Part 3b: Identify Target Audiences

Step 1: Identify Target Audiences

School Marketing Matters

The most obvious audience members are parents. However, there are many others who may or may not have direct contact with your school or the district, yet impact schools nonetheless - taxpayer votes on bond or tax issues and school board elections are some examples.

We need support from all taxpayers, and they need to know that we are providing a very good educational value for the tax dollars they spend. They also need to know that a quality school district enhances their property values.

Your target audiences may include (but are not limited to):

  • Parents/guardians

  • Students

  • Taxpayer subcategories:

    • parents of school-age kids within our district

    • parents of school-age kids outside the district

    • one income, no kids

    • dual income, no kids

    • parents of older, non school-age kids

    • financially secure senior citizens

    • fixed income senior citizens

  • Employees

  • Media

  • Service organizations

  • Business leaders

  • Business/school partners

  • Realtors

  • Developers

  • Homebuyers

  • Parent support groups

  • Volunteers

  • Student alumni

  • Advisory committees

  • Dropouts

  • Special interest groups such as churches or homeowner associations

  • Non-parents like preschool parents, young adults and senior citizens

  • Government leaders or agencies, which includes city, county, state or national

  • Education leaders or agencies such as other school districts, the County Office of Education, etc.

Among your parents and families, there may be specific types identified with the research you conducted for your school:

  • Low-income families with health and nutritional needs

  • Non English-speaking parents

  • Non-parent guardians, including grandparents, extended family, foster care, etc.

  • Young parents with their first child entering school

  • Parents with special needs children

  • Single working parents who need before/after-school care

  • Two working parents who need before/after-school care

  • Transient families

  • Parents with several children

  • Parents who want strict discipline

  • Parents who are interested in bolstering their child's self-esteem

  • Parents who want a strong "basics" approach

  • Older parents

You probably want to attract several audiences, but avoid spreading yourself too thin or you won't be seen as meeting specific needs for each audience. Trying to be all things to all people will not help to strengthen your school's reputation. Choose the top 3-5 audiences that you most need to reach within your community. You'll then be matching them with the best characteristics your school can offer and creating effective messages to reach them.