Back to School Marketing

by Matt Ryan

Now that August is here, teachers, administrators and advisers are filtering back into schools. In fact, school is some parts of the country is already back in session!

Hopefully, you’ve already got a great start on your school bookings for this year from the spring; however, it’s not too late to start your marketing campaign now for this school year. Some schools don’t have their dates for the following school year in the spring, or they are procrastinating themselves.

Either way, there is plenty of work still to be booked for this school year. So, what’s the first step in launching your school dance marketing campaign?

Get Your Materials into the Right Hands

As I’ve said before, the best marketing materials in the world in the wrong hands are useless. You need to make sure you are getting your materials into the RIGHT hands, the decision-maker for hiring school dance entertainment. Mediocre materials in the right hands will be more successful than the best materials in the wrong hands! (Hint: Students usually have limited, if any input, on who is hired to DJ their dances. If you’re only marketing your school dance services to students you’re probably not having much success.)

Most schools have multiple people, working under supplemental contracts as co-curricular advisers that are ultimately responsible for organizing the dances and hiring the DJ. These advisers take different titles depending on the configuration of the school.

In middle schools and junior high schools, your best contacts are usually student council advisers or an athletic/activities director. In high schools, it’s often class advisers, the student council adviser, or co-curricular director. Sending your materials to the right person is a critical step in being hired for their next dance. Do NOT rely on a secretary or administrator to forward your information to the right person.

Do Your Homework

Before you send out your marketing materials, take the time to research your target schools and determine who is responsible for organizing the dances. Most likely a phone call to the school’s general phone number will net you the information you’re looking for when the question is tactfully posed. Be sure to contact schools early in the year to have the best impact and the highest rate of success!

Matt Ryan – School Dance Pro

Matt Ryan is a multi-op DJ business owner, radio personality, developer of School Dance Pros and educator.

He has been entertaining at school and many other types of functions since 1996. Matt Ryan Mobile DJ Entertainment performs at approximately 250 events per year, nearly half of which are school and teen dances and proms.

Matt is a well-known on-air personality at WNCI 97.9, a Top 40 radio station in Columbus, OH. He is also a middle school teacher and coach.

Matt is able to provide unprecedented insight to other DJs about how school dances are organized.

His “School Dance DJ Marketing Toolkit” is available at To contact Matt, email