Education Marketing and Advancement

Objectivity, transparency, and a collaborative spirit

Resources for a better perspective.

Optimize Your School's MARCOM Efforts with a Communications Audit

Communications audits are analytical tools that provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses across the wide range of your communications-based efforts. As schools, organizations, and even small businesses operate from year to year, communications among each core constituency (e.g., alumni/ae, current families, donors, prospective families, faculty/staff, your board, and so on) are a focal point across many administrative functions. From emails to your current families to an annual mailer for Giving Tuesday to digital and social media ads, schools and institutions need to know what is working, and what isn’t, to improve communications and begin thinking more strategically.

It's What’s Inside That Counts: Maximizing Internal Marketing - Update 2016

As someone who has held nearly every position in independent schools, Connor outlines prescriptive roles for faculty, trustees, and administrators to support enrollment and advancement roles in schools.

Spotlight on Marketing: What Schools Can Learn From Business

This article by a former business marketer turned independent school Director of Communications has some thoughtful and practical insights for school heads, trustees, and senior administrators.  It was initially published in the February and April 2014 editions of the National Association of Independent Schools' The Savvy Trustee.

2013 State of the Independent School Admission Industry

A great report for anyone considering a career in Enrollment Management. The report scans the evolution of the profession and the skill sets required today.

Schools of the Future: Big Shifts in Education (Pat Bassett, former NAIS President)

Knowing vs. Doing; Teacher-Centered vs. Student Centered; The Individual vs. The Team; Consumption of Information vs. Construction of Meaning; Schools vs. Networks; Single-Sourcing vs. Crowd-Sourcing; High Stakes Testing vs. High-Value Demonstrations

Messaging and Branding: A How-To Guide (NAIS 2010)

A terrific resource by Peter Gow and Carol Cheney.  Thorough and detailed with tons of additional resources.

2013 NAIS Annual Conference, "Escaping the Tyranny of the Urgent!"

This condensed version of the 2012 ERB Conference Keynote Address sports new content--and addresses 7 ways to get off the hamster wheel of urgency so you can pay attention to the important work of creating a resilient school.

Standards & Competencies for Admission and Enrollment Management Professionals


The following standards from the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) seeks to identify current skills needed in the profession and underscores the leadership role that admission professionals play in advancing the mission of their schools.  Adapted September, 2012.

The Big Shifts in Education

Former NAIS President Pat Bassett is great at aggregating trends and presenting them in a way that make it relevant to all schools, not just independent schools.  Here's his take on seven major shifts on how education will be delivered in the future.  If teaching and learning is our product, communicators as well as faculty should take note.

Critical Priorities for Resilient Schools

Sometimes it helps to just know the right questions to ask.  These are the questions  Connor Associates believes are the most important for school trustees and senior administrators to ask – the answers will allow you to construct a strategic plan that will go beyond sustainability to resilience.

Parent Ambassador Network and Merit Scholarships

This ERB presentation by Lancaster Country Day School discusses the tactics, support materials, and organization of a great parent referral network.  As a bonus, they also describe an effective way to increase full pay families through partnerships with other mission appropriate companies and colleges.

Working with the Media 101

A crash course on the basics of the media advisory or news release and building symbiotic relationships with the media.

What Parents and Students Need From Teachers

It’s all about managing expectations!

CASE Principles of Practice for Communications and Marketing

Creating win-wins through ethics and operations.

Building Effective Boards

Trustees are being pressed into service with greater urgency as it becomes important  to create long term school partnerships with corporations and non-profits.  This will be necessary to both increase relevant experiences for students, as well enhance their school’s role as a community asset. This was compiled from various sources for a Summer 2012 board retreat conducted by Mike Connor.