Creative marketing turns school events into networking, branding opportunities

As school and district leaders serve as representatives of their education brands, they need to look for new strategies that transform events into opportunities to connect powerfully with the community and build support from local partners, Baruch College marketing instructor Trish Rubin writes for District Administration.Experiential marketing is one such strategy that helps turns a school event, such as a science fair, into a brand event. The strategy involves three primary elements: a live, interactive, multi-sensory experience; strategic, multi-platform brand touches before, during, and after the event; and a follow-up that evokes emotion and engages the community, the publication notes. Another method is "phygital" strategies — a mashup of “physical” and “digital” — that takes traditional face-to-face events and combines them with social media-driven visuals and themes to enhance an experiential marketing event. Planning committees can use these strategies before, during, and after events to help create a sense of community pride and gain the attention and interest of the parent community. In an era of school choice and a diverse array of education options, branding a school and making it stand out from competitors is especially important. The use of social media has increasingly allowed school leaders to tell their own story instead of relying on parents or the media to tell it for them. Other parts of maintaining a brand and reputation come from employing a public information officer or other individual, who manages external communications, keeps abreast of current social media trends and uses social media platforms to the best advantage – as well as understands the importance of consistent school branding.

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