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Improving The Reputation Of Your School

Apr 17, 2019 by

Schools are having a tough time of things when it comes to public perception. From earning the respect of pupils to satisfying parents, board members and others, it can be tough to show your school in a good light when there is so much against you.

However, just because things are tough now, it doesn’t mean that things can’t change. Here’s some advice on improving the reputation of your school to help you turn things around for the better.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Figure out what’s going wrong

Before you can begin to fix things at your school, you need to assess what’s going wrong. The answer isn’t always a simple one. Could overcrowding be making things strained? Or perhaps your students don’t feel as supported as they could be?

There are different ways you can find out this information. From holding forums with students and faculty to sending out an anonymous survey, there are different ways you can help gather the information you need and start to make a change.

Create a plan

With a firmer idea of the changes that need to happen, you can start to put them into place. Think of your school as a business, and set yourself some goals and objectives to meet that will help drive your work over the coming months and years. It’s worth taking a look at some tips for improving a business that could also prove relevant to your school. Make sure you get the staff on board and that they know what the ambition is, they’re going to be instrumental in making it happen.

Start with a rebrand

Sometimes you need to do away with the old and bring in the new. A rebrand for your school could help get rid of old perceptions and make way for a fresh new outlook. There are steps you can take to rebrand that will cover everything from creating a new school emblem or logo, to the tone of voice you want to use. You might need outside help to help with your rebrand, or it can be a team effort using the different skills that you have within the faculty.

One of the key challenges you’ll face with a rebrand is getting everyone on board. After establishing a new brand, you’ll need to ensure corporate branding compliance from everyone who might use it. Many teachers use their own styles and tastes when it comes to producing documents and so on, but it’s important that everyone follows suit. The good news is that there are template systems available that can help ensure standardization and compliance ready to share your brand with the world.

Overhaul your website

What does your website say about your school? If it’s outdated, basic and unengaging, it’s not going to make a good impression on the visitor.

You might be surprised at how many people use your website. From students to parents to other stakeholders, there could be a strong opportunity for change that will make your website an overall better destination to visit. There are different ways you can improve your website, and it’ll be worth the investment to make it a more useful destination.

Start a blog

Starting a blog might not seem like an obvious way to improve the reputation of your school, but it can offer many benefits you might not have considered before. A blog allows you to share news and insights in an informal way, and can be a good way to increase traffic to your website.

Your school’s blog can cover a number of different features, from student submissions to offering study advice and tips. Make sure you get enough contributors to keep the content going and you’ll soon have an online destination for news that helps your school gets noticed.

Focus on your successes

How well does your school celebrate its successes? Perhaps this is an area you can work on. In business, providing recognition and reward is a good way to encourage motivation and to help employees succeed further, so why not do the same at your school? When your school does something well – shout about it, and make it known to everyone that your school can achieve great things. Make sure you also list these achievements on your webpage, as this is the type of thing that prospective parents and students will want to see before they enroll at your school.

Host a showcase

One reason that people have a poor perception of your school could be that they don’t know enough about it. Why not try to change that with a showcase? A showcase can be an opportunity to present your school’s best work, bringing students and faculty together to show off your school’s talent and show what can be achieved. A showcase can also be a good excuse to bring some college reps along, so that if you’ve got kids who need a bit of a push to apply to college or need help getting noticed, you can give them the opportunity to be impressed.

Hire a PR professional

While this one is budget dependent, one way your school can help to improve its reputation is through hiring a PR professional. There are several benefits that come with hiring PR. They can help build connections on your behalf as well as look at ways to improve your reputation. Having someone experienced on your side can make a big difference to changing perceptions about your school, helping you to explore areas you’re inexperienced in and help to champion the significant changes you’ve been making.

Hiring a PR professional can get expensive, but working with someone who freelances could be a more affordable way to get the help you need and benefit from expertise.

Get out in the community

Is your school involved in the local community? Is there more that can be done to make it work? The good news is that there are many steps you can take to ensure stronger school/community collaboration. Reach out to your community and engage with them – it’s a two-way street after all and you can’t expect everyone to come to you. Support local events and charities and encourage volunteer initiatives among students and faculty.

Your school can use its local community to inform education, bringing it back to students in a way that makes sense to them and is familiar. Your local community offers more to your school than you know, so make sure you get out there and embrace it.

Inspire your students

How are your students getting along? If results are poor and morale is low, it might be time to think about changing the culture at your school. One way you can start is to provide your students with the support they need. From helping those who are struggling to supporting gifted students, students can thrive when they are given the right level of support.

Your students should feel inspired to do great things, so try to introduce them to role models and experiences that could impact their future choices. Successful past students or local heroes make excellent guest speakers, so why not host a regular program of talks that could help students get the push they need?

While improving the reputation of your school isn’t easy, it can be possible if you take things step-by-step. It’s a long road to swaying opinion, but it’ll be worth it to make your school more respected, more desirable and an overall better place. You owe it to your history, your students and your staff to make things better, so start today and help make your school the best it can be.

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