Episode 20: Use The Power Of Storytelling To Increase Student Retention And Recruitment

Big Takeaways


  • Remember that this framework is taken from the #1 Wall Street Bestseller: Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. Will link below.
  • Our brain is all about closing open loops.
  • Great stories open loops, maintain the reader's interest and then close the loop.


5 parts of the 7 part Building a StoryBrand formula:

    • A character, has a problem, and meets a guide, who gives them a plan that ends in success
    • A character: position the parent as the HERO, do not position the school as the HERO
    • Has a problem: help figure out the parent’s problem, use lots of empathy, LISTEN DEEPLY and then help articulate the problem
    • Meets a guide: Position yourself as the guide who can PARTNER with the parent to help them reach solve their problem. DO NOT position your school as the HERO
    • DO NOT paint the public school as the VILLIAN. Focus on what you do well. Do NOT focus on the problems with the local public school system.
    • Who gives them a plan: Very simply connect the dots for them, the rocks in the stream
    • That ends in success: Use vivid language to create a climactic scene (diploma/suitcase FEEL FREE TO STEAL)

Call to Action

  • In your conversations with current and prospective parents, position yourself as the guide and use vivid language to create an open story loop that can only be closed by staying at your school.


  • ADVANCED: Read Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller and share it with your Communications Director so that the StoryBrand framework influences your website and your printed materials.

CLICK HERE for Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. (This in an affiliate link. If you purchase through this link, I get a commission of 4% of the price of the book to help defray the costs of the podcast and the website. You don’t have to use this link.)


If you implement any of these strategies at your school, I would love to hear from you! Send me a quick note at [email protected] and tell me about it. I can answer your questions and I’m also good at giving pep talks when you get stuck!

CLICK HERE for a bunch of free resources, including Plug & Play PD's (video webinars with guided notes) for you to use with your teachers, Top Lists of Leadership Books, Productivity Books, TED Talks and much more!

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Music by Twisterium from Pixabay