by Marybeth Hicks, Director of Marketing
In a normal school year, early March ushers in the spring break season. This year, due to the outbreak of coronavirus across the country, more than 50 million public and private school students learned that the 2019-20 school year would be upended by St. Patrick's Day. With no alternative but to close school buildings for the academic year, Catholic schools across the country drew on their dedicated teachers, smaller class sizes, and tight-knit family communities to pivot quickly to distance learning programs that have allowed them to keep teaching and to finish out the school year.
Usually, the primary marketing messages that compel parents to seek out information about Catholic education focus on faith-based education, overall excellence, a safe and nurturing Christian environment, and affordability. But is there a way to capitalize on your school's response to the COVID crisis in your marketing efforts? Consider how your school has responded and whether you can tout your success to prospective families:
As you consider how you'll frame your marketing messages in the coming weeks, start by making a list of all the ways your school and community have rallied together and demonstrated the strength of your educational program, your faith-based environment, and the competence and commitment of your teachers. Be sure to include any creative and inspiring ways in which your students have responded, too. Then, write a corresponding message that conveys the essence of each response.
It's likely you have many positive stories to tell about how your teachers, students and families are adapting to the new reality of the 2019-20 school year. Be sure to tell those stories on your website and share them on social media!
Many Catholic schools have not only survived the transition to distance learning, but are thriving despite all the challenges. Strength in adversity is a marketing message you can and should employ!