Here are our top tips to engage all staff (please add your own by commenting):
1. Ask staff what is great about your school - and what's stopping it being great!
Staff focus groups and questionnaires are an important part of information gathering about your school. Teachers know the little things that make up a school - the kindness, the extra support when needed. At the same time you need to listen when they say that the messages you are putting out aren't being delivered. You then need to work on changing your school - or your messages!
2. Encourage staff to tell you stories - then use them.
As well as meaningful messages, stories are an essential part of marketing a school and stopping your communications sound too, well, 'marketing'! You need to know which students have done especially well, which school events showcase your messages, and indeed which teachers you can use as exemplars. To do this, make sure to get out and about, attend meetings, have lunch with teachers and put finding stories on department agendas! And of course you need to use the stories, and let the teachers know you're using them!
3. Let staff bring key messages to life.
It's vital that when visitors come to your school that everyone has a clear and coherent message. But reciting the latest vision statement isn't the answer - can they demonstrate how their team, department or year group is living the vision? The best way to do this is to work with departments to create their own response. Doing this will also make your school website, prospectus or video so much more engaging.
4. Involve staff in event and open day planning.
The worst Open Event I've ever seen was one in a school where each teacher was given a classroom and told to 'do something interesting' with no central input. The best ones are true group efforts where staff and marketing work together to create a coherent event. You should also ensure that staff know what is going on in different parts of the school and what is going to be said in speeches. This article gives our advice on making an 'Open Day to Remember'!
5. Empower staff to share your content.
Staff are an important part of your school and are highly trusted by current and former students and parents (86% of the general public would trust teachers to tell the truth, compared to 21% of politicians, according to this survey). Any marketing strategy needs to seek to engage their networks - whether giving them copies of newsletter to pass on to their communities, or encouraging them to share stories via social media.
6. Find out and use their skills - from proof-reading to music to video creation....
Teachers have a wide range of skills you will know about (asking English teachers to proof-read or Maths teachers to help manage data), as well as hidden skills from general interest or previous careers. I've worked in schools with former journalists, videographers, photographers and set designers. This article gives advice to unearth these skills.
7. Let staff know how marketing is going.
Any staff giving their time to help marketing need to know that their input matters - and regular updates on numbers attending events, registering interest and so on will help. You should also feed back positive comments that relate to their input and create a virtuous circle for the future.