Well done if you are the new Ambassador for your school's Classlist site! If you are wondering about what the 2018 GDPR (data protection) legislation means for your PTA using Classlist, click here.
I've registered my school: now what?
Ambassadors who have just registered might be wondering "What should I do now?". Here are our top suggestions for instant impact, using the green Admin Mode of your account:
- Finish building your school's year and class structure. It's best to have it ready before parents start joining.
- Personalise your school's profile page with a school photo, logo and welcome message.
- Invite some friends or fellow PTA members using the Add and Invite page.
- Once they've joined, assign admin status to key people on your team.
Launching to your school: the basics
The five-part detailed launch strategy pages later in this section provide an in-depth approach to organising a marketing campaign and a whole-school launch. However, if you want a quick guide, this article will give you an overview of how to get your school active on Classlist using a soft launch or a viral campaign.
- If you are the first person to register your school for an account with Classlist you will automatically become the lead Ambassador (ie administrator) for your school's site. You don't have to be Chair of the PTA to do this, just be enthusiastic and keen to get other parents interested. When you register its possible to create all the classes and year groups in your school, but you may have skipped some, or perhaps you need to check the names of teachers and that all the classes you entered are nested under the correct year groups.
- Use the school structure page in the Admin Mode (green) to add or edit classes and years so that your Classlist structure mirrors real life: this really helps when parents start requesting to join your site! Have a look at our detailed Help article on how to set up your school structure.
This is what the school structure page looks like before you personalise it. Only Ambassadors can edit this page.
- Download posters and flyers from the Resources section. Print them off and spread them around school and in book bags.
- Use your existing communication channels to tell parents that you will be using Classlist to communicate with parents, and explain how it will benefit them (again, use the material in Resources to help). If you already hold email addresses for some/all parents, let them know that you will be using these contact details to invite them to Classlist. You can do this by posting a message in a school newsletter or on a noticeboard if you don't want to send them all an email.
- Ask the Head Teacher to send a message endorsing Classlist and asking parents to sign up (there are sample letters you can tailor in Resources so they don't need to write it themselves). Put a paragraph in the school newsletter.
- Make sure you include the Classlist website https://classlist.com in all your marketing messages so that parents can click the link and sign up straight away - people forget if they have to look it up themselves!
- Use your PTA team if you have one, and your personal friends: get them to sign up (obviously they have to have children at the same school) and encourage them to start using the site. They will get kudos for being early-adopters, and your site will look more welcoming and friendly to other parents when they see posts and content from people they are familiar with.
- Invite parents personally to sign up using the Add and Invite page in Admin Mode: collect email addresses from people at the school gate or whenever you see parents. Make sure they know why they are giving it to you - you need to have their permission to invite them under the new GDPR. For ideas and a sign up letter template, have a look at the Classlist blog. You can use existing contact databases if you have them (again, see our GDPR advice). You can also invite parents even if you don't have their email address, using apps like Facebook and WhatsApp.
- Ask your early-adopters group to invite more people, and to ask those people to invite their friends as well. It can help to ask one person in each year group or class to take on the challenge of getting as many parents from that class to join up: you can get competitive and offer a small prize for the class with the most joiners if you feel like it!
- It is very effective to target a particular year group such as Reception or Year 7, because new parents will want to get to know other people, and will have lots of questions and enthusiasm!
- Start using the Classlist features to publicise events, send announcements and post messages to each class. You will probably have to continue using old methods to communicate as well for a while until the majority of your parents have signed up to Classlist.
Building on the foundations
- Keep nagging! Use every opportunity to encourage parents to sign up: have a stall in the playground, at parent teacher consultations, at the school play, and especially at any welcome events for new parents.
- Ask your trusty early adopters group to keep posting chatty messages, say hello to new members and use the marketplace to sell or give away any stuff they would otherwise sell on Ebay or give to the charity shop: this is very appealing to new members when they join.
- Don't give up! It may take longer to get going if you don't plan a formal launch campaign, but it will happen. You will see surges at certain times eg if you have a big event like a summer fair coming up which lots of people are interested in. Try to keep posting and populating the site with content, even if it feels like only the same few names appear to begin with.
- Get tough and harness the fear of missing out: announce that from a certain date onwards you will only be using Classlist to publicise school events, sell tickets, arrange parent socials and tell parents about PTA business... It helps if you have something popular that you know parents will be interested in - a bonfire night or film night for example.