November 13, 2014

Step 9. Develop a marketing strategy

Whether you are appealing to customers, students or legislators, you must develop a plan for how you will appeal to your audience. Create a compelling narrative that describes your story and its importance. Research to find out what communication tools will be most effective with your audience. Consider utilizing your local chamber of commerce or economic development agency for promotion.

Examples from Best Practice Profiles:

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (Education to Industry):

For large organizations, like school districts, which are planning the launch of an NCCER program, gather support from associations and contractors who already use the NCCER process. Sponsor representatives should educate their local workforce development agencies, community colleges and industry organizations that are not familiar with NCCER. In this way, there is support for the NCCER process from the top down. Taking ownership through accreditation for an entire school system gives strong foundation for education and industry partnerships.

Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (Industry Association to Education):

In order to establish recognition of NCCER craft training for college credit at these institutions, MCEF made the request and showed how awarding credit would benefit the student, MCEF and the college. For MCEF, offering college credit is often an incentive for students to enroll in NCCER training and gives them the opportunity to progress. 72 percent of apprenticeship students indicate that receiving college credit is extremely important to them and their long-term career goals.

Louisiana (State Perspective):

The Louisiana Workforce Investment Council (LWIC) prioritizes certificates based on the feedback from industry representatives with input from educators. Certificates on the State Focus List approved by the LWIC receive the highest number of points, and most of NCCER’s certificates are in the highest priority category. Schools earn more funding by increasing the number of points their students obtain.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What distinguishes your program from other programs?
  2. What will be your communications strategy, and how will you reach your audience?
  3. How are you going to sell your program to students and their parents?
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