Some may live next to parents, many will have parents or grandparents of students as friends, they may be involved in voluntary activities or attend the same places of worship. Their opinions are valued by current and former students. In other words, teachers are vital to marketing your school.
In order to help your marketing teachers need to have a positive impression of the school (which means respecting and treating them well - disgruntled teachers are very bad for marketing!) and equally importantly be able to articulate the strengths of the school. Here are a few questions to ask your teachers to check this:
1. Do you know what the strengths of your school are?
2. Have you seen the school's most recent advertising campaign?
3. Do you know examples of successful students who are at or who have just left your school?
4. What were the most interesting things that happened in your school last week?
5. Do you know what's going on in your school this week?
6. Do you know who is responsible for helping with questions on admissions, behaviour and the curriculum?
If teachers can answer yes confidently to all these you're doing well. However, I'd have to say that in my experience this is only true of a small proportion of schools.
So, what can you do to change this? The first thing is to make sure internal communications are working. You need to have a regular and active supply of news to teachers - don't rely on them taking time to read the school website or talk to senior managers. Are your parent newsletters that contain fantastic stories sent to teachers? Do your teachers follow the school on Twitter or Facebook? Do you put good news stories on the staff room notice boards (the best place in my experience is next to the cover list!). Also consider making better use of briefings - perhaps starting them with your 'good news of the week' before jumping into lists of exclusions and meetings!
You also need to ensure that teachers are engaged in the formal marketing process. They need to be well briefed ahead of open days, told of formal application deadlines, and given copies of all marketing materials before they are used. They need to be told who is in charge of admissions this year and how parents can contact them.
The result? A free team of salespeople who can help spread the good news from your school. A more positive workforce. A group who will alert you to new stories from around the school once they see they can be used. What's not to like?