We know that this enrollment period will be like none other. Schools and districts are feeling the pain of maintaining a high quality educational experience and strong funding streams. Now, more than ever, it’s important to consider how you can drive strong attendance and enrollment through your culture, messaging, and intentionality. That’s why we hosted Driving Strong Attendance and Enrollment, our second Possip PARTNER POWER CONNECT event.
Here are some of our favorite takeaways as a CX Team:
“Branding is the foundation. It’s the why.”
Monchiere’ Holmes-Jones, the CEO and Founder of MOJO Marketing + PR taught that branding isn’t simply about selecting a color scheme. It’s about centering your school and organization around a particular vision and goals that can shine through no matter the color scheme. Having a strong brand as a foundation will enable you to keep what you share consistent. We learned that because our brands are foundational, they go hand-in-hand with our missions. Monchiere told us, “If the mission is strong, it should always be a part of your message, and when someone can repeat it, they care enough to stay.” A strong mission reflects the culture, and therefore, the brand of an organization.
“Culture begets brand.”
Monchiere emphasized the importance of creating an authentic culture in order to create an authentic brand. It’s one thing to say certain values are a part of your brand, it’s another to live those values and let your brand speak for itself. She reminded us that demographics do not equal community. Authentic community and culture arise when people are presented with opportunities to express and celebrate themselves. For example, schools can take intentional time to celebrate months that highlight the identities of their scholars. Brand is “what people say when you’re not around,” as Monchiere said. In order to focus on driving strong attendance and enrollment, we have to consider the culture we have created, or want to create, when we establish our brand.
Staying newsworthy doesn’t mean being in the news all of the time. Instead, it’s knowing what’s happening in the community and sharing relevant information with parents and families. For example, Monchiere highlighted that if there are opportunities for students to learn about different career fields or resources families can access, it’s important to become a hub for relevant information. This will encourage your parents and families to continue following and sharing what you have to say.
A great way to do this using social media is to adopt what Monchiere calls Nike’s Hero-Hub-Help model.
- Hero posts “reiterate messaging and branding.”
- Hub posts “reiterate what’s happening right now.”
- Help posts “show how they’re helping their community.”
Show your brand; don’t simply tell.
A key part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools mantra is “every student known.” When the pandemic impacted student attendance and learning, Keri and the MNPS team wanted to make sure “every student known” was a reality. This led to the Navigator Program, which matches students with district staff and teachers who check in on them at least once a week. For Keri and the MNPS team, it was important to “expand” what they factored into attendance and make sure every student had someone they could go to if they needed solutions. Monchiere emphasized the importance of centering values in your brand, and MNPS demonstrates their values through real, actionable programs like the Navigators.
Consider what students have gained during this time.
To wrap up our conversation, Keri ended with a reflection on her own son’s learning, calling us to consider not only what children have lost, but what they have gained and how they have grown during the pandemic.
We too want you to consider not only what you have lost, but what you have gained. We’ve seen your resilience, creativity, and leadership firsthand. We want you to feel empowered to “energize your brand,” in line with Monchiere and MOJO’s philosophy, by finding new ways to authentically drive strong attendance and enrollment, and continue creating a world that’s better for students and families because of your work.
Learn more about MOJO Marketing + PR here.