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Crafting Holiday Messages for Your School Community
Mia Major

Retention is all about keeping your community members happy. And the holidays are the perfect time to get creative, be fun, and put together something that will remind your community that they're part of something great.

Here are a few of our favorite ideas for wishing your community the best during the holiday season:

Holiday Greetings for Schools

Film a Genuine Video

Amazing things happen on your campus every single day. But parents don't always get the opportunity to see the faces behind the success of their children — especially at boarding schools.

So use the holidays as an excuse to bring together some key people at your school and record a fun, warm, and genuine holiday greeting.

Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Create a quick video using a tool like Animoto to pull together photos and videos from the semester. Corin at Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania uses Animoto to put together videos her community loves in literally just minutes.
  • Get creative! If time and resources allow, plan out a video with a message or theme that's special to your school. We love this example from Berkshire School that showcases the talent of their choir, beauty of their campus, and the diversity of their students:

 

Short on time?

We summed up some tips from this awesome video tutorial from Vimeo on how to create a 10 second holiday video that doesn't require any editing:

  • Make it fun and light
  • Capture a few "mini moments" that are unique to your school to share in the video.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

And of course, don't forget to share it on social media!


The Quick Guide for Optimizing Video for the Web

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Keep it Simple With a Page Pop

Parents and students will be visiting your school's website more often from now until holiday break as they login to portals to view grades, buy tickets for holiday plays and events, and double-check exam schedules and vacation dates. So use that opportunity to engage with them.

Create a custom holiday greeting or video and embed it in a PagePop in your community portals, or on your homepage. This is also a good opportunity to remind your community about holiday break times and details to make it easy to find.

Send a Thoughtful Email

Emails are still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your parents and students. So if you're short on time and resources, sending an email wishing them a happy and healthy holiday is still effective.

The holiday greeting you send via email, should strictly be a holiday greeting. Try to avoid including any news events or request for Annual Fund gifts in your holiday greeting, and save those for your monthly newsletter — you don't need to worry about combining them into one single message. And, don't forget to use personalization to make your constituents feel like the message is just for them!

If you're looking to make your email a little more interactive, Animated GIFs are making a comeback in emails because they're fun, easy to create, typically small in size, and are far more engaging than your typical text-filled newsletter.

We used this simple how-to guide from Hubspot when we made our first animated GIF, and now we love to use them in our own special occasion emails.

Be Social All Season Long

Communications are never a one-time message. Use social media to stay connected to your community while they're on break. Share a photo from the fall semester on Instagram on #ThrowbackThursday, post announcements on Twitter and Facebook, and use all of your social platforms to keep the conversations going even when they're not on campus. It will give that personal touch that families and students look for from their school.


Social Media Marketing Toolkit


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