Effective marketing for Community Houses

Community Houses provide educational opportunities within their local communities, including fitness, health, computers, languages, arts and other courses. Some community houses also offer accredited courses through being a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) providing opportunities for gaining new skills and employment.

While community houses tend to not compete with other community houses, they do face competition from other education providers, particularly if they offer accredited courses.

It is worth noting that the target market for participants of accredited courses is distinct to traditional community house courses. As a result, the catchment for accredited courses tends to be broader and focuses on upskilling and employment skills. In comparison traditional courses, tend to attract people form the local community who are learning for recreational purposes, as well as social interaction.

In either case, community houses need an integrated marketing approach to reach their target demographics.

Given the local demographic of community houses, there is merit in traditional forms of communication, such as leaflets and newspaper advertisements. Newsletters can also be useful, particularly for course participants.

The Internet also has a role, through ensuring a seamless approach to course information and enrolment. Community houses need to expand their Internet presence beyond a downloadable brochure and offer regularly updated course content. This content should be easily viewable on a website with information on the contents of the course and enrolment details.

In addition, it should be possible for someone to enroll online, this ensures that someone is able to easily enter a course and saves time for both the community house and the person interested in enrolling. Some courses may require confirmation prior to enrolment. If this is the case then it should be possible to pre-enrol in the course, so that the community house will be able to receive contact information and finalise the enrolment process.

An automated enrolment process makes it easier for both the community house and prospective students, through saving time and providing instant confirmation of details. Furthermore, a web presence can be extended to include online subject materials and integration with social media, this enables a community house to reach a wider target market and compete effectively with other education providers.

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Brendan says:

    Some great insight on marketing for community houses, thanks for the advice.

    • Alex Makin says:

      Brendan, thanks for your comments. Community Houses are increasingly becoming centres for learning and this alters the potential target markets and how they should reach potential students. In particular, centres that have RTO accreditation are also competing against private providers, as well as government educational facilities.


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