As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. And you won't get much time to make one either.
In fact, research suggests that you only have seven seconds when meeting in person. And even this reduces to two-tenths of a second online.
So, when choosing your school's ambassadors, you need to get it right. After all, they may be the first interaction prospects have with your school. It doesn't matter whether your ambassador program is digital or more traditional.
You should look for attributes like:
- Excellent communication and people skills
- Enthusiasm and commitment to your school
- An interest in helping prospects decide whether your school is right for them
These are necessary qualities of any effective ambassador for your school. But, you know what isn't a requirement? That they are a student.
In fact, when you get down to it, all kinds of people can be ambassadors.
Who can be an ambassador for your school?
1. Existing parents
Although you may use sixth form students to give tours of your school, they can't fully relate to prospective parents. They can't answer every question and concern that parents may have, and it would be unfair to expect them to.
Prospective parents want to be able to talk to someone credible that they can trust. In fact, 81 percent of British parents value the opinions of other parents more than your inspection rating. So be sure to use parent ambassadors to ensure you provide as much relevant information as possible about your school.
If you're unsure how to go about recruiting parent ambassadors, think about your current school setup. Do you have a PTA or parent volunteer group in your school or on Facebook? Then you already have plenty of prime candidates for digital ambassadors.
2. Staff members
Although your staff's primary concern should be educating pupils, they can provide valuable insight to prospects. In fact, your teacher's may be who prospective parents want to talk to the most.
This is because, at a practical level, they are best placed to discuss teaching styles, syllabus, and your school's approach to online learning. They can also establish a rapport with prospects, enhancing your school's reputation of quality teaching and exceptional staff.
A key concern of prospective parents is that your school prepares their child for the future.
This is why it's valuable to recruit alumni as ambassadors. They'll be able to tell prospects how they ended up on their current path after leaving your school.
To make the most of alumni ambassadors, we encourage recruiting a healthy range of experiences to cover all bases. So, don't just recruit alumni in higher education, look to those in apprenticeships or any other relevant career path. In addition to this, be sure to use recent alumni. Their experience is more accessible and relatable to prospects as they were recently students themselves and know what it took to achieve their goals at your school.
Why should your school embrace digital ambassadors
Many schools are yet to embrace the opportunities that a digital ambassador program represents. There's nothing wrong with the traditional approach to ambassadors, using them for in-person open days and as tour guides. But you could be doing so much more.
By adopting a digital ambassadors program you can:
- Rapidly scale your marketing. By leveraging ambassador-generated content, you can produce far more marketing materials than ever before.
- Reach more prospects. Digital ambassadors help you go beyond your surrounding area and in-person visits. They can speak to anyone online, no matter where they are. Something which has become increasingly important throughout the pandemic.
- Provide a more personalized admissions experience. Ambassadors have a deeper understanding of your prospects than your marketing team. After all, they used to be prospects themselves. As a result, they know what prospects are looking for and the questions they're likely to ask.
Make the ultimate first impression online
Whether parents, alumni, or staff, digital ambassadors can provide an impactful, authentic view of what it's like to attend your school. Especially compared to traditional in-person methods.
You just need a simple, effective platform to enable them - like The Ambassador Platform. Schools are already seeing the benefits. For example, our customer Dulwich College found that 28 percent of parents who used TAP went on to make an application.
If you'd like to find out how TAP can help your school improve its admissions and marketing through digital ambassadors, get in touch today.
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