The days of sipping lukewarm coffee and touring the cafeteria are gone. Just as school leaders must now consider themselves brand managers, campus visits must be considered opportunities to market your product to your most important stakeholders. Therefore, principals must take time on the front-end to create a strategy, message, and desired outcomes for school visits.
The best way to make a lasting impact and not overwhelm your visitors with information is to feature one program, initiative, or student story that is particularly successful and inspiring. Your attendees are most likely to remember one student, teacher, or exercise, so don’t go overboard with showing off impressive facilities, every advanced class setting, or multiple programs that do different things. Tell a story.
Your story will be even better if the selected pilot program, initiative, or course offering can be backed by strong statistics and outcomes showing how students have benefitted from it.
Here are other strategic planning considerations:
- Do you partner with outside entities (i.e. state agencies, non-profits, local businesses, universities, etc.) to provide a unique and effective program?
- Which attendees could help you accomplish your purpose/goals? Think legislators, legislative staff, community leaders, business officials, parent influencers, etc.
- Consider planning around frequency of tours, invitees, blending groups and specialized groups.