2. Adapting to the Future of Marcom & Building Community with Rob & Liza Norman

In this episode, Aubrey & Tara dive into an engaging conversation with Liza & Rob Norman from InspirEd School Marketers. Tune in to hear about the future of MarCom offices, the latest marketing trends, why mindfulness and marketing go hand in hand, and how Liza & Rob built an engaged and supportive online community.

About Liza and Rob Norman:

Liza Fisher Norman and Rob Norman, founders of InspirED School Marketers, a professional development resource and community for private school marketing worldwide. InspirED is home of the annual Brilliance Awards. They make your job easier.

Show Notes


Expedition Deep Ocean, by Josh Young

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand


Show Transcript

Aubrey(00:01): Welcome to Mindful School Marketing, your go-to podcast for personal and professional growth.

Tara (00:07): We’re school marketers, business owners and moms passionate about connecting other school professionals with tools and strategies for success.

Aubrey(00:13): We love solving problems, exploring new ideas, and thinking outside the box. Let’s transform your school and life starting right now. Welcome to Mindful School Marketing, I’m Aubrey Bursch.

Tara (00:28): And I’m Tara Claeys. Today we’re joined by Liza Fisher Norman and Rob Norman. They are the founders of InspirED School Marketers, a professional development resource and community for private school marketing. worldwide. InspirED is home of the Annual Brilliance Awards. They make your job easier. They sure do. And we’re so glad to have them here today. Welcome Liza and Rob!

Liza: (00:50): Thank you. Great to see you.

Rob:: (00:51): Good morning!

Aubrey(00:52): And I would say we are doubly excited to have you here. Can you tell us, I mean, you’ve done so much. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourselves and InspirED and what was your vision for it?

Liza: (01:04): Okay. So we’re a husband-wife team just in case you didn’t figure that out. And so you’ll see a little husband, wife squabbling going on.

Rob:: (01:11): Mostly from her.

Liza: (01:13): Yeah, yeah, absolutely for me. So when we had Turn Around marketing communications, which was our design firm or 25 years specializing in independent schools, we were getting ready to retire out of that. And we were wondering what school marketers needed. And we felt that when we were working with our clients, their brand was doing great. All their marketing was doing great. And then when we let go of their hand about a year or so later, we would start to see with some clients the loss of all that strategy and focus. So we thought maybe InspirED School Marketers would help a lot of school marketers do their jobs better and for free. So that’s how we started it.

Tara (01:59): That’s really interesting. How did, how did you get the word out? How did it grow? I mean, how many people belong to your list now? You have an email list and you have a Facebook group and a LinkedIn group, right?

Liza: (02:11): Yeah. If you put them all together, it’s around 5,000.

Rob:: (02:15): It’s hard in today’s world, when so much is electronic and anonymous, it’s hard to tell exactly what the reach is, but you know, we’re guessing it’s 4 or 5,000 probably. MailChimp is around over 2000. That’s the DJ, the Daily Jolt. And then between all our different channels and our website, we assume the reach is somewhere around 4,000 or 5,000 people.

Aubrey(02:46): I would have to say I’m a big fan of yours because I do follow your Daily Jolt. I love it. I feel like I can read it while I have my coffee in the morning kind of just skim through, what’s Rob going to say today? Or what sort resources are you going to share? I think that’s so key. And I have to say, I think maybe it’s hard to measure, reach, right? Because every time I talk to someone in the independent school sector, they seem to know about you or your podcast or the Brilliance Awards. So I think you’ve gained so much traction and just have so much outreach because I think the value you put out there, it’s so helpful to those in this space.

Rob:: (03:27): What’s so weird is you said we send the Daily Jolt every day, but unless someone actually reaches back to me with a comment or question, I see that people open it and read it, but I don’t know if it has any effect. And then I hear from people all the time. “Oh my God, I love the daily jolt.” Or “you guys do so much for us.” And we’re like, oh, okay. That’s nice. Nice to know, you just never know with, with the nature of electronic communications.

Tara (03:59): Yeah. Well, to push it out daily, that’s a habit that you’ve, I’m sure built. And I’ve got to ask you about that because through the lens of our podcasts, we talk about mindfulness in our title and how it applies to what we do in our work marketing life, in our personal life. And so this may apply to your process with the Daily Jolt as well. But what are the benefits of mindfulness in the Marcom world, do you think? And how can mindfulness inspire good marketing outcomes?

Liza: (04:28): I think mindfulness in the marketing world means strategy and thinking from the 30,000 ft view, which is so hard for school marketers to do, because as much as they want to strategize, getting in the weeds is where they end up. And if you’re putting out fires every day, there just isn’t enough time to concentrate on the strategy. And I think there are multiple reasons why that happens with school marketers. And one is that most marketing communications offices in schools are under-resourced both in budget and personnel and therefore most directors are just pedaling as fast as they can. And when you look at an admission office that has nine and a development office that has 13, and you see the Marcom office that has two and maybe a part-time parent, it’s like, wait a minute. So I think mindfulness is strategy and there isn’t enough of that going on.

Rob:: (05:40): I actually take a step back before the strategy and it goes along the lines that Liza was talking about. It’s very difficult for people in Marcom to have an external perspective of their school and the work they do. And, you know, it’s part of, one of the things that we try to do with InspirED, and that is give them some perspective of what’s going on in the Marcom world for schools, how are other schools doing and what are the best practices? What are other people learning? How are they learning it? And that leads to the strategy. But the mindfulness is to be open to new ideas and new thoughts and new resources and, and to avail yourself of those resources that are out there. And that’s a hard thing to do because of the of the pedaling as fast as they can. But that’s how you can literally exponentially change the effectiveness of your own Marcom efforts to understand what other people are doing, learn from them and apply it to your own community.

Aubrey(06:58): That’s so good. And I see that all the time as well. Like you’re in the weeds, you’re in the weeds, you’re doing what you’ve been doing because you’re just pedaling. Right? And you can’t look at the higher vision. And I think what you said right here is really important. It’s almost like a beginner’s mindset, right? Where they need to go in with this – the receptivity of the fact that there’s other things out there. And sometimes we need to consciously pull ourselves out of the weeds to be able to see the other things that are out there and to try them out and see what might fit for our community. So you provide such a service in that, because that’s what you bring with the many resources that you provide marketers and Marcom offices. Now I would love to ask a follow-up question. So you are so in touch with like marketing trends and like what’s out there and you work with so many different schools or see so many different schools in the realm. What do you see as some up and coming marketing trends as we head into the future and perhaps out of COVID.

Liza: (07:56): Wouldn’t that be nice?

Rob:: (08:01): I think one of the trends that we’ve seen it already, and that is the influx of people from outside of the academic world into school Marcom, that’s a trend that we’ve been following and trying to encourage over 10 or 15 years. The InspirED Marcom survey that we do, that’s one of the questions, where did you come from to the position you’re in now? And we have seen an increase in that, and I think that’s a trend that will continue to increase. And I think to the benefit of independent school Marcom professionals coming in from outside, who are bringing a wide variety of skills and literally upping the entire game of independent school Marcom.

Liza: (08:56): I agree with that, and this is something we’ve been tracking for awhile. And I think the biggest challenge there is for professionals outside the school community to learn school culture, and things move a lot slower in the independent school world. There’s much more group decision-making. It’s a lot of stuff like that, but I think in the end, it’ll benefit everyone. If everyone can start to understand each other, because we’ve…

Rob:: (09:26): We’ve seen it work well, but we’ve also seen some crash and burns.

Liza: (09:30): Yeah.

Tara (09:32): Yeah. And I think going to your point about being mindful and being open when you have someone coming in with new ideas and it’s not the way you’ve been doing it before, which is usually the thing “we’ve never done it that way. We always do it this way.” That’s where mindfulness can really come in is being open to that.

Rob:: (09:51): But it’s also, it’s also the person coming in from the outside being mindful, if you will, being mindful of the culture that they’re joining and that yes, people have always done it this way. Suggest, don’t tell, find ways to bring them into your thinking through a cooperative way. That’s not the way they do it necessarily at big agencies or companies. Yeah.

Liza: (10:20): I was trying to bring up, risk-taking is important. We did that with InspirED. We built $150,000 website when InspirED first launched with all these grandiose ideas for a community and it bombed. It was a painful lesson to learn, but taking risks is something we all need to do in schools. As an example, Rob’s doing a podcast with David Willows, right? From the International School of Brussels shortly,

Rob:: (11:03): The podcast is already done.

Liza: (11:03): And it’s about how they are rethinking how to work in, all the offices to work together. So he has a team of like six, you interviewed them, you tell them story, it’s really interesting about taking risks.

Rob:: (11:21): They’ve broken down all the silos and they have 18 that does all of their advancement. They do development, admissions, Marcom, one team. So that’s a real outside the box thinking. And there isn’t a lot of that going on at independent schools, independent schools are risk averse. And I think Liza’s point is that be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

Liza: (11:48): Our daughter’s theater school – the tagline or the slogan for it was “risk, fail, risk again”. And it has followed us as a family all those years, and it’s a great way to try.

Rob:: (12:09): I find it very interesting that independent schools encourage their students to take risks and to fail, but their administrative team, they’re not so hot on the risk and fail part for their administrative team. That is that’s one of the quirks of independent school culture.

Aubrey(12:31): We had the pleasure of talking before the show, and you had mentioned this idea of this office, this advancement office that flowed. You brought up a few points of how that looks different. If you were to paint the picture, it’s just, it’s not everyone siloed, like you said, but like flowing with the projects and the wave that is like admissions. And then you have that. Could you talk a little bit more about that?

Rob:: (12:59): Well, there’s a cyclical nature to all of the offices. Admissions is clearly cyclical. So is development. Marcom is a little less, but there are cycles to that. And adapting to that, having eight people in admissions all the time when there is clearly a cycle, when you are most busy, what are they doing the rest of the time? Yeah. Maybe they’re busy, but they’re not being being as efficient as they can. I think there’s an efficiency level to combining and adapting to the cycles in a more fluid way. That takes a real paradigm shift, a real change in the way that you think about your school and the jobs that you’re doing. And I would probably suggest it’s not for everybody, but certainly understanding the cyclical nature of the work we do will help you understand how you can possibly be more efficient.

Tara (14:09): It probably also helps with communication too, because there’s overlap in what they all do and who they’re talking to and what their messaging is. So any kind of relationship and overlap between those, those responsibilities can only help the messaging. I think, too, right. I mean, making it consistent. What do you see as the biggest challenges coming up for independent schools in the next year or so? I know things are going to change, maybe not back to normal the way we know normal, but adjusting to a new normal, talk a little bit about what the challenges are.

Rob:: (14:42): To me, I take my hat off to everyone working at an independent school for making an absolutely standing stop to 60 mile an hour shift last year, from everything being personal to nothing being in person and not just teaching the administrative teams, everything, I take my hat off. The next challenge is as we come out of the pandemic closure, how do we make that adaptation? How do we adapt to having some in-person? And what do we keep from what we’ve learned over the last year? That’s a challenge. And I think it will be different for every school and every community, but that we’ve segued like that into this virtual remote Marcom, admin hybrid thing. And now we’re going to shift back, how do we make that shift? When do we make that shift? And what do we keep? That’s, that’s a big challenge for every school and everyone who works there.

Liza: (16:04): And I think one of the biggest challenges is the uncertainty of what’s going to go forward. For me, uncertainty is death. I can’t handle it. I can respond to everything, but just tell me what it is. So I think uncertainty has just turned everybody upside down and we’re hoping to be everything fine and glorious in September, but nobody’s saying that’s going to be the case. So I think that uncertainty, it makes it very difficult to do your job well, especially since you know, you’re doing it this way today. Whoa. Okay. Now we’re open. No, we’re closed. Okay. Ooh. Yeah, that’s hard.

Rob:: (16:47): And the mindfulness that you talk about will really help with this, keeping an open mind, watching what other people are doing that works, adapting it for yourself. I keep trying to bring that mindfulness thing back home.

Tara (17:02): I appreciate that. Yeah. I think that mindfulness and messaging are going to be keys. You know, what problems are you going to be solving in September that you’re not solving now, or that are different? That’s going to be really interesting to see how the messaging changes for schools.

Aubrey(17:23): I know that if we’re speaking of COVID and disruption, we also saw that during this time that community became so important. We forgot, we realized how much community mattered, and the coming together and everything like that. So people had to pivot greatly. But I’m interested to know what you’re thinking around community and looking at your own community that you’ve built. What has been beneficial and how have you seen both yourself and your group and schools connect and build community?

Liza: (18:02): For InspirED, I think it’s how much we all help each other, which is incredible. You know, when we were working at Turn Around, we would be working with a school and say how can you, you know it felt very competitive, and Philadelphia is a very competitive market as an example. So sharing of secrets was not something you did. But in these online communities and InspirED, everyone’s willing to help everyone else. And that’s always the case. It wasn’t always, it wasn’t just COVID, it was always the case that people are willing to help each other. And I really like that. And that’s one of the things that I think separates, the independent school world, even from higher ed, or certainly from the business world, we were a very sharing, caring family kind of community. And I think that really makes us stand out, and InspirED is a great place to have those conversations. We have a Facebook page, a group actually that is really a great place for sharing. We also have other places like Twitter and LinkedIn, and there’s one more, but we really try hard and the giving in this community is outstanding.

Rob:: (19:27): Yeah. Schools learned very quickly how important they always talk about community. This school is like a family. I think there was a lot of, I don’t mean to say lip service, but I think they just said it. And now they realize it. They realize how much that community means to everybody, how critically important it is to the dynamic of the school, to the dynamic of the community, to allow everyone to share and care and be a community is critical. And now everybody gets it. If you didn’t get it before you get it now.

Aubrey(20:16): That’s for sure. And I would also like to add that I think the community that you’ve built, especially I’m most active in your Facebook group, it just such a relief to know, when you’re in a meeting at a school and an administration, and you’re trying to figure something out and they ask you a question that you can go to this community that you’ve built and ask it, and you’ll have eight answers within the hour. I mean, how important is that for these Marcom people who might be just one person, right? Or half a person sometimes, right? Like when they combine the marcom with some other position and create, like to have that support and community, and to know that people are just trying to help you. That spirit of giving in there is so important. I think especially now.

Rob:: (21:08): That’s actually the kernel that started InspirED. There’s groups for admin people. There are groups for development people. There are groups for the business office. There was nothing for Marcom people. There was really nothing. They would have a Marcom track at NAIS, but there wasn’t anything really for the Marcom people. So we wanted to try, I mean, these are the people we’ve dealt with. That’s not just the marketing department. I mean, it’s admission and development and alumni relations, all those people, but give them a place where they can go and share, ask, and learn.

Liza: (21:52): And this was 2013. This was awhile ago, long time ago.

Rob:: (21:57): And there was nothing like that. There was no place for these people to do that.

Liza: (22:04): Right. I love the community that’s coming out of it, the Facebook community is just, I try to stay out of it, but sometimes I just get excited, put something in. But the way everyone helps each other, I mean, it’s like any other great Facebook group. They do give great advice. And I always feel like, you know, if you were at a conference, you’d be doing this person to person. You’d hear somebody speak and then go talk to them and then have someone else come up and you’ll be talking to somebody else during cocktail hour. And you’d hear all these things and get all these contacts and make all these friends who can help make your job easier. Here we are doing it virtually we reach more people this way. So it’s a good thing.

Rob:: (22:49): Yeah. It’s just an opportunity for people to share and learn. I mean, how else are you going to do it?

Tara (22:56): Yeah. And I think especially over the past year where we’ve become even more comfortable with these online relationships and, and the network that you have beyond just Marcom, but the relationships that you’re building, that’s how Aubrey and I met actually was through InspirED and LinkedIn. So I think you’re connecting people with each other within the school community, within consultants who serve the school community. And it really broadens the effectiveness and the strength of that community to do that for people to then become comfortable with these online relationships. Aubrey and I have never met in person because we just connected before COVID and we don’t live that far away from each other. I mean, I’m sure there are just so many people who feel like they know each other just from the relationships that they’ve built through your community. Did anything surprise you along the way or has anything surprised you? I mean, it sounds like we knew that this sort of supportive environment existed, but what surprised you as you, as you built this?

Liza: (24:03): A lot. Well that initial, when InspirED started, we did a lot of research. We talked to over 60 people in the independent school world wondering if this was a viable option and got great response. And so did that and then it didn’t take off. And that was a surprise. I think otherwise we aren’t terribly surprised by a lot.

Rob:: (24:38): I guess I’m constantly surprised when people reach out and say, oh my God, we love what you guys are doing. That’s the one that really surprises me. Not that I think we’re not doing good things, but again, we do so much of what we do in a vacuum that it’s hard. It’s hard to know what people are thinking and that they find it valuable until they actually reach out and tell you, they find it valuable.

Liza: (25:06): It sounds like we’re trolling for compliments, we’re not.

Rob:: (25:10): It’s the opposite.

Liza: (25:12): We keep pushing it out.

Tara (25:16): We’re fans, so it’s no problem. We’ll give you compliments. Absolutely.

Rob:: (25:20): We do the Marcom survey and they’re 80 questions and it’s a lot of work for people to do. And over 200 schools fill out that survey and they do it. I really believe there’s an altruistic element to them doing it to give back and to share what their situation is, and everyone can learn from that. That’s a beautiful thing, and it’s the way we’ve kind of grown up in independent schools. It’s one of the nice things. It’s the reason that a lot of people like working at schools because it’s not a dog eat dog world.

Aubrey(26:04): And that’s so important. I think that’s why I think people stay in independent schools and stay working with them for so long is because of what you’re talking about. Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention something very important about you two, you all put on a fantastic Brilliance Awards, and I would love for you to tell our audience a little bit more about it. I just love it. It’s something I look forward to all the time and it’s just so fun. So could you explain about how it started and just a little bit about it so that our audience can get to know it better?

Liza: (26:38): Sure. So when we started InspirED back in the day, we had a whole list of things that we wanted to have, features of InspirED some of which are still here, some of which have gone, some of which have gone and are back. But the Brilliance awards, the awards at that time was one of them because I felt strongly that there was no award competition for independent schools, exclusively. Sure. You can enter the CASE awards, which are wonderful. You have to be a member of CASE to be able to do that and you’re up against higher ed a lot. There are other admissions marketing awards. There are just general awards. But there was nothing exclusively for independent schools. And I don’t think there is to this day either besides us. I really wanted to level that playing field. I wanted peers to be competing against peers. Then we got into this whole thing about small schools and big schools and different budgets, and we were agonizing over that. Do you remember that?

Rob:: (27:46): Yeah, oh my god.

Liza: (27:48): We’re still agonizing over that because you know the little schools can’t — as an example, I’ll give you a little example. I was on a CASE judging panel when you do it live in person. It was for fundraising pieces, and there was this one that the school had done the city bitty school and it was awesome. And, you know, they had no budget, none, none, none. And I keep raising my hand, but the judges discussing this going “look what they did with no money!” And they went, yeah, but, but we liked this one that was cost $5 million a piece to produce. So that one really killed me. And that’s made me want to let independent schools compete against their peers. That’s why we had a small school category. We’ll talk about that one later. So it has been very rewarding for both of us. We gather up 60, 70 judges like yourselves, you’ve done such a fabulous job. We try to adjust the categories according to what we think is popular and not popular. Talk about surprises. Sometimes we see that. It’s just so rewarding for us to gather this community together, to celebrate what the hard work that they do, all of us do, they do. It’s now worldwide. It’s now international. And when we see schools win who just wouldn’t think, it’s like yes! And then you see schools win with that piece that just blows the doors off of everything else. And that’s okay too, because that’s inspirational. Right? So I love it.

Rob:: (29:37): For me, I love the celebrating the work that’s done by school Marcom departments. I love that. I think that’s great. What I think is missing that I don’t think people realize as much as they should, how much you can learn from the independent school world and how much you can learn from the entries and the winners of the Brilliance awards. I learned so much every year by looking, now I get to see all the entries,

Liza: (30:11): Yeah Rob does the data entry of all this stuff.

Rob:: (30:14): So I see all the entries, but beyond that, you look at the winners and there’s something to be learned from every one of them. I always use it as an example, a couple of years ago. The winner of the enrollment video in house was a video that was 54 seconds. And it wasn’t even close how big that won. My point is why are you making five minute videos when no one’s going to watch?

Tara (30:52): I totally agree. I judged the videos this year and I felt I found the same thing. It was really fun judging.

Rob:: (31:00): From all of that, I encourage people to go and just look at all the winners of the Brilliance awards over the last couple of years and, and see what the judges comments are.

Liza: (31:11): Get inspired. But also we try to write a case studies of winners, all the winners, we give them the option of being featured in a case study, and reading those, how it happened, where it started, why it started, what was the strategy? What were the bumps along the way? What was the response? That stuff fascinates me because that’s the backstory.

Tara (31:36): Yeah. It’s a really fun thing that you do. And it’s a great service to the community. I’m grateful for it. We are running out of time. We could probably keep talking about this stuff forever, but we’re going to move on to some, just some closing questions that we ask all of our guests. And the first one is what are the most important things that you do to grow professionally and personally?

Liza: (31:57): Professionally? I learn new software all the time. I like learning new software. As an example, the most recent one is that I wanted to get out of Adobe Creative Suite, because it was expensive and we’re not employed anymore. And, uh, that’s why I found Affinity.

Tara (32:20): That’s great.

Liza: (32:21): Yeah. So for $150 for the entire suite, and this isn’t cloud-based, it’s on your device, it’s like yes! So I’ve been working in those programs and that you think they would operate exactly like Adobe, but they don’t. So it’s like changing my brain all the time. So it’s fun. That’s what I like to do.

Rob:: (32:44): Me I’m just reading all the time. I’m always looking for something to share in the Daily Jolt. So I probably read, I don’t know how many blogs, I probably read 10 things in order to find one, to share in the Daily Jolt, Liza’s share stuff, I’m reading stuff. So I’m constantly looking for, sometimes it’s a tweak or sometimes it’s the way it’s presented and sometimes it’s boom, you know, a completely new idea. So I like doing that. It’s just interesting. And I just read and read and read.

Aubrey(33:21): That’s awesome. I mean, I always think when I’m reading your Daily Jolt, I’m like, oh my gosh, I put out a weekly newsletter and he puts out a daily one. So I can only imagine!

Liza: (33:31): One brilliant idea in each one.

Rob:: (33:33): One idea and sometimes if I have something to say about it, I’ll add a Rob’s note, which I do sometimes. And sometimes I think, you know what? This is, this is fun. It stands by itself. It doesn’t need my, I don’t have anything to add. So to say, here’s why I think this is important.

Aubrey(33:54): Yeah, it’s very beneficial and so helpful. Well, moving into our second question, what is one of the most important things we can do to be more mindful?

Liza: (34:03): Get out of the weeds? Yeah. You really need to, I think, you need to carve out time to look at the entire picture. I try to do that with InspirED, It’s like, okay, let’s look at the website from an outsider’s point of view. Oh my God, there’s so much content here. I got to get rid of some of this stuff. Oh my God. I can’t get from here to there, you know, stuff like.

Rob:: (34:38): Our daughter-in-law does user experience for websites as work, and she’s looked at our website and said,

Liza: (34:47): Okay, let’s let’s clean this up.

Rob:: (34:48): We can help you with this. Yeah.

Liza: (34:50): So I’m learning from the youngsters.

Tara (34:55): Awesome. All right. We’ve got some rapid fire questions to wrap up here. So the first one is what’s a book or perhaps a piece of knowledge that has made an impression on you that you’d want included in the high school curriculum?

Rob:: (35:08): Well, my answer would not be popular. There’s a philosopher writer who I have always liked and she has been co-opted by the extreme right. And I’m talking about Ayn Rand. I read pretty much everything she wrote when I was in my late teens. It was very impactful, but I mean, a very accessible book, The Fountainhead could be read and the philosophy behind it could be discussed. And I think everybody could learn from a very different way of thinking about your place in the world. Unfortunately I think the liberals in our in our schools would not like it very much. That’s my book. Anyway, the Fountainhead is a great book. You don’t have to read Atlas Shrugged because that’s like 1400 pages of philosophy, but that’s a bit much, I read it twice, but that’s okay.

Tara (36:15): I read it once. Yeah, it was long.

Aubrey(36:20): That’s great. I was just going to say so now we’re just talking about books, what are you also reading right now or getting excited about? So even if you’re not reading it, like something you’re excited about?

Rob:: (36:35): Well, I’m reading a book called, uh, Expedition Deep Ocean. It’s about the first guy to go in a submersible to the deepest point of the five oceans and how he put it together, how he had the sub built and all of the trials and tribulations of getting this thing to work and then diving to the deepest depths. And I’m talking about 35,000 feet under the ocean. It’s not particularly well-written, but the story is fascinating.

Tara (37:11): Yeah. That sounds really interesting. Liza, this might be a good question for you with your software stuff. What is one app you could not live without?

Liza: (37:20): One password.

Rob:: (37:21): Oh yes. That’s a good one. I use app called Noto. When Liza tells me to do something, I won’t remember it unless I write it down. The fact is I will remember anything, unless I write it down. I have an app where you can open it up type in whatever you want, swipe. And it sends you an email with that note.

Liza: (37:46): It was designed way back in the day, somewhere we’re still using it.

Rob:: (37:51): They discontinued there. This is a new one called Noto. It’s fabulous. Sending myself notes, probably six or eight times a day. It’s great.

Aubrey(38:07): That’s awesome. I’m going to write that down. Usually like I’m walking or something or I’ll be with the kids and I’m like, oh, this brilliant idea just came to me. And I’ll remember it when I get home. No, never happened.

Rob:: (38:21): Yeah. Noto: ba ba ba ba, swipe. Done.

Aubrey(38:29): Okay. Well, I have a big question for you here. What is one piece of advice you’d like to leave us with?

Rob:: (38:40): My piece of advice would be for Marcom people. And that is to look at your job in a slightly different way than you currently do. Yes, you handle the Marcom for schools. Yes, you are the keeper of the brand and the keeper, the doer of all those communications, but I think it would help you and help your school to realize that you need to teach your school about marcom, you’re the Marcom professional. No one else there is going to be the Marcom professional. So you need to guide the school to understand better what you do, its value, how they can participate and take it to the next step and be the person that leads your school in marcom. You’re the leader when it comes to this, obviously you need the head of school’s blessing to be the leader. But if you have that blessing, lead everybody, including the head of school, you need to be the one to carry the flag.

Liza: (40:04): Yeah. I would echo that. And also say that that having the blessing of leadership is no small thing that person, he or she needs to give you the power, the resources, the backing to do your job and do it well. You’ve got enough things going on without that. The director of development wouldn’t be asking for backing the director of admission wouldn’t be asking for backing, what’s wrong with this picture? So go for it. Be brave to get in that office. And no, we don’t want to talk to the head of school with you.

Tara (40:45): I’m so glad we have had you on as one of our first guests, because that’s great advice for our school marketing community. We’re so glad you joined us today. And I’m sorry that we’re out of time. We’re actually overtime, which I’m overjoyed about it because we could keep talking forever. But where can people find you online?

Liza: (41:00): Inspiredsm.com and our Facebook group InspirED school marketers. I’m on LinkedIn. I post a lot of stuff on LinkedIn, Twitter.

Rob:: (41:11): And you go to our website, you can subscribe to the Daily Jolt, which is that once one idea, daily inspiration.

Liza: (41:20): Yep. And enter the Brilliance wAards. It’ll be open again in the late summer. Everybody should enter because you’d be surprised who wins.

Aubrey(41:29): Yeah. This is amazing. And thank you so much for spending time and sharing. I mean, all of these kernels of wisdom that you sprinkled throughout this conversation, it’s been such a joy and thank you for all you do for our marcom community. I truly you’ve been a blessing to so many of us. So thank you.

Rob:: (41:48): You’re too kind! Thanks. Bye-bye. Thank you. Brilliant. You guys are great. Bye-bye!

Tara (41:54): Thanks for joining us on the mindful school marketing podcast.

Aubrey(41:58): We’d love it if you pop into iTunes and leave a review, five star preferred, let us know how you liked the show. It helps us improve what we’re doing and helps others find us too.

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