I hope you are relaxing a bit this summer. After all as the Gershwin lyrics proclaim, “Summer time and the living is easy…”
The classic Broadway hit contains a PR truth. August presents a wonderful opportunity for savvy educators and administrators to gain free media coverage for their schools. Sounds counterintuitive, I know. Yet, think about it. School is out, many business slow down. Nevertheless, radio and TV stations have to fill airtime, and newspapers must fill pages. Editors who feel the dearth of stories don’t want to sacrifice their credibility by running boring fillers. That’s where you can step in, fill the void, cultivate relationships with the media, and create a win-win situation.
What’s Your Story?
We discussed the importance of pitching stories strategically in past issues. While it’s nice to gather clips; they are not your only goal. If you missed What’s Your Story, a PR pitching primer, click here.
Your smiling graduation pictures along with lists of your high school/seminary/yeshiva in Israel/Gap Year/College acceptances have appeared in the local news. Wondering what else to pitch? Here are some story ideas to make your schools summer PR sizzle.
Promote an educational goal such as reading or reinforcing a foreign language
“Nothing, it’s summer!” was the clear response I received the other day when, after buying lemonade from my entrepreneurial ten-year old neighbor, I asked, “Read any good books lately?” Ask your reading specialist to provide five summer reading tips for different ages. Be sure she mentions community resources such as your local library’s summer reading program. In fact, pictures of your students at the library demonstrating how day school students are part of – not apart from – your community may be important to your school’s particular perception, recruitment, and retention challenges.
Reinforce a foreign language
Many foreign language teacher say, “Use it or lose it.” And while daily Tefilah, weekly Parsha review and other studies, are probably part of your students’ lives; they do not reinforce Modern Hebrew language skills. Ask one of your Hebrew teachers to offer Five Easy Ways to Reinforce Language Skills. If you are pitching to a non–Jewish newspaper be sure to ensure your article’s universal appeal by making it clear that the skills described apply to all foreign languages.
Enable high school students to build their brag sheets
Meaningful, interesting, and even quirky extracurriculars help high school students stand out from the crowd when applying to competitive colleges. While a summer stint doesn’t replace long-term commitment, it offers students time to explore new possibilities. Even students who worked at summer jobs often find themselves with down time in late August before school starts. Editors might appreciate your list of five suggestions to jump-start your High School Brag Sheet!
Click here to read To Summer Sizzle – part II
Should you have any questions about PR Pitches, developing and implementing a winning PR and fundraising plan, or about any of my cost-effective day school services, please feel free to send me an email or call me at 516.569.8070.