Education Marketing and Advancement

Objectivity, transparency, and a collaborative spirit

Marketing Therapy

with Mike Connor

The Third Dimension of Value: Constituent Orientation (Series 6 of 9)


The sixth of nine blogs in serial format, adapted from Mike Connor’s Cornerstone Keynote Address at the Association of Independent Schools Admission Professionals’ (AISAP) Annual Institute in Nashville, July 8, 2013. Connor addressed 200 admission professionals from around the world. Connor's topic: Becoming Your Own Brand and Value Proposition!

A "constituent orientation." We could call it customer service, though it’s more than that.  This part of the value proposition is about convenience, empathy, advocacy, consideration, and creating community.   How can your school simplify your parents’ lives?  How can your school alleviate some of their pain points? 

“Hey, at these prices,” your parents are thinking, “Show me a little love already!” 

Again, as enrollment management officers you may be in the middle, but your success depends on your school providing this important element of value.  If you see your job as being your customer’s best advocate and you are deputizing others to do this with you, then you are leading from the middle. 

Here’s the one word about this third element of value that I want you to remember.


I learned this in no uncertain terms when I was 10 years old.  I had a bad habit of keeping my ride to school waiting.  (I still blame the oatmeal. I swear it kept growing in my bowl the longer I sat there. I could never get to the bottom of it. I couldn’t leave the table until I finished it). 

Finally, mom had enough. Or maybe she got a call from the other mom who was driving us to school that year.  

She told me, “The longer you keep them waiting, Michael, the more time you give them to talk about your faults.”

St. Paul talks about faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these, according to mom, is consideration, which is a form of love, isn’t it?

How are you ensuring that your school is showing consideration for the needs of the constituencies it relies on for support?  Do you make meetings and school activities convenient?

Are you ensuring parents feel a sense of connectedness with the school by updating them regularly? Are you training them to be effective parents and educational partners with you?

Are you promoting a sense of community within the school? Are the families viewed as an extension of the school? And is the school a part of the greater community? 

You must ensure the school has a constituent orientation if you wish to create value!

A little consideration goes a long way.


Next: The Fourth Dimension of Value:  Cost-Consciousness and Stewardship

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