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School Marketing Blog

The professional school marketing manager needs to be up-to-date with the latest school marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the school marketing plan. This school marketing blog enables school marketing professionals to engage in blog discussions relating to the school marketing issues of today. The 'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

The Difficult Media Circumstance and Appropriate Response

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Occasionally the school will experience the Difficult Media circumstance.

Sometimes the media may request an interview with or without forewarning

This usually happens when a story is considered exceptional for their circumstance. This may be when something controversial or of a significant status has occurred and the media wants to run with that story on that day or the next.

Examples of these would include:

  • a disaster where the school has had major damage, such as from a major storm or fire
  • a staff member or student has been allegedly involved with something illegal
  • a former student has done something highly successful, controversial or allegedly illegal
  • the government or city council have or will make a decision that impacts significantly on the school, etc.

School's Response

In this case initially you need to advise the media that the school, through the principal, yourself or someone with authority, will speak with them shortly.

You have every right to consider your options before speaking.

It is often best to contact the systemic Communications Manager, if such a role exists. This manager is usually familiar with best practice for such events. The manager will either become directly involved and speak on behalf of the school or offer suggestions on the best approach. The manager may also contact others within or outside the system who may be able to offer advice eg lawyers, building or insurance advisors / consultants, counsellors, etc.

Offering a “No comment” is often fraught with potential misinterpretation or even worse, taking the story according to the information they have which may not be the truth or whole truth. Comment truthfully.

You do not need to give all the details but offer what is needed for the media enquiry allowing for privacy and ethical considerations.When School Marketers experience the Difficult Media Situation comment to the media truthfully.

This may be just a simple, “Thank you for the enquiry. We will get back to you shortly.”

If the school decides to act on the request itself there are a number of approaches which should benefit the school:

  • Be available for an interview in person or over the phone.
  • Be positive and in control during the interview
  • Appearance is important eg appropriate demeanour, dress, stance
  • Control the backdrop for television or newspaper photo to get the positive visual message out that you want
  • Answer all questions, but turn the answer to what you want to emphasise
  • Having 3-4 key points is a good approac

State the obvious, such as:

  • no one was hurt, or unfortunately some people were injured
  • damage to the property was significant or minimal
  • the most important thing is that no-one was hurt, only property damage occurred and that this will be repaired as soon as possible or
  • unfortunately some people were hurt and the school is currently doing everything possible for those people eg ambulance was called immediately, there will be ongoing medical assistance, school counsellor involved for those directly affected and others at school, other counsellors are coming from sister schools, etc.
  • the school / principal is sorry that this unfortunate event occurred, all procedures have been followed and that everything possible will be done to ensure that this won‟t happen again. If updating procedures is necessary then this will be done immediately.


Be available to keep the media updated as the situation changes or developments are made.

The 'The Difficult Media Circumstance and Appropriate Response' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from and

Blogs Necessary for School Marketing Plans

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Blogs - Blogs are becoming a very popular form of interactive, digital communication by internet users and are now necessary for schools and their school marketing plans. Content may be brief or extensive.


Blogs are used to allow interaction between the website’s administrator/s and the website’s visitors.

Schools could benefit considerably through the effective use of Blogs. These are ideal avenues to promote your school and the various messages you wish to place in the public or private domain.

These days so many people wish to be valued through their involvement and feedback - blogs are one highly regarded avenue for them to achieve this.

Blog Posts

The website’s / blog’s administrators write a Blog Post (comment, information, news, challenge, etc.) and publish this to their website’s blog page. Blog Posts may also include photos, videos, audios and other graphic presentations.

The visitor to your website’s blog page would then have the option to comment on your blog post’s content.

Blog Posts may be of any length and literary style depending on the target audience. However, in most cases, brevity is the norm in these days of mass communication overload. Think newspaper article lengths for most blog posts. As a general guide I work on 200-300 words per blog post. 300 words is often quoted for a good SEO.

You need to make sure that the administrator has the option to accept or reject all comments posted in response to the blog post. If the blog post is available to the public, you need to be prepared to receive all sorts of comments, including spam (mainly advertising links). Unsuitable comments would then be deleted.

Two Major Blog Uses for Schools

School Marketers could use blogs in two primary ways:

•   School website Blog
•   External Blog sites, which you would point (link) back to your school website.


More detail showing how necessary school blogs and school marketing blogs are, may be found in the e-book: School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed) 2010 by Bryan Foster.

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