Using ChatGPT for schools is a hot topic at the moment. It seems like you can’t avoid a Twitter thread, a news report, or a conversation with your mom about the potential implications of artificial intelligence (AI) and similar programs.
And searches surrounding ChatGPT have exploded in recent weeks — check out its popularity on Google Trends:
Amid debates over students using the program for essay writing, blog content, and auto-generation lesson plans lies the biggest question school professionals are asking themselves: Will ChatGPT replace us?
ChatGPT is just a tool. Rather than fight against this impressive new tech, it’s often more productive to take a look at the benefits of ChatGPT and how it can assist school marketing and communications by replacing repetitive tasks, improving our digital marketing and website experiences, and tapping into the searches and information parents are looking for.
While Skynet isn’t active (yet) and before we all start to lose sleep about our jobs as content creators, just remember:
AI can’t replace:
- Thorough research about your school
- Personal touches and real experiences with families
- Your school's brand
- Nuances about your school and its community
AI could replace:
- Basic, simple content for your marketing efforts
- Brainstorming sessions
- Page titles and meta descriptions
- How families search for information about your school
Let’s dive a little deeper into these ideas and discover some ways schools can use ChatGPT for good.
Check your landing pages for clarity
You’ve worked so hard to capture the attention of families with an optimized landing page and you’re ready to convert them. Your intentions are clear, but is your page being interpreted the same way?
Check out La Salle College High School’s admissions page. It’s a beautifully designed overview of the school, complete with admissions news, a staff directory, a social media integration that helps keep content fresh, and even a calendar specific to admissions events.
Let’s ask ChatGPT what it thinks the page is all about:
It’s a pretty decent match! ”The goal of the page is likely to provide a convenient, one-stop resource for anyone interested in applying to La Salle College High School and to help prospective students and their families make informed decisions about their educational options.”
Research your school’s competitors
With parents having more and more options for their family's education, school choice is becoming a real challenge to public schools. Districts across the US are now competing for enrollment and need their online presence to stand out from the competition.
With 86 schools, Virginia Beach City Public Schools is the largest school division in Hampton Roads. Let’s see what ChatGPT thinks are its major competitors:
“Some of the major competitors for Virginia Beach Public Schools could be neighboring public school districts such as Chesapeake Public Schools, Norfolk Public Schools, and Portsmouth Public Schools. Additionally, private schools and charter schools in the area may also be considered competitors.”
Generate your school website's meta descriptions
Page titles and meta descriptions for your school’s web pages are a delicate balance between effective search engine optimization (SEO), enticing a user with accurate and relevant information, and providing useful and descriptive content. Sometimes, it’s easier to have a boilerplate to work from and edit as needed.
For Avon Old Farms School’s employment page, it will be essential to rank well for prospective employees to find their site in an online search and also provide accurate page titles and descriptions to get users to click.
The page’s description currently reads: “Thank you for your interest in working at Avon Old Farms School! View current openings to join our top-notch faculty, administration, and staff.” It’s perfectly fine, it’s not over the ideal character length, and once users click on the page they’re greeted with some impressive content, like testimonials, videos, and even a 360-degree virtual tour.
Let’s see if ChatGPT can spice up the description:
Personally, I think Avon’s description reads a little more personal, but ChatGPT has included some additional keywords that could help its organic ranking. Maybe there’s an opportunity to add them in and see if it helps!
Organize a new marketing campaign for your school
Clayton Valley Charter High School’s new website is beautiful enough to fry any AI’s circuits. There's so much to offer: a filterable school calendar, revamped governance pages, parent and student portals, and inspiring photos and videos to help tell its story. Now that it’s launched an amazing redesign, how can the school organize a new marketing campaign to help attract new families?
Let’s get that site in front of some new users and ask ChatGPT for a little help in organizing its digital marketing strategy.
Sure, social media promotion, emails, and community outreach could help…This is an example of how AI helps get the creative juices flowing, but doesn’t do all the hard work for you. It’s a broad overview of a general campaign but doesn’t get too deep into specifics.
Here’s a more detailed response to marketing your school’s new website.
And if you want to explore these ideas further, you can use them to come prepared with action items you'd like to discuss with a consultant, like with Finalsite's marketing services team.
Outline a mass notification to families
Whether it’s an important announcement to families that goes through multiple drafts, or an urgent communication to parents about a school event, finding the right words can sometimes be difficult.
Here’s the response from ChatGPT when told: “Draft a sympathetic email to families from a school principal about canceling spring break and having to return to class.”
OK, it’s a start? It's interesting that COVID managed to find its way in there somehow. Does this message accurately capture your school’s brand, and does it communicate sympathy? It’s a beginning, but it seems to be missing a personal touch — something only you can provide.
Brainstorm personas for your admission and marketing teams
Oberoi International School just launched a beautiful site for International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school in Mumbai, India. To stay at the top of parents’ minds in a competitive market, they’re offering an exceptional curriculum at the core of their educational experience.
Are the messaging, images, and video they’re presenting targeted to the school’s ideal audience and personas? Let’s ask ChatGPT to decipher who this curriculum page really speaks to:
Try this out for yourself on some of your pages. Was the answer in line with what you wanted to accomplish? If yes, keep it up! If not, consider small changes and other keywords to get the right message across.
Think of AI as your office intern rather than a seasoned professional. (Sorry interns… by the way, where’s that coffee I asked for?) Interns are great at supportive work that assists with larger projects and bringing new ideas to the table, but they can’t replace years of industry experience. Don’t be intimidated by ChatGPT — once you understand how to use it effectively, you can start to use it and other AI programs to supplement and compliment your amazing work, not replace it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.