Today’s post is guest written by Liza Fisher Norman. Liza is “Master Electrician” of InspirED School Marketers, a free, online professional development resource and community for PK-12 private school marketing and communications administrators in the US and abroad. With 25 years of experience working with private schools as principal of Turnaround Marketing Communications, Liza realized that school marketing admins needed a community to call their own. So she created InspirED School Marketers, an online resource for brilliant ideas and brain food to make their job easier. She and her partner, Rob Norman, run both organizations simultaneously.

Last month, Rob and I led a session at the TABS annual conference in Boston titled “You have questions. We have answers. Ask the school marketing Gurus.”  We gathered a panel of school marketing gurus (see the Power Panel list below) to answer burning MarCom questions from the audience. The audience was all boarding school people, but these questions apply for day schools as well. These school marketers are like you — in the trenches and looking for solutions to everyday challenges.

With about 30 people in the audience and a total of 8 on the panel, the conversation was lively, fascinating and engaging. The audience was disappointed when our time was up. There were more questions to ask and more experiences and advice to share. We’re sure to repeat this panel idea at other conferences in 2016 and hope to see you at one.

So…we asked for questions and, boy, did we get them.  I thought I’d share some of them with you so that you know what your peers are wondering about. Are some of these yours as well?

Think of this as a virtual repeat of the TABS session and chime in with your answer to any of these questions below. We’ll all learn from one another.


  1. How do you decide whether or not to jump on the latest social media fad or wait or let it pass you by altogether? (Listen to our podcast on this with Bart Caylor.)
  2. How do you feed your various media (blog, magazine, website news, etc) to meet the diverse interests of alumni, prospective parents (of younger students), prospective students (7-12), current parents, etc.? (See our blog post on this by Chuck Will.)
  3. How can admissions and development dovetail their brand and messaging so families have a coherent relationship and experience with the school? (See our blog post on this by Stacy Jagodowski.)
  4. What is the makeup of your MarCom dream team? (See our blog post on this by Stacy Jagodowski.)
  5. How do you set goals and measure the work of your director of MarCom? (Listen to our podcast on this with Jane Armstrong.)
  6. Is print dead?  If not, is it alive for everyone or just certain audiences or purposes?
  7. How can personas keep us focused when it comes to content creation? Is my content helpful? Does it solve problems? (See our blog post on this by Scott Allenby.)
  8. I’m overwhelmed by data! What are some of the basic things to keep in mind when it comes to measuring website success (i.e. SEO, analytics, etc.)? (See our blog post on this by Caitlin Garzi.)
  9. How can nurture marketing help in a tactical manner to move families through the admission funnel? (See By Example case study on this about Proctor Academy.)
  10. Faculty at my school seems to have an inherent distrust with the admissions, development, and communications teams. How do you bridge the gap between the ‘business’ side of the school and the ‘in the trenches’ side of the school? (Listen to our podcast on this with Cami Colarrosi.)
  11. How do you create a content map based on personas and the buyer’s journey for your school? (See our blog series on this by Scott Allenby.)
  12. How do you help facilitate ‘branding’ conversations at your school? What voices should you have at the table in those conversations? (Listen to our podcast on this with Jennie Winton.)
  13. What are your thoughts on in-house versus outsourcing work? (See our blog post on this created for Educational Directions.)
  14. How do you manage social media for the school? Do you have one dedicated person or utilize a team? (See our blog post on this by Scott Allenby.)
  15. Where do you go when you have questions? What professional development and personal learning networks do you rely on? (Why, InspirED, of course!)
  16. How does your marketing department interact with the school? Where do you report and why? (See our blog post on this created for Educational Directions.)

If you like this post, you’ll love our newsletter, the Daily Jolt. Sign up here.

Featured image by terimakasih0 via Pixabay

Subscribe to Our Weekly NewsletterThis type of content comes out fresh every week. Sign up now!