You never know where they might be lurking...
Don’t you love all the forms you have to fill out at the beginning of the school year? Well, I’m going to suggest you add one more—a skills audit. One of the first things you should do when embarking on a marketing plan is to figure out who can help in the efforts. Of course the more the merrier but it’s also great to connect with parents with useful experience. Sending out a skills audit is a smart way to uncover any hidden potential that you may not otherwise know to utilize.
1. Do it early. Send out a skills audit to all parents preferably in the first week or two. Knowing what skills and experience you can tap will help you map out your plans.
2. Specify marketing skills sought. Ask if anyone has experience with areas such as: writing/editing; writing press releases; media contacts; photography; social media; newsletter; videography; website; or Constant Contact. Most times you will be pleasantly surprised by how experienced your parents are.
3. Don't just ask about marketing. Of course you can use this form to ask about other skills parents may have (None will be nearly as important as marketing. Ha.) or resources at their disposal such as a business that potentially could sponsor events or provide supplies, etc.
4. Ask for parents’ contact info. At the bottom they can include their contact info. Don’t include a question asking parents if they are willing to volunteer. (It’s too easy to say no.) Instead, when you are ready, you can reach out individually, which as you know, is much harder to decline.
5. Be flexible. Sometimes your marketing activities will be dictated by the skill set you’ve got. One year we had a parent who had exceptional skill, and equipment, for creating videos. When he graciously offered his time and equipment at a particular time, of course the website video project rose to the top and other projects waited.