Friday, February 11, 2011

SOBuzz: Dance Class is Cancelled... Get the word out!

Check out part 1, our post on when to close.

So now that you decided to close, how do you get the word out quickly and efficiently, making you and your studio seem super-organized? Here are the ways (in order) in which I post information about closings when necessary.  My whole process can be done in 10 minutes.

Studio Answering Machine:  Change the answering machine at your studio phone.  Make sure your message includes the date and clear information about closings. Many phones allow you to change your message remotely.  Make a copy of the answering machine instructions and keep them at your house or take a picture and keep them in your phone.  I also keep have a copy in my purse in the winter.

:  Check with your local TV stations or radio to see if you can add your business to their school closings list.  My area has a service for schools and businesses that broadcasts closings on all local news TV stations, radio stations and news websites.  This local service costs $50/year, but its worth it.

Studio Website:  Update studio website's front page in an easy-to see spot in bright colors (red is usually good for emergency messages)

Facebook Page:  Post a message about your closing to your studio's Facebook page

Email: Sending out a short and informative email is also a great way to spread the word.  Keep your list up to date by asking for an email address on your registration forms each year.  I organize my contact list by the day of class so that I can send targeted emails to those families who are affected by the closing. There are many programs that can organize your contacts - I use Gmail.

Other Ideas
Phone Calls/Phone Tree:  In the "old-fashioned" days of my youth, my dance team had a phone tree, where my teacher called three families and they each called three families and so on until everyone had been contacted.  You could set something up like this for your classes, dance teams or your faculty.  I always call my teachers when I close even though they also get an email and most of them know to check the TV.  Then my teachers contact their individual assistant teachers, saving me multiple phone calls.
    Text Messages:  Like one of my 16-year old student's voicemail says, "if you're not texting, you must be old, so leave a message, mom or dad".  Texting can be another way to alert your students or clients of an emergency, especially when your team is traveling or on the road.  You could even use a service like Broadtexter, which is a free mass texting service.  Your clients sign up to receive mass texts whenever you send them.  The only downside is you cannot add phone numbers, your clients must subscribe themselves.

    How do you get the word out?  Leave a comment!

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