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Making an Emotional Connection with Your Marketing

In today’s rapidly evolving educational landscape, the digital world seamlessly blends with the tangible, putting added pressure on schools to thoughtfully plan enrollment marketing. Too many schools think of their enrollment season as a simple transaction of filling out forms. For families, however, picking a school is an emotional decision. So, how can schools forge an emotional connection? 

In this webinar hosted by Rise Vision, CEL Vice Presidents Janet Swiecichowski and Chelsea Janke delve into the essence of creating such connections, offering insights and strategies that transcend traditional marketing approaches.

Janet Swiecichowski, EdD, Vice President of CEL PR, expressed her enthusiasm about the webinar, stating, “Our partnership with Rise Vision to enhance strategies for schools brings valuable insights to busy K-12 educators. Every school can benefit from proactive messaging and marketing to connect with stakeholders and build brand ambassadors. Visual communication and digital marketing go hand-in-hand.”[/vc_column_text]

In “Making an Emotional Connection for Your School Marketing,” we believe schools must do more than merely inform; they must inspire, engage, and connect on a deeply personal level with students, parents, and the broader community. In a world where choices abound and attention spans are fleeting, the ability to make a meaningful impact through emotional engagement can set a school apart, turning passive observers into school advocates.

School marketing is changing. The decline in birth rates, alongside an increasingly competitive landscape, has heightened the urgency for schools not just to attract but to meaningfully engage and retain students and families. It’s no longer sufficient to have a marketing plan; schools need an enrollment marketing strategy that is both robust and responsive to the changing dynamics of family choices and expectations.

  1. Understanding the needs of your customers
  2. Connecting with families on their time via their channels
  3. Sharing stories that connect with their hopes and dreams
  4. Building human connections and relationships that honor the uniqueness of each child

Storytelling and Personal Connection 

Let’s explore the power of storytelling and personal outreach in creating emotional connections. Following the pandemic, Salina Public Schools engaged in an intentional effort to reach out to lost students with a simple yet profound message: “We miss you.” The personal touch included a phone call and a note from the principal. The personal outreach coupled with a multi-channel campaign rooted in the district’s unique narrative of “Greatness Grows Here.” This symbiotic relationship between emotional engagement and strategic marketing yielded enrollment growth and evolved the district’s brand.

Internal Marketing Propels External Marketing

The intricacies of internal marketing focus on the pivotal role of teachers and staff as brand ambassadors. In an environment where teachers are hesitant to recommend their profession, the need to uplift and celebrate the impact of their work has never been more critical. By sharing stories of impact and fostering a culture of pride and recognition, school communicators can inspire their staff to become vocal advocates for their schools, thereby enhancing its appeal to prospective families and staff.

Define Your Brand Voice

Defining your brand voice is critical to effectively communicating your identity to prospective families and staff. Take Laura Jeffrey Academy, a public charter school led by teachers, which offers exceptional educational experiences for students. Despite their outstanding offerings, their lack of a defined brand voice left prospective families uncertain about the school’s identity. By helping them develop their brand and articulate the unique characteristics of their institution, we witnessed a remarkable transformation. Today, their enrollment has surged by an impressive 233%, showcasing the power of a well-defined brand voice in attracting and engaging stakeholders. 

The Digital Front Door

Online is a critical battleground for schools aiming to make a connection with young parents. From the importance of having a responsive, mobile-friendly online presence to the strategic use of social media and digital signage, our webinar offered actionable insights into harnessing the power of digital tools to tell compelling stories.

Make it easy for parents to engage on their smartphones. This means fewer full-page PDFs and more searchable content on your websites. Think about key phrases and questions, and write in a conversational tone that parents will relate to — and also be found in search. 

Don’t Forget Face-to-Face

Amidst all your digital strategies, the enduring value of face-to-face interactions is an irreplaceable element of emotional connection. Events like ice cream socials, open houses, and personalized outreach initiatives serve as powerful platforms for schools to demonstrate their commitment to the community. Informal interactions demonstrate the ability to care, listen to, and respond to families’ needs and aspirations and build relationships that extend beyond the transactional.



Watching this webinar, you will see the transformative power of making an emotional connection in school marketing. A successful marketing mix integrates storytelling, personal outreach, internal marketing, and digital engagement. Making personal connections not only attracts but sustains a vibrant, engaged, and committed community. 

As we navigate the complexities of modern marketing, let us remember that at the heart of every strategy, campaign, and initiative lies the simple yet profound goal of connecting humans, heart to heart.


Published on: March 12, 2024