You may have the best school, the best faculty, brilliant students, etc., etc. But if you aren't exposing it to as many people as possible, your market will be significantly reduced. Here are some 21st century ways of promoting your school.
Twitter is part of something called social media. Create a Twitter account just for your school. Don't restrict access to the account. All you are going to use this account for is promotional material and public announcements and the like. Confidential information for parents and faculty is best circulated in the usual manner, i.e., via email or printed documents as necessary.
Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters just like a text message on your cellphone. But you can tweet photos and links to websites. What do you send out via Twitter? Anything you want the world outside your community to know. Stuff like sports scores and events announcements are the sort of thing schools using Twitter tweet on a regular basis. Who should manage your school's Twitter account? Your public relations staff and/or the admissions staff.
Schools are discovering that Facebook is a powerful tool for reaching alumni. Unlike Twitter it is easy to aggregate all your posts on your Facebook site. It's a great place to store photo galleries of alumni events, games and all the other exciting, wonderful happenings and news you want your community at home and abroad to be a part of.
A Professional Website
The home-grown websites many schools used to publish using Front Page are simply not up to the job in the 21st century. You need a professionally designed, secure website which allows your community and potential families to interact easily with the school and its staff. Online admissions materials and ways to give money to the school are all part of that professional package. If you don't spend the money to produce a great website, you are missing the boat, not to mention, hundreds of potential clients and donations.
Most schools join their state or regional independent school association. It's also a good idea to join national associations such as NAIS, TABS, NAPSEC, AACS and others. Keep your contact information and website address current in those listings.
Listings on sites like this one are free and offer wide exposure to a world-wide audience. Paid listings in old line directories such as Petersons.com and The Bunting and Lyon Blue Book also get you lots of attention especially from education professionals and consultants.
Listings on a website such as Boarding School Review and its sister site Private School Review are a must these days. Make sure your listing is complete and appealing. It is also worth spending money on their paid advertisements too.
To Sum Up
Marketing your school successfully in today's highly competitive environment requires presenting your message in many different ways. Think outside the box. Network like mad. Your school will get noticed.