Changes in School Leadership: Highlighting Your Team’s Value

The words success, goal, strategy, teamwork, and analyze interconnected with items and images throughout. Image accompanies a blog post titled "New Leadership, New Chapter: Highlighting Your Team's Value" by Samantha Chaffin and Brian Smith. Both are Lead Partner Strategists at Truth Tree, the award-winning digital marketing agency for schools.

By Samantha ChaffinLead Partner StrategistTruth Tree and Brian Smith, Lead Partner Strategist, Truth Tree

Change is a natural part of any school community, and sometimes a new leader at the helm can bring a fresh perspective. But for those working in advancement, development, marketing, communications, and/or admissions, this transition can sometimes feel unsettling.

With a new leader entering the picture, you might be asking yourself: 

  • Do I have to ‘start over’ defending my role to a new Head of School… again?
  • Am I seen as essential to my school?
  • Will we have enough students for me to have a job?
  • What if the new director wants to change the way we do things?

Here’s the good news: Your previous efforts have laid the foundation for the school’s success! This blog post is a guide to showcase your team’s fantastic work and how to share your expertise with new leadership.

  • The School’s Story: Every school is unique, and while you know what sets your school apart, your leader won’t yet have this lived experience. Share your school’s branding and messaging guide with new leaders to provide them with a clear understanding of how your school presents itself to the outside world.
  • Strategic Roadmap: Introduce the school’s strategic plan and its current progress. This helps everyone understand the overall goals and the roles different departments play in achieving them.
  • Meet the Partners: Schedule a meeting with your team and relevant agencies (like us!) to help everyone get acquainted and ensure a smooth transition in ongoing projects.
  • Success Stories: Compile case studies or testimonials from previous marketing campaigns or events that showcase the team’s positive impact (if you outsource any marketing, your agency can assist with this).
  • Open Communication: Schedule regular meetings (weekly or bi-weekly) between you/your team and the new leader, and establish a standard of open communication from the beginning. 
Aerial image of six people gathered around a table with computers, printed charts, tablets, coffee, and a pair of glasses. Image is representative of a meeting between school marketing, admissions, and leadership.
  • Show, Don’t Tell: Create a timeline showcasing your team’s annual plan of action. Include regular events like photo shoots, campus tours, and open houses.
  • Metrics Matter: Go beyond just showcasing events. Include data points that demonstrate the success of your work. For example, share website traffic statistics, social media engagement metrics, or application numbers before and after implementing a new campaign. Pro tip: use charts, graphs, and infographics to make information easily digestible.
  • Knowledge Hub: If you don’t already have one, this is the perfect opportunity to develop a user-friendly guide to your various systems and how they’re used by the school, including: student information systems and databases, admission management or donor relations software, email marketing platforms, your website CMS, and more. A simple spreadsheet can be a great way to explain these systems at a glance (and it can serve as a fantastic resource for future projects or team onboarding).
  • Grant Digital Access: Related to the above, make sure new leaders have access to necessary digital spaces and online tools.
Screenshot of Enrollytics™ dashboard and report options. Enrollytics™ is a marketing intelligence platform providing data and analytics an all marketing efforts and channels in one place. Enrollytics™ is designed by Truth Tree's digital marketing team of experts.
Screenshot of an "enrollment chart" showing a school's enrollment from 2014 through 2024. This is sample data. The image is meant to showcase the importance of enrollment data.
  • Enrollment Goals & Insights: Provide an overview of current and future enrollment goals. Share information on your target audience, the kind of families you are aiming to attract, and how you plan to do it.
  • Data Drives Decisions: Highlight the importance of historical enrollment data, including the number of inquiries, applications, and acceptances, as well as how families found out about the school. Analyzing this data helps refine strategies and measure success.
  • Competitor Analysis: If relevant, share information about competitor schools and their marketing strategies. Highlighting your unique selling points compared to competitors strengthens your value proposition.
  • Embrace Feedback: Encourage new leadership to provide feedback on your team’s work. There are so many benefits that a little fresh perspective can bring to your team’s processes, and your new leader may have tricks of the trade to share from previous roles. 

Missy Speyrer

Associate Director of Marketing & Sales, Truth Tree

In 8 years, we had 4 different Heads of School. Each had a different leadership style and value of marketing, so it was always nerve-wracking to be starting over.

  • Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate past successes of your team with the new leadership. This builds morale and reinforces the value your team brings.
  • Be Prepared: Anticipate any questions new leadership might have about your department and past, present, and future operations. Having answers readily available demonstrates your team’s preparedness. You’ll want to be able to explain any dips or hurdles in your data highlighting and the actions taken in response.
  • Be Proactive: Identify potential challenges associated with upcoming marketing initiatives and present possible solutions to the new leader.

By following these tips, you can effectively communicate the value your team brings to the school. Remember, collaboration and open communication pave the way for smooth changes in leadership and continued success for your school!

Is it time to bring in the experts?

Maybe a change in leadership is the perfect time to pitch the idea of partnering with digital marketing pros to elevate your digital visibility.

Identify your school’s next digital marketing move.