Beauty, the eye of the beholder, and School PR Reflections #6 and #7 – SCN Encourager

You know what they say about how beauty is perceived? Well, people “behold” our schools in much the same way.

What could be more beautiful?

What could be more beautiful?

We all see beauty differently.

And this fact strengthens Master Marketer Seth Godin’s contention that we need to be very much aware of the varying interests, preferences, and experiences of our parents, students, staff, and community members.

Because they’ll often surprise us, we can’t be complacent about deploying our school PR radar.

There are a few other notions we should keep in mind as well, and my first five reflections are shown here.

Here are the final two as we wrap up the week.

And I heard your cries to keep it short –

TGIF.

Q6 What’s the best way for schools to win in a competitive environment?

Demonstrate levels of competence, service, and caring that rise above the “jingles,” the hype, and the practices of others.

Nothing more needs to be added.

This is difficult enough.

Q7  In general, what’s the best measurement for school PR? (Can’t forget your metrics!)

Collecting data for data’s sake is pointless.

Focus on this.

Determine the gap between what you are promising (and ideally, it’s sky high) and what you are actually delivering.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.43.08 PMThis gap is the best indicator of how the people you serve perceive the value they are receiving.

It’s worth surveying.

When promises are exceeded, people are delighted.

When promises don’t live up to expectations, they’re disappointed.

And whoa – if they’re disappointed about something – they’re just seconds away from telling their friends!

Seth Godin says the best way to keep this from happening is to stay in close contact with your parents (your choosers) and never be afraid to “ask” them about what they’re thinking.

But asking people what they’re thinking always makes me nervous.

That’s why I sent Godin a suggestion for an alternate tactic, something other than time-consuming and annoying surveys.

I proposed that school communicators should refrain from making any promises in the first place.

Why shouldn’t we avoid the whole “gap thing” altogether if we can?

That was my reasoning, anyway.

But since Godin hasn’t gotten back to me yet, maybe it would still be a good idea to keep your “school surveys” file in a spot where you can quickly grab it.

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