Starting a new career during a pandemic is a bold move, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it is to be bold and brave.
In July, Emily Roach took a huge leap of faith and hung up her teaching hat after 6 years, to join the e4education team; supporting schools and trusts from a very different angle!
She gives us an insight into her role and how she’s helping our multi-academy trust customers to get more from their investment.
The transition from education to e4education
Having been in classrooms for the past decade, I’ve been fortunate to experience many of the highs of the teaching profession (of which there are many!) as well as the challenges. I take my hat off to all members of staff working in schools and trusts… particularly in the current climate!
When the position of ‘Relationship Specialist for multi-academy trusts’ came up at e4education, I jumped at the chance to gain a more varied experience and try something new!
In a nutshell, my role is all about providing our multi-academy trust customers with an outstanding, first class account management experience, long after their website has gone live. My key goal is to ensure our trusts really get the most from their investment.
A typical day
My day is usually full of online meetings and phone calls with customers providing them with support and advice. I aim to check in with every trust at least once a term, but we often speak on a much more frequent basis.
I advise on best sitemap practice for user navigation, share the latest Ofsted compliancy information, help them to make their school website work harder, audit their content, talk through new functionality and demonstrate any parental communication or booking tool software they may be interested in.
After any customer catch up, I send a follow-up email outlining what we discussed, sharing useful documentation and making plans to check in again soon.
Aside from my frequent customer communications (the main portion of my day!) I’ll also check in with my Customer Relations Team (CRT) colleagues to find out what’s new in the education world and swap best practice on content, new functionality and resources.
Occasionally, I’ll meet with prospective customers, to discuss how we support customers longer term and the economies of scale that we can provide to trusts, who may be looking to work with us.
Supporting our multi-academy trusts
It’s no secret that multi-academy trusts invest a lot of time, effort and budget into their websites and communication software; it’s a vital part of their marketing strategy. That’s why it’s so important that our customers feel valued and supported from the moment they start working with us and beyond!
We don’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach, as every trust’s structure is different and they have unique requirements. Instead, we offer each trust a trust-wide pricing structure that clearly outlines their savings, of which any school can benefit from. This future-proofs their investment and provides transparency.
Our unique time-saving content sharing technology allows trust administrators to share key documents and policies from the trust site, to all school sites, at the click of a button – reducing the need for duplication of work or multiple logins.
Putting it simply, e4education understands trusts and our ever-evolving technology, support and pricing reflects that.
Five top tips for trusts embarking on a website project
Based on my experience as a teacher, and my conversations with trusts over the past few months, if I could share any pearls of wisdom with MATs looking at a new website project, they would be:
1. Future-proof your investment
If you’re embarking on a trust-wide project, then consider investing in a brilliant bespoke lead school website design, that includes all the ‘bells and whistles’.
This can then be cloned across to the other schools within your trust, at a fraction of the price, thus future-proofing your investment. We want our trusts to benefit from those economies of scale we can offer at e4education - we can save you thousands!
Any other schools that join the trust in the future can also take advantage of the clone design, so it is not only a cost-effective option – it will support your trust to entice new schools to join you.
2. Share your content
Make the most of the ability to share content between websites using our content sharing functionality.
Not only will it save your administrators the hassle of logging into each different website to add or update the same content multiple times, but it’ll also ensure that everything is up to date and the same information is shared consistently across your organisation.
3. Organise your permissions
Organising the user manager in your content management system correctly is a simple task but doing so can save hours of administration time.
Giving users different permissions for writing and publishing, depending on which pages they need to edit, allows you to delegate the website upkeep whilst still retaining overall administrative control.
4. Keep it simple
Your sitemap, or navigation menu, needs to help your website users find content quickly and easily. By keeping it simple and user-friendly (no more than 6 – 8 items on the main menu) and ensuring your content abides by the maximum 3 click rule (nothing should be more than 3 clicks away) you’ll be doing your visitors a favour… and yourselves!
5. Invest in communication tools
Having been a teacher myself and used various different systems over the years, I would highly recommend our communication tools, having all parental communication under the same roof as your website.
The simplicity of use and efficiencies in time and cost that these tools create can’t be overstated – I'd urge every school to jump on board and take the leap to e4education!
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