Parent testimonials are an important tool for all of us. Just as ‘social proof’ validates a brand's story, ‘parent proof’ validates a school's story. Done well, parent testimonials will strengthen referrals, reinforce word of mouth recommendations and add great authenticity to your school’s story.
Here are a few things to think about as you integrate ‘parent proof’ throughout your story.
HOW TO ADD 'PARENT PROOF' TO YOUR SCHOOL'S STORY
Good news: Parents generally love to share feedback. Even better news: Happy parents generally love to share testimonials about the schools they love.
So, ask often.
Don’t only wait for the end of year survey or your annual testimonial outreach to ask for a review or quote of recommendation. If you have a culture of open dialogue with your parent community, take the opportunity to ask questions in every channel you use: include a question or two (no more) in the footer of regular emails, regularly ask questions on your private social groups and be armed with specific questions to ask at your next coffee session.
By asking often, you will build a great inventory of comments and quotes you should share often.
Think about how you can include simple quotes and comments from parents throughout your site, emails, social, printed materials and presentations. In fact, we believe every page, post and printed feature should include an element of ‘parent proof’ to truly share your school’s story.
For example, take a look at how we use parent quotes throughout the Chappaqua Friends site. Rather than formally produced testimonials, we shared ‘parent proof’ throughout their story which adds great credibility and reflects on their strong, supportive community.
As a start this summer, how can you add ‘parent proof’ to the most popular pages of your site?
When you ask parents for feedback, keep your questions simple and specific and give parents an easy way to grant permission to use their responses in marketing and promotional materials. For example, you can include a non-intimidating yes/no question like:
Thank you so much for your feedback. We always use it to improve our school.
We may also look to your comments to help promote our school to perspective families like we do here (link to a simple example of how you integrated parent quotes). May we use your comments to help share our school’s story? Yes/No.
Whether they give you permission or not, make sure you thank each and every parent who shares their feedback. A personal email, note or video message thanking each participating parent will add tremendous goodwill and increase the likelihood that they will give permission in the future.
So, thank often.
Next week, we will take this topic further and share how to be strategically selective for fully produced parent testimonials and how to rethink the parent testimonial into the student feature.
See you next Monday,
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