Marketing and Publicity in Virtual Schools


Establishing a virtual school requires buy in from all of the stakeholders in your community. In order to win that, and it is something that has to be won, your message has to be clear, ethical, and seen as driven from an altruistic motive, which of course it will be. This type of school is by its nature non-traditional, and will be seen as a change to current environment. It’s safe to say that when you introduce change, it has to be done in a careful way, and with great care given to bringing the right people on board with you.

Who are those people? That depends on your community. With us, it begins and ends with students and their needs. A good point was brought up this morning by Dan while we were in a conversation with an administrator from Texas: “If we are preparing our students for college, this might be something we should look into because this is what they will see when they get there.”

Otherwise, counselors are also people who need to brought on (see below), the public, administrators, teachers, parents, etc., are going to be wary of adding this to your district’s offerings.

Marketing and Student Outreach

Sharing what courses looked like

* teachers and administrators need to see that what you are offering online is comparable to what is being offered in the classroom
* Samples from existing virtual schools

Access

* making sure that your students/teacher have access to the classes.
* Assess what your population has in terms of connection and bandwidth
o survey
o assessment of what we can offer if there is low bandwidth

Counselors are the gateway to the students getting access to the classes.

* Sell the counselors on the idea, and the students will follow into the classes.
* This makes perfect sense because counselors tend to know the needs of specific students as well as the general trends for overall grade levels because they analyze the trends that students exhibit while registering for classes.
o also can read emotional needs much more clearly

Get the name out there

* products with emblems
* How do we publicize this? And in publicizing the virtual school, would be we be unethical in relation to the other subjects? Seriously, no one advertises their Economics 101 class during scheduling?
* But why not? This might show passion and energy that student might pick up on. Interesting

Customer Service training is integral to building a successful school in this light

* treating people with care and genuine concern takes the stigma out of online classes being impersonal
* the initial meeting is the beginning of this process. Once the students are enrolled and participating in the classes, the personal nature of the teacher/student relationship furthers this.

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