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Heather McPherson, Director of Advancement at Children’s Community School

It is our job to illuminate our schools with stories.

All publicity is good publicity….you want people to have heard of your school, even if what they believe about the school is incorrect or negative.

Find your story and lean into it. 
Everyone has a compelling story. Think about your students, the mission of the school, teachers, history of the school. There’s a movie there. Be as authentically yourself as you can be when you talk about the school.

Make your school tour exciting. Stop using phrases like, “love of learning.” Those phrases are overused and trite.

Our school is not for everybody, and your school should not be for everybody. Parents need the leadership of a strong mission to move and inspire them. Your school can not be all things to all people.

Your story should be dynamic. Parents don’t necessarily know what makes a good school.

Don’t apologize for things about your school that other people might perceive as negative. Lean into those things…tell the stories associated with those things. Example: Children’s Community School is in a low income neighborhood. When Heather stopped apologizing for that, she was able to share authentic stories about how the location contributes to diversity and the diversity is part of growing the whole student.

Host parent education events. Think long term. These are ways to get your name into the community.

You will not please everyone. 

Your website MUST BE FANTASTIC. Your website must be geared toward prospective parents. You can have a place for current parents, but the main landing page should be for the interested lookers.