Idea # 1: Define your program before you market it.
Before you begin to market your program, print brochures, create a web page, etc. you need to be clear about exactly what it is you are marketing. How many different types of programs does your school offer? Are they evening programs, intensive academic programs, tutorials? I have been surprised how many times I have asked program coordinators and managers about their programs and they can only answer in vague terms. Listen to the difference between these two possible responses:
“Oh we do a bit of everything…”
“We offer part-time programs for teens and adults from the beginner through advanced levels. In addition, we run a successful workplace learning program, specializing in the manufacturing industry with workers mainly from Asia.”
The person who can give a 10-second definition of his program is more likely to have a clear, directed marketing approach that will fill seats and increase enrollment.
Some people would call this a mission statement. That’s another way of thinking about it, but the idea of developing a mission statement can be overwhelming to some people, so I like to keep things simple and clear.
The bottom line is, if you can’t define what it is that you do best, nobody will know. Take a few minutes to write down the most important points about your program and courses. Then check with others at the school to see if they would agree. Your objective is to come up with a short, concise definition of your overall program.
This post is an excerpt from 101 Ways to Market Your Language Program
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.