Thursday, April 7, 2011

ROR: Return on Relationships in Education

In the last post I was honored to speak with Ted Rubin about his take on what it means for our children to achieve in life and how parents, schools and communities support that achievement.
As mentioned, Mr. Rubin is the creator of the term Return on Relationships (ROR) ROR is a powerful tool in social media and with his vast experience in social networking, media and marketing Mr. Rubin is sharing with the world how we can all do a better job of using these powerful tools to market our products.  I have only dabbled with its use, but I already see a huge improvement in how well I can connect with others to promote the cause of educational transformation.
After doing my own experimenting, I realized that ROR is exactly what is needed in the education community today. Below is a breakdown from Mr. Rubin's website. In brackets you will see how I relabeled the columns in order to apply to education.
Perhaps our educational community needs a taste of Mr. Rubin's powerful tool in order to understand that students are the customer and must be treated and served with the utmost respect, dignity and care. They deserve a product that works well and provides an excellent education.  Just like any business, if this isn't provided the customer is likely to be disgruntled and demand better. In marketing a solid relationship must be built between entrepreneur and customer and this determines the success of the company. In a similar way how well we build relationships with students and the quality of education we provide now will determine our future success as a society,
Advertising [Teaching to Tests] Building Relationships [Developing Whole Child]
  1. Telling
  2. Starts with “me” (the brand, the product, the service)
  3. Focuses on “what can you give me?
  4. Goal:  instant impact
  5. Where’s the money?
  1. Listening, hearing, empathizing, asking,
  2. Starts with “you” (the customer’s needs, wants, interests and expectations)
  3. Focuses on “how can I serve you?
  4. Goal: ongoing engagement
  5. Who are the people?


  1. This is an awesome post and I am incredibly honored to have influenced your approach. Sincerely, Ted

  2. I'll check it out!

    I have to admit, though, (as a teacher) that your post made me think about the frustration business owners feel when purchasers don't follow manufacturing instructions and complain that the product doesn't deliver! If only it were so simple IRL--I could deliver the goods to all of my students, and they would all go home to parents who reinforced my lessons. :)

  3. This also corresponds with the coaching approach. However, the main obstacle today is the system need in evaluating, assessing and mainly - grading.