Ambassadorship: A Powerful Recruitment Tool

Think about the last time you purchased something online or at the store. What convinced you to buy the product? Was it the result of great reviews you read? A recommendation from a friend or acquaintance? Perhaps you had used it before and found it to be a positive benefit in your life? Our experience as a day school has shown that the single best indicator of whether a prospective parent chooses our school is whether they received a positive review from another parent. When we share our passion and excitement about a school with other parents, provide accurate information and connect them to the right resources, we have the power to increase enrollment and reduce attrition.

Nearly two years ago, our school embarked on Prizmah’s recruitment program, Atidenu. We reached out to numerous parents, board members, faculty and community members to evaluate our value proposition and explore areas for market growth. We also worked with expert coaches in the areas of marketing, branding and ambassadorship.

We selected specific parent ambassadors to engage in an ambassadorship training program led by Prizmah. Ambassadors selected were positive advocates for the school and active members in one of our targeted market segments who were willing to take on this responsibility. The board of directors also participated in this training program. The goal was to help our ambassador teams understand the school’s value proposition and ways to utilize this information to engage in active outreach and retention efforts. After the in-person training session was complete, every ambassador was asked to come in for a tour of the school to ensure they had updated information and to answer any questions. Ambassadors were given an ambassadorship handbook, which provided information about the school.

In addition, ambassadors were assigned specific ambassador roles, such as attending outreach events, monitoring social media sites, following up with prospective parents after a tour, or helping with community relations. The admissions director communicated with the ambassador teams via video conference or email to monitor the successes and challenges, and ensure they had the tools necessary to be strong ambassadors for the school. Ambassadors were encouraged to spread positive word of mouth to their friends and acquaintances in the community and invite them for a tour of the school.

As a result of the ambassadorship program, our school received inquiries for kindergarten and bridge kindergarten much earlier in the admissions season, allowing more time to build meaningful relationships with prospective families. This led to increased enrollment in our bridge kindergarten program. Honing in on our value proposition also helped our ambassador teams to use shared language, allowing for consistent messaging about our school. Thanks to our ambassadors’ efforts in the community, we have also begun to connect more intentionally with community organizations to help in recruitment and retention.

As we look to our future, we aim to continue improving the ways we support and rally our ambassador teams. We also plan to implement a student ambassadorship program.

Author
Philippa Lichterman
Issue
School Advocacy
Knowledge Topics
Recruitment and Retention