The Columbus Public Schools Foundation is looking to build upon the success of its marketing strategies during the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
CPS Marketing/Foundation Executive Director Nicole Anderson went through the progress the organization made in creating better exposure for Columbus Public Schools during the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education meeting held Monday evening in the CPS Public Schools Administration Building, 2508 27th St.
From January onward, the organization created a brand new website, several new social media initiatives, cleaned out the alumni database, gave students thousands of dollars in scholarships, presented awards to the top educator and employee in the district and supported initiatives and special events taking place within the district. All of this was folded into one vital theme: “I Am A Discoverer."
“That goes beyond myself as an (alumna),” Anderson said. “It goes from everything I believe in marketing and communications. It goes from start to finish. Our people are our best form of marketing we could have.”
Those people have helped drive a significant spike in communication on Facebook within the district. The Facebook pages for each of the schools, for the district itself and for the alumni association all saw increases of varying sizes. CPS itself saw its Facebook followers soar around 5,500 people by the time school ended in May.
“The important thing that we’re seeing is that we’re growing,” Anderson said. “We’re consistently growing in all areas. A few are growing quicker and bigger than others. By next year, I’d like to see this even out more, where we push more on the individual schools that we then share to the district site instead of posting on the district site and reversing it back up to the schools. That kind of growth is pretty phenomenal for a short period of time.”
Of course, most of this occurred when CPS was in session. With very little happening from a school environment during the summer months of June through August, the district is hard-pressed to maintain the level of engagement and followers it had earlier in the year. Anderson has some ideas to keep engagement high and keep people looking at the CPS social media accounts during summer break.
“We’ve been putting some things out about different reading things that they could do (during the summer),” Anderson said. “A reading for math (and) kids recipes, because we know any cooking video is one of the hottest things on social media that you could have. We found a few of those things and we’ll try to do one of those a week just trying to keep people engaged.”
With the 2019-20 school year fast approaching, Anderson and her team are ready to bring forth new and improved strategies to help market school initiatives. With a successful branding campaign already paying dividends, she now wants to facilitate better usage of digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help maintain the momentum. Increased communication among staff and administrators is another key goal. Everything that Anderson and her team do all goes back to the main theme of “I Am A Discoverer”.
“I don’t think that we haven’t promoted CPS from top to bottom,” Anderson said. “I was a Lost Creek Eagle (in elementary school), but during that whole time, when someone went to state, I was a Discoverer. We would go and watch the kids at state. I was always a Discoverer even though I was a Lost Creek Eagle or a CMS Midshipman. We really want to take that through and have that culture go throughout the district.”
Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.