I’m Not Just the President…I’m Also a Client!

“I’m not only the president…I’m also a client”
– Sy Sperling, president, Hair Club for Men ca. 1989

There is no greater endorsement of a product than your own personal investment in it. When I started working as the senior communications associate at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, a US Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence that serves 900+ students, I was familiar with its reputation as an outstanding independent Jewish school. Once I got there, I saw why.

The Challenge

How do you effectively sell a product that you haven’t bought, especially when you are the target audience?

At that point, my own children were enrolled at a different school. The longer I worked at BT, the more I appreciated the quality of the education the school offered, the more I wanted my own children to benefit from that kind of educational environment. Their transfer to BT changed their lives…and mine.

I was no longer just a communications associate…I was now also a client.

Rina and Shani '15

With my daughter, Shani ’15

I then truly began to understand the school’s mission — “Learning together. For life.” — from a whole new perspective — not just as a communications professional who promotes the brand to current and prospective parents, but as a parent watching her children flourish academically, socially and spiritually while being welcomed into the community as a fellow parent, not just as a staff member. That experience transformed my role as a communications professional, allowing me to not just promote school’s brand, but to tell its story, understanding its value and impact from the perspective of the people we’re trying to reach: parents.

Moving Through the Funnel

With Rivi '19

With Rivi ’19

Beth Tfiloh is not only an independent Jewish school, it is also the largest Modern Orthodox synagogue in the United States. While I transferred my girls to the school three years ago, I was still a member at another synagogue a mile away. Balancing the marketing demands of a large school is enough to keep me busy — add in the needs of a large synagogue, it can be quite a challenge.

Each weekend, the synagogue offers a multitude of programs for children, pre-teens, teens and adults, all designed to help them experience the beauty and meaning of the Jewish Sabbath in a personal, warm way, regardless of their level of religious affiliation. Some weekends, there are communal meals; others offer a different style of prayer or a guest speaker addressing a hot topic in the Jewish community. Each initiative aims to bring in community members and make them feel at home.

Ahuva ’24

Before I was a member, I promoted those services mechanically, without any personal understanding or connection. Once I joined and started attending services regularly, I saw the energy and excitement both kids and adults alike felt about Sabbath services, and the sense of community created through those services. I’m not just selling a religious service; I’m inviting others to share in what I experience each week. That connection informs my communication strategies and implementation, making me a more effective communicator while also helping me grow professionally — today, I am Beth Tfiloh’s Assistant Director of Communications.

The Lesson: Buy In!

If you are going to devote 8+ hours a day to selling a product or service, find one that you can really get behind personally. Your message will be far more compelling and authentic if you are a satisfied customer — or volunteer, or donor — than if you are just killing 8 hours a day to earn a paycheck.

Rina GoloskovRina Goloskov is the Assistant Director of Communications at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School/Beth Tfiloh Congregation, using her nearly two decades of communications experience to manage the brand of both a US Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence that serves 900+ students, as well as a 2,000-family Jewish congregation, across multiple marketing channels: website, social media, print and radio advertising, direct mail, and e-mail. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Touro College and is currently pursuing a combined MA in Communications and Certificate in Non-Profit Management at Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs. Contact or network with her on LinkedIn.


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