A Marketing Masterpiece

The world has become much more digitized over the past few years with the advent of social media and other forms of technological advancement. Keeping up or falling into irrelevance in the digital world has become essential. As a result, the school has adapted to not only keep up but excel in this new age.

In the past few years, the school has embraced the technological side of schooling with the introduction of Chromebooks, increased social media presence, and a heavier reliance on online communication. This has opened avenues for the school to be more involved in the community and the lives of its alumni.

Mrs. Anne Carter is the Development Director for the school’s alumni association and foundation as well as the marketing coordinator for the school. “I do fundraising and marketing,” said Mrs. Carter. “So what I do differs every day. Right now, we’re doing sponsorship for the football ads for the live stream. I’m also coordinating a video that we’re going to do in September to show at the alumni dinner and use that as a video to promote Catholic High.”

During the 17 years Mrs. Carter has been here, changes in technology have affected the way she performs her job. “Before, we used to send out letters, but now we have email,” said Mrs. Carter. “We still do an annual letter, but we do a lot more emails now. I also text a lot, which I never thought I would text somebody asking for money, but sometimes that’s how you reach them. I don’t talk on the phone as much as I used to; it’s all email social media, or texting.”

Social media has grown and become a big part of the way the school communicates. “When I first started, social media wasn’t a big thing,” said Mrs. Carter. “I had to beg Mr. Straessle to go on Facebook, but he didn’t want to go on Facebook, so I had to put it all under my personal account. That’s how it got started, and it’s taken off since then. Now, that is primarily how we reach our younger alumni, especially on Instagram. Facebook is mostly older alumni and parents.”

Social media has played a big role in promoting alumni events in particular. Various events occur in cities such as Dallas, Fayetteville, and Nashville for graduates of the school to get together and see their old classmates. “I think a lot of people don’t look at their mail,” said Mrs. Carter. “I think the reminders on Facebook or Instagram help keep Catholic High in their feed. They’re seeing the tie burning, the senior ring Mass, and all the things they did when they attended here. It keeps them connected to the school, and that’s what we want to do.”

Alumni director Mr. Steve Aday works with Mrs. Carter to run the school’s social media pages. “There are a lot of hands that have control over the social media,” said Mr. Aday. “But Mrs. Carter and I are definitely the two primary people. She’s really great at advertising the cookoff or the orientation or the alumni dinner. I’m the more of the guy that posts about the spirit of the school. The majority of the stuff in those days was just school life. If you saw school life things, that was coming from me.”

The school gained notoriety on social media a few years ago. “The biggest thing was in 2015 when we went viral for the sign Mr. Straessle put up,” said Mr. Aday. “We went from about 5,000 Facebook followers to 12,000 within a month. Of course, our Instagram account was started in January of 2014 or 2015. That’s at about 4,000 followers now.”

Communication has moved much more to virtual platforms in recent years, and the school uses social media as one of its methods of communication. “As a school, to stay fresh and to stay on top of things, you try to maintain the ability to communicate with students, alumni, parents, fans, people who are invested in it, and all that,” said Mr. Aday. “There’s a reaching out to people who might not have a kid or a grandkid here. Social media is like the bulletin board of what’s happening every day at school.

“The people who have a connection to the school, especially the friends of friends, see a picture or video that we’ve posted,” said Mr. Aday. “That might interest kids who would have never come here or to their parents. It opens the doors for other people to see. Social media can be used as a window into the school.”

“The marketing part is new, but I think it’s important to be in the community, and people see us even though we might not be targeting those people,” said Mrs. Carter. “It lets them know that we’re here and what we’re doing, and it keeps Catholic High in the eye of the community.”

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