Giving strategic advice on communications to a primary school… that was a first for me. But when OBS de Optimist, a primary school in Hoofddorp, asked me for help I didn’t hesitate.
The school had trouble reaching parents, especially the ones that were about to choose a school for their kids. They wanted me to have a critical look at their website for some honest feedback and to tell them more about social media. In the end, their communications team wanted to be able to do the job on their own, so my aim was to provide them with sturdy basics, new inspiration and enough knowledge to tackle challenges to come.
A logical starting point was the existing channel: the website. After analyzing the site and interviewing one of the teachers, I set up a brief strategic document, emphasizing the core values and the way the school wanted to be seen by parents: enthousiastic, warm, sportive and with an emphasize on creating a ‘lust for learning’.
Now it was time to ‘clean up’ the website. The menu was kind of cluttered and information was repeated on several pages. Furthermore, the style of the texts didn’t match the values and image that the school wanted to have. We limited the menu-options to create a cleaner look, after which I edited the texts to get rid of the duplications and apply a more informal, fun and enthousiastic tone of voice.
The final question concerned social media: what to do with it? I adviced the school to set up a Facebookpage but let Twitter or any other channels rest for now. Since communications is an on-the-side-job for the team, you don’t want them to get stressed out by too much channels that they have to keep updated. Together, we set up the Facebookpage and after a small course, the teachers are now enthousiastically using it. Within a day, the school had more than 100 followers, most of them parents. This number is ever growing.
I guess that the most important result of my work is that the team got inspired. They rediscovered how proud they are to be working at De Optimist and they want to spread the message. They are even checking out options to make a short introduction-video that they can spread. They are curious for new opportunities and with the social and online basics ready, they can pursue this curiousity and take the next step in their communications plans.
I can’t wait for more homework. School has never been this much fun 😉