Elevating Your Network: How NAF Academies Have Benefitted From Digital Marketing
Digital marketing can elevate your NAF academy’s efforts to recruit students, business partners, and funders. The more others are aware of the hard work your NAF academy is accomplishing, the more likely they are to support your goals.
It is also an impactful way to stay connected to the NAF Network and leverage the knowledge and expertise of other stakeholders. By implementing some fundamental digital marketing tactics, your district can get started today. This could even be a great assignment for NAF students interested in a career in marketing or communications!
So, what does this look like in practice? We spoke to Levi Matthews, Ferguson-Florissant School District Communications and Marketing Specialist, about their journey in website creation. Take a look at what he had to say:
What has your journey with NAF looked like?
LM: Before I began working with the District, I had not previously heard of NAF, and was also new to the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Their team had already planned to implement the NAF educational design for months when I arrived. However, I knew I was looking at this exciting opportunity with fresh eyes.
After educating myself about NAF and seeing how they fit into the district’s mission, as well as my own personal mission, I began to really understand the possibilities in delivering this experience to our students!
Can you explain your vision for a dedicated digital space?
LM: Having a dedicated digital space for NAF is extremely important when it comes to clear communication and meeting expectations. Our online platforms are the main methods of information consumption in our district, and because of that, creating a home on our website is the best way to house information, while we use other platforms to promote, drum up engagement, and drive traffic.
Going forward, we expect this virtual outlet to be an invaluable tool for counselors and teachers who recommend NAF to students and parents, a place where academies can blog about their experiences, and a hub where volunteers and potential partners can learn about how to get involved. Overall, the site is meant to create and foster community for all involved with the NAF Academies of the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
What resources helped you along the way?
LM: I had utilized many resources when designing the website, which was very helpful, considering how late in the planning process that I joined the team. I used NAF’s style guide, in conjunction with our own, throughout the whole journey. While I was largely able to make my own decisions, NAF’s support provided me with guidelines and assets to lean on.
To make things even easier, I also used the style guides to create brand profiles, and color palettes in programs such as Canva, Photoshop, and Illustrator. NAF staff were also great to work with, in that they provided feedback, suggestions, and help with creating new assets.
We have high schools marketing their academies in different ways. Here’s an idea from Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High School, Academy of Finance located in Miami, Florida:
We strive to keep our AOF students motivated and encouraged through active program marketing. When students enter their first accounting class they are called “Accounting Superstars”. We have a NAF mural on the outside of our classroom, and our NAF students have a T-shirt with a NAF/Dr. Michael M. Krop logo on the front and a NAF AOF mural on the back. We have an Academy of Finance banner in the front of the school and posters throughout the school inviting students to join! Our Krop AOF alumni eagerly come back as guest speakers and present their college and career experiences!
Here’s another magnificent academy, Coral Gables Senior High School (CGHS), who has welcomed thousands of eager students who are ready for an educational path unlike any other. Social media is a great way to stay connected to the NAF network and to leverage the knowledge and expertise of other academy leaders, advisory board members, and business partners. With a dedicated website for their academy, Instagram, and Twitter, they are able to amplify academy news and student stories.
If your district, high school, or academy is interested in building a website like Ferguson-Florissant School District, start with the materials we provided to Levi or build out your social media profiles: