdf) Ensuring your Adwords investment will be worth it
Tip-Set up Google My Business (pdf) Ensuring Google's search displays are accurate––and this is free
Tip-Train current parents so you don't waste money (pdf) Understanding what determines your advertising cost
Tip-Set up your first Adwords ad (pdf) Walking through the initial set up of your first ad
Tip-Set important Adwords refinements (pdf) Using more detailed setting than are available in the initial set-up
Tip-Check on Adwords performance (pdf) Evaluating effectivess of Adwords for your school
The Christmas Story (pdf)
There is nothing to do in this message––just a reminder to keep the Christmas story real

Find satisfaction in your toil (pdf)
There is also nothing to do in this message since this is the second week of Christmas vacation


If you have questions or parts of this aren't working correctly, please e-mail Carol Tilstra Nash and she'll be happy to help.