Key to successful communication with parents and pupils is relevant, engaging and fresh content. But as we all know, content is not always that easy to come by. Time, inspiration and resources are often low on reserve.
Read my 4 top tips to save time and generate engaging new content for your school’s next blog or newsletter.
1. Enlist Help
Don’t tackle the content all on your own. Get help! Alumni, pupils, teachers and even parents all make great content contributors. And having views from different sources will add credibility to your content. Some suggestions:
- Get buy-in from the English department and have students contribute content on a regular basis as part of their studies
- Assign one teacher a month to create a blog on what’s happening in their class
- Track down some successful Alumni through LinkedIn and ask them to contribute a blog on their experience at your school
- Find the parents that like to be involved (there are always a few of them) and ask them to contribute to your blog. You might be surprised how flattered and willing to contribute they are!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. However be sure to get their contribution in your calendar so there are no surprises when it comes to their month/week to provide the content. Have a backup story or two as well just in case there is an emergency that prevents your scheduled blogger from contributing.
2. Co-ordinate With Your School Calendar
A great way to come up with content ideas is to put yourself in the shoes of parents and/or pupils. What’s on their mind at this time of the year? What’s relevant? What information or reassurance would they want to hear? Schedule your content around term times and I guarantee you’ll increase your communication reach. Some examples might be:
- 1st term (new starts) – School Facts, FAQ, Adjusting To Your New School
- 2nd term (exam time) – Study Tips From Teachers, Coping With Poor Exam Results
- 3rd term (are we there yet?) – Keeping Motivated In Your Studies
- 4th term (what’s next) – Interview with Prominent Alumni, Life Beyond YourSchool
3. Provide Answers to their Questions
What are the questions you get asked over and over from parents and pupils? Questions are a great source of content for blogs and very much appreciated by readers. Where to find your questions?
- Encourage parents /pupils to ask questions via social media using the hashtag #AskSchoolName and share the answers on a monthly blog
- Have a central document that can be shared amongst staff to keep a record of questions and concerns that have been brought up throughout the year. You may be surprised by what people are asking over and over
- Try a free tool like ‘Answer The Public‘ which gathers questions people are searching are around a particular topic or keyword
These questions, concerns and curiosities can be the basis of some very relevant and educational blogs.
4. Look To The Past
Why reinvent the wheel. If you’ve created engaging content in the past, why not re-purpose and share it again! Just because you’ve put it out there once doesn’t mean it’s been seen by everyone.
- Old newsletters – these can be a great place for inspiration. What created a buzz when previously shared?
- Past blogs – check your website analytics. Which blogs had the most visits? Why not write a new blog (or re-work the existing) on the same subject. Chances are it will garner just as much interest
- Website content – you might have a web page that has a lot of great information that you want to highlight; why not write a blog and direct visitors to that particular page
- Whitepapers – Does your school publish study guides? Maybe a teacher or Head has written a paper? Use the content of these as the basis of a blog and include the paper as a downloadable document
Creating content can be a time-consuming task, but with some strategic thinking ahead, your school blog or newsletter can have a powerful impact on visitors’ engagement and their decision-making process.