Unfortunately, there is no text book for new charter schools on how to best market themselves and recruit students. And each school is unique in itself that often times, one size does not fit all.
Don't reinvent the wheel. There are many people across the country that start new charter schools each year. Find out who is successful and what techniques they are using. There are discussion groups you can join on blogs and social networks, such as LinkedIn, where people connect and share ideas.
Research conducted by The Berline Group indicates that in the southeastern MI market, printed mail and postcards can be ineffective, where TV and radio can be one of the most effective methods for engaging the community right after your door-to-door engagement activities. The key to all of these techniques is how you message your school at the end of the day. Your message should be a succinct yet powerful statement that parents and students easily understand what makes your school unique from your competitors and briefly describes what you will implement within your program to accomplish this.
Another effective approach to market your new school, (once you receive your school code and building code) is MAPSA's new parent engagement website
. The website is an enhanced benefit that is now included with MAPSA membership for operational schools. Schools will be given a profile on the new website which will offer many exciting and enhanced features, such as allowing parents to search by focus area, grade levels served, location, enrollment, etc. The website is designed to be simple and user-friendly, and will also feature a mobile version for parents to quickly access on their mobile devices. Empowering parents with the tagline; "When parents choose, anything is possible," the site has had over 1,000 visits just in it's first week of operation. Parents are encouraged to look beyond their neighborhood traditional school, and find one that meets the needs of their child.
The goal of the new site
is to educate and empower parents and drive interest in charter schools, ultimately resulting in increased enrollment for you, our member schools!