25 Year-Round Marketing Ideas for Schools and Educators
Whether you run a small Montessori pre-K or a large public high school, you know that education is a constant endeavor. The back-to-school rush may get all the press, but there are 11 other months in the year after all!
Make sure you’re sending out the most helpful and high-value communications throughout the entire year by checking out our school marketing ideas below. Anyone who serves by teaching—educators, school administrators, daycare owners, tutors—can adapt these ideas to map out an easy school marketing calendar.
Year-Round Educational Marketing Must-Haves
Before we get into the season-by-season breakdown, we’ll start with a few marketing pieces that are recommended to have year-round:
- Newsletters: Monthly or quarterly newsletters are a fantastic way to build community among families of students and to share opportunities for fundraising, volunteering, and otherwise improving your educational center. You can also send out important announcements this way.
- Admissions packets: If you’re an application-only school, you’ll need to have admissions packets ready to send out to accepted students. Since this is one of the first real impressions a future student will have of your school, it’s worth making these look professional. (Branded letterhead and pocket folders can go a long way!)
- Informational brochures: Keep some general marketing brochures at the front desk of your school, just in case parents want something to take home. If you’re a nonprofit or private school that accepts donations, these school brochures can be a powerful donor acquisition tool as well.
- Parent resources: From the guidance counselor to the librarian, each of your school’s staff members likely has a whole list of go-to resources. Consider putting these into a professional brochure or postcard so they’re easier to distribute—and less likely to be overlooked by students or parents in need.
- School decor: Every few years or so, you’ll probably want to refresh the posters hanging in the halls. These print materials as important teaching opportunities where you can share critical messages about bullying, substance abuse, or violence.
Spring Marketing for Schools
In spring, students and teachers alike look forward to warmer weather and the eventual coming of summer. Here are some important marketing pieces to consider for your school’s springtime calendar:
- Spring sports: Lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field—there are tons of sports ramping up in the spring for kids of all ages. Tickets, programs, and fundraising flyers are all great options to hand out to fans in attendance.
- Testing brochures: Few things cause student and parent anxiety like upcoming tests. Assuage some of that concern by sending home a brochure to explain the logistics of test day, how to prepare, and last-minute test-taking tips. (Many students take the ACTs and SATs in spring, too!)
- Graduation invitations: Send out postcard invitations to families of graduates or save money on mailing by giving students flyers to take home in their backpacks.
- Graduation decor: Make the long-awaited day even more special for your graduates by investing in the decking out of your school. Supersized banners, eye-catching yard signs, and cool posters can make students feel special on graduation day. (Balloons and streamers are great, too!)
- Hiring materials: Spring is by far the busiest time for teacher and administrator hiring, and there’s no shortage of print marketing materials to help you get the word out. Check out our “now hiring” guide for detailed tips.
- Summer school ads: Many schools, daycares, and pre-Ks make a lot of their yearly revenue from extracurricular programs in the summer, which means late spring is the time to get the word out. Put a plug in your parent newsletter, send home flyers and brochures, or even mail out EDDM postcards if your summer programming is open to any local family.
Summer Marketing for Schools
“Schoooooool’s out for summer!” Catchy lyrics aside, school may not actually be out—and for ever-busy administrators, it’s definitely not. From advertising summer learning opportunities to preparing for the new school year, you have plenty on your marketing plate:
- “Now enrolling” ads: If your anticipated student enrollment is low, summer is a great time to get the numbers up. Many families move in the summer as well, which means there are certainly newcomers to the area looking for a reliable daycare or school. Post flyers, send out postcards, or do a local door-hanging campaign.
- Teacher training: Most schools host teacher and administrator in-service in the weeks just before school starts up again. If you’re printing a lot of training materials, consider placing them in a handy pocket folder for educators to take home.
- Back-to-school collateral: The start of the school year signals the end of summer. To build excitement, try hanging banners on school fences, staking out yard signs, or putting out posters! In addition to marketing messages that build excitement, consider logistical pieces like directional yard signs to help new students and parents navigate the property.
- Informational posters: A new school year means one thing: lots of new students, many of whom are confused and overwhelmed. Make it easier for kids by putting up informational school posters, such as maps, wayfinding directions, and bell schedules.
Fall Marketing for Schools
By the time fall rolls around, the back-to-school rush is over and the new school year isn’t quite so new. Here are some helpful marketing pieces to keep in mind during the autumn season:
- Football season: For much of the country, fall equals one thing: football. If your school is in a football-fanatic area, make sure to tap into the hype with huge banners, posters to display the season’s schedule, and postcards to advertise the biggest rivalry match-ups.
- Other sports: Of course, football’s not the only big game for most schools. Volleyball, basketball, and cross-country deserve their share of hype too!
- Back-to-school student materials: With the new school year ramping up, you’ll likely have many things to share with parents and students: schedules, syllabi, resources, etc. Flyers are a great way to pack in a lot of information while keeping the message attractive and easy to read.
- Event tickets: Fall is event season for many schools, whether it’s book fairs, fall festivals, or parent-teacher open houses. Make any event feel more special by designing customized tickets or handing out themed school stickers!
- Tutoring ads: If your school or afterschool center offers tutoring, now is the perfect time to invest in some marketing. As students get more into their classes, they’ll likely start to identify the subjects in which they need assistance.
Winter Marketing for Schools
As we enter the winter months, many students and parents are thinking of holidays and looking forward to a break from school and work. A few helpful communications might include the following:
- First semester reports: If your school offers end-of-semester reports, hand these out in pocket folders to keep everything together and looking professional.
- College application support: If you run a highschool or highschool-level tutoring center, winter is crunch time for most college applications. Early applications are usually due in November and standard applications in January—so early winter is the best time to advertise your application coaching or review services.
- Recitals and concerts: Holiday musicals, winter concerts, and themed plays can feel like a much bigger event if you hang fun posters around the venue or hand out tickets to students and families.
- Winter fundraising: With the end of the year approaching, many private and nonprofit schools are looking to get those final funds in place. Make sure your fundraising efforts are set up for success by getting the word out through flyers or brochures.
- Holiday greetings: Send out a quick postcard to your students—or EDDM postcards to local families if you want to increase awareness—to simply say happy holidays or to wish them a great new year.
Design and Print Your Essential School Marketing Pieces
What’s on your annual school marketing calendar? Whether it’s a regular parent newsletter or an afterschool program ad, you can design and print it in MyCreativeShop. Check out hundreds of school templates that you can customize in just a few minutes—perfect for even the busiest educator or administrator.