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Back-to-school season is fast approaching and it’s not just brands and retail shops that are gearing up for the yearly event. Believe it or not, there is one other vertical that is also preparing for back-to-school season – the schools themselves!

With summer winding down, elementary and secondary schools across the nation are getting their tools and processes in place before the start of the near year. If your school is searching for a powerful communication tool that can help you share news and updates with students, parents, faculty, and the community more efficiently and effectively? Keep reading, this post is for you.

While we spend the majority of our blog posts focusing on how brands, non-profits, or higher education institutions can utilize an advocacy marketing program to help meet their communication goals, the fact is that almost any entity can benefit from an advocacy marketing program. 

To help illustrate the shear communication power of an advocacy marketing program, we’ve laid out 5 of our favorite ways we’ve seen elementary and secondary schools utilize advocacy marketing.

What Does An Elementary or Secondary School’s Advocacy Marketing Program Look Like?

While most advocacy marketing programs focus on driving sales or building social awareness, elementary and secondary school advocacy marketing programs tend to instead focus on amplifying content. That is, getting more parents, students, and faculty to view important information and announcements. 

The SocialToaster platform helps to further support this use-case by providing schools with two ways to distribute content. Either through a socially-shareable post (that recipients can then easily share to their personal social media feeds) or via non-shareable emails. 

Not only can SocialToaster help distribute content, but it can also help your school track how that content is being engaged and who is actively viewing (or not viewing) the content that is being shared with them. 

Recruiting Into Your School’s Advocacy Marketing Program 

The first step when launching an advocacy marketing program is to secure the platform that you’re going to use to manage the program. The second step: recruitment. 

To get the most out of your advocacy marketing program, you’re going to need to actively recruit your participants. For schools, this would be parents, faculty, alumni, and (for secondary schools) students. 

Here are a couple of best practices to keep in mind for your recruitment efforts:

  1. Don’t expect a one-time announcement to be enough. You need to regularly be pushing the program and pushing recruitment. We’re talking flyers, posters, and announcements at major events.
  2. Be sure to share the benefits of the program with your intended recruits. Address the question every potential advocate will ask, “Why should I care about joining the program.” 
  3. Make the joining process seamless. SocialToaster does this by allowing you to create a custom landing page that your advocates can use to easily join your program. 

5 Interactive Ways Elementary & Secondary Schools Can Use Advocacy Marketing

With your program launched and your audience recruited, the next step is to start sharing content! Here are just a couple of the different types of content commonly shared by elementary and secondary schools. 

1) Share Upcoming School Events

First-and-foremost, you can use your school’s advocacy marketing program to share information promoting upcoming events. Football games, school theatre performances, or specialty events can all be promoted through an advocacy marketing program. 

Even better, when you share this information with parents and faculty through an advocacy marketing program, they’re able to easily then share that content on their social media platforms. Which means more visibility around your upcoming event, which in turn can help push ticket sales, drive volunteer solicitation, or support any other key need. 

2) Send Updates and News to Parents

Don’t want all of the notices and information you share to be posted onto a social media profile? The SocialToaster platform allows you to designate whether or not a piece of content can be shared. This is incredibly helpful for schools who want to send announcements of testing procedures or school picture days privately to only the impacted students, parents, and faculty. 

3) Drive Awareness of Fundraising Efforts

Does your school regularly take part in fundraising activities? Whether you’re raising money for the community, caused-based events, the school, or even specific clubs in school, you can use advocacy marketing to drive awareness of the fundraising effort and push potential donors directly to a donation solicitation page. 

4) Announce Alumni Events

As anyone who has ever planned a high school reunion will tell you, it isn’t always easy to keep tabs on alumni. People move towns, change names, and swap addresses and phone numbers. If you’re struggling to retain connections with your alumni organization, consider utilizing an advocacy marketing platform to help manage your alumni database.

The SocialToaster program lets you tag your advocates in order to sort them into specific groupings. Which means you can designate your advocates by both their relationship to your school (parent vs alumni vs faculty) as well as their associated graduation year.

This designation will allow you to easily send notices about reunions, homecomings, and other key alumni events to a specific graduation class 

5) Highlight Staff and Faculty

Each of the use cases described above has to do with leveraging an advocacy marketing program to distribute content and information to an audience. In contrast, this use case is all about highlighting your amazing staff and/or faculty. 

It’s no surprise to hear that a teacher may feel undervalued, or a custodial engineer might voice concerns of being taken for granted. While advocacy marketing won’t solve all of those issues, it can provide a way for a school to give a public shout-out and display its appreciation for all the hard work put in by teachers, faculty, and admins throughout the school year. 

Launch Your Advocacy Marketing Program Today

With the start of the school year fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to sign up for your school’s advocacy marketing program. The beginning of the year is an ideal time to roll out a new communications platform. Ready to get started? We can help. Schedule your free email today by sending us an email, filling out a contact form, or giving us a call at 855.62.TOAST!