Past Newsletters

Issue 592 - 31-Aug-2014

Take the bad and make it good

Your school will have many wonderful features, but there may also be some faults.  Rather than trying to hide those faults, there may be ways to highlight them and use them as a point of difference, with a positive focus. This video clip is an example of a French supermarket chain and an advertising agency working together to create an inspiring case study that tells a story very well.  They set out to encourage healthy eating, at a cheaper price, and in a way that helps the environment too.  

What do you have at your school that could be seen as a fault, but you’ve worked with it to see it become a positive point of difference?  We’d love to hear about it.

Issue 591 - 24-Aug-2014

Customer Service and Missing School Enrolments

When a $5m project at Covenant Christian School Sydney began many people were not aware of the details. Curiosity rose as trees were removed and a construction fence erected.  Covenant New BuildingConstruction fences are never glamorous so some large 2m x 1m signs of plans and architect designs were designed to help tell a story. Kwik Kopy, a national print franchise, were asked for a quote. It was received within hours. To ensure value for money an online request for a quotation from another national sign company was made. In the meantime, Kwik Kopy agreed to meet our tight timeframe to produce the signs. They were installed before students returned to school.  

Question: Is your school missing out on enrolments simply due to a response system being slower than your neighbouring schools?

If your customer service needs some focus, enrol your administration staff in the distance Customer Relations Course – there is still time to complete it this year, or plan for it in next year's budget.  Every staff member is a marketer, particularly your front line staff.  

For further details visit > Customer Relations Course 

Issue 591 - 24-Aug-2014

Understanding your students through public research

When research statistics are publically released, consider their relevance to your school community.  Statistics can help us understand the trends of things students love, what they’re worried about and where are some opportunities for schools.  

For example, the following article was written from data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.   

Stopping bullying top issue for Aussie students  

It’s interesting to note that:

  • Bullying is the social issue that causes students the most concern.  Therefore bullying needs to be addressed well and consistently by schools.
  • 23% of boys prefer hip hop as their favourite music style, and 39% of girls prefer pop.  Schools could incorporate hip hop and pop music into the assemblies, dance lessons or videos, to help keep the students engaged.  
  • Given that 14% of children aren’t eating breakfast at all before they come to school, could your school offer breakfast to students as well as lunch?  

Issue 591 - 24-Aug-2014

School Video Inspiration for Advertisements

We met Linda Belonje, Director of Marketing and Development at KIS International School in Bangkok, when she came to the School Marketing Aforia in 2013.  Linda has recently overseen the production of a video and related series of print advertisements for publication in English language magazines across Thailand. 

The video has KIS students talking about their passions, dreams and aspirations, which served as inspiration for the advertisements.  For example, in the video, Jun from Grade 11 said, “with the power of imagination, characters can actually fly off the page”.   This quote from Jun became the basis of an advertisement – and actually relates to a book he is writing, in a language he has created himself. 

Take a look behind the scenes to see how the advertisement was actually put together.  Very creative!

> Click on thumbnails to see behind the scenes photographs and advertisements

Issue 590 - 17-Aug-2014

Naming Your School Social Media Channels

Further to our article last week on Naming Your Social Media Channels, this website NameCk allows you to check name availability on social media.

Issue 590 - 17-Aug-2014

Slideshow Features School Activities

Sarah Kelly, Marketing and Events Coordinator at Belgrave Heights Christian School, touched base with us this week.  After looking at the school website we saw how simple it can be to showcase your school, not only to the current school community, but to prospective families visiting the website.  

Sarah produces a slideshow and embeds it in the school’s home page.  It shows the school’s happenings over a period of a week or two.  How many parents would watch the whole thing to see if their child was featured in the photo compilation that week?  In so doing they are getting a great snapshot of school life.  In this week's snapshot, a variety of student year levels are featured, along with sport competition, activities and a teacher farewell.  It also shows the belief system of the school in every day school happenings. 

“It doesn’t take a lot of technical expertise but it’s effective in showcasing the range of activities in our K-12 school.  The teachers play it in the classroom so everyone gets to see what each other has been doing.  It takes a couple of hours a week to put together, but we’ve found it to be so worthwhile”, Sarah mentioned.
Thanks for sharing your idea Sarah. Click through to the video on the school home page

Issue 589 - 10-Aug-2014

End of year school satisfaction survey

For schools in the southern hemisphere, as the second semester is now well under way, have you given consideration to surveying your school community before year end?  Perhaps capturing the comments of Year 12 students and parents as they graduate this term, and Year 6 next term, can be a great way to identify the positive things the school is doing, and some consistent issues that may need attention.

Centre for Marketing Schools completed a Year 6 Survey for a school. Below are some of the revealing messages that came out, which the school needs to consider for the future.

Overall, students made positive responses about the quality of their education, teacher/student relationships and pastoral care, but there were 5 areas where the school needs to pay particular attention:

16% of students felt they could be extended more in their work
11% believed teachers did not treat them as mature and responsible
22% said they did not feel fit and healthy
13% wanted clearer instructions about assignments
And very importantly . . .
27% did not feel they were adequately prepared for high school.

A survey can identify issues, and from there it is important the school takes action to address those issues.  

Learn more > School Satisfaction Surveys

Issue 589 - 10-Aug-2014

What Does Your School Video Convey?

Rachael Pearson, Business Development Manager of St Margaret’s School and Berwick Grammar School, shared with us their new video recently, which they have embedded on the home page of their website.  While the 4 minute video does showcase the school’s facilities and activities, the interaction between students, staff and parents is the focus.  It portrays the school as a personal, warm and inviting place.

“After watching many videos over the years I really wanted ours to capture the students and to get a sense of the whole child without too much focus on what we provide for them.  Most schools offer the same subjects.  I wanted to shift the focus on to the students personalities”, commented Rachael.  

Take a look > St Margaret's Video

School Life from St Margaret's Berwick Grammar on Vimeo.

Issue 589 - 10-Aug-2014

Naming Your School’s Social Media Channels

Simon Noakes of Interactive Schools, UK (twitter @intSchools #inspiringschools) has written a helpful and practical blog on naming your school’s social media channels. Even the ones you don’t use yet.  His guide will provide you with the rules and limitations that each of the main social media channels impose.


> Naming Your School's Social Media Channels

Naming Your School's Social Media Channels

Issue 588 - 3 August 2014

Smart Ideas for School Marketers

If you need more ideas on how to promote your school, Smart Ideas for School Marketers is full of 128 ideas on school promotion.  Smart Ideas for School Marketers

For example, Idea # 55 “Collect words that press hot buttons!  It suggests that you collect advertisements, flyers, brochures and promotional leaflets that make you want to read more, take notice, take action.  Some attention grabbing words are:  FREE, YOU, VALUE, HAPPY, QUALITY.  Analyse the words that press your buttons and then try them in your promotional material.”

Issue 588 - 3 August 2014

Do we over promise in school marketing?

There are many funny videos on YouTube. Some of the funniest are those which have an element of truth. This video is from a series on Honest Advertising. It promotes a University but asks questions on what a degree will actually cost you and what it will give you. A little light hearted relief! 

Issue 588  - 3 August 2014

Free School Leadership Book

Paul Browning, Principal of St Paul’s School in Brisbane, was our host for the 2012 School Marketing Aforia.   Compelling LeadershipHis iBook, Compelling Leadership, is designed to be a resource for anyone wishing to develop their leadership capacity and improve their school’s learning environment. Drawn from Paul’s PhD research study, the findings are a practical guide for leaders wishing to create outstanding schools.

Throughout this short book you will find suggested resources, reflection questions, group discussion starters and an assessment tool that you can use to appraise your current leadership practice. 

Download the iBook or PDF

Issue 587 - 27-jul-2014

Purple Power for Memorable School Marketing

Purple Power for Memorable School Marketing is a book full of tips and hints for effective school marketing. 

An example of the type of practical information contained in this book include “The School Tour“ pages which talk about six suggestions for a winning school tour:

1. Preparation – know your visitors from their enquiry, memorise their names, former schools and names of siblings or relatives at the school.  Show an interest in them.
2. Timing the Visit – ideally avoid class change-over, lunch and recess, although be flexible with prospective family availability
3. The arrival – meet the visitors at the car park/front gate.  Greet them by name with a handshake and smiles.  Wear name badges.
4. Address customer needs en route – as you move through the tour talk to the prospective children discovering their interests and adjusting the route so that their interests are satisfied.  
5. Back to the admissions office – have the school information kit prepared in advance with some promotional items in a crested envelope or bag ie: prospectus, pens, stickers etc.  Offer refreshments.  Invite them to ask questions and to contact you if they have further enquiries by giving them your card. 
6. Escort visitors to their cars accompanied by the student guides, farewelling all by name and a handshake.

Order your copy > Purple Power for Memorable School Marketing 

Issue 587 - 27-jul-2014

School Marketing Awards 2014 Judging Report

If your school is thinking of creating a new website, prospectus, or promotional video, take a look at the judging criteria in the Judging Report.  The difference between good promotional material and outstanding material can be just a few simple things ie: including a location map; not too wordy etc.  

School Marketing Awards 2014 REPORT School Marketing Awards 2014 REPORT (4237 KB)

Issue 587 - 27-jul-2014

Start with Why in School Marketing

Barrye Dickinson from The Knox School, spoke at our recent School Marketing Aforia about incorporating the WHY into our school marketing.  In our promotions, we can tend to focus on the WHAT and HOW ie: great facilities, teachers, academic results etc. But families don’t join your school because of what you do alone, but WHY you do it.  Focusing on the why taps into the feeling part of the brain, and decision making is emotional before it is rational.  The ‘why’ talks about purpose, cause, belief, and inspires us to action. How often do we hear the comment, “It just doesn’t feel right”?  This is the feeling part of the brain overriding the logical part of the brain.  It was a very insightful presentation, inspired by the TED talk video by Simon Sinek.  Thank you Barrye!  

Issue 586 - 29-jun-2014

Announcement of School Marketing Awards – Video 2014

This is a new award. Setting the criteria for the judges was challenging. Some entries focused on an individual student’s story. Some videos appealed more to individual judges. The beauty of video is that it combines visuals and audio and can engage a viewer’s emotion. It then becomes subjective. Creating a variety of videos will accomplish more than trying to tell a whole story in one.

Gold Award: St Patricks College
Judges enjoyed the creative beginning harking back to the school's earlier years. Yet the strength of this video was in the genuine, clear voices and experiences of the students and teachers. They felt current parents would be delighted to show the video to friends.  This is an excellent promotional video that focuses on how the school equips their girls for life.  It is very enjoyable and easy to understand.


Silver Award: Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak 
Judges enjoyed the introduction showing girls with their friends and the inclusion of many students.
There is an overview of school's history and a call to action to visit. This video is more scripted and only the Principal speaks.

Silver Award: The British School Netherlands 
This was a series of four videos designed to give smaller snippets of information based on parent interests. Judges felt it was very appealing and professional with lots of first hand accounts of experiences with the school. The main feature was the great stories from the perspective of students, parents and teachers.


Issue 586 - 29-jun-2014

Announcement of School Marketing Awards – Website 2014

Gold Award: Somerset College
This website was recognised as being extremely well organised and easy to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices. Every menu tab has an Overview which provides a summary to help you decide before you click further to what you need in that section. It was not too busy yet there was a clear sense of the school's culture and photos of several staff.

Silver Award: The Cathedral School Townsville
The video on the home page helped give a clear sense of culture and facilities. It was easy to find info. The large news section on the homepage is interesting.

Issue 586 - 29-jun-2014

Announcement of School Marketing Awards – Prospectus 2014

Gold Award: Emmanuel College Warrnambool 
Congratulations to Jean Christie who has also been the most regular delegate to the School Marketing Aforia. Judges reported that this prospectus was bold and colourful and printed on quality paper. It was a neat package and easy to take further steps towards enrolment. Most of all the judges like the great stories and personal language showing a diversity of students.

Silver Award: Bialik College 
Judges commented on the lovely magazine style with handwritten notes and the easy to read style with a good mix of photos. It was not too wordy and loose pages were neatly held in a back pocket. Although judged separately this prospectus and website worked very well together.

Issue 586 - 29-jun-2014

Thank you to host schools 2014

Last’s weeks School Marketing Aforia in Perth was a wonderful reminder of how generous school marketers can be. The discussion, presentations, show and tell and mutual encouragement was an enriching time. This is what impressed me with the first Aforia I attended in 2009 and why I kept returning, and when we took over the business in 2011 we wanted to ensure this culture continued. 

We are very grateful to our host school Jan Garner of Lake Joondalup Baptist College and Gillian MacDonald of Guildford Grammar School. Their behind the scenes work was so appreciated by the delegates.

Offers of host schools for 2015 are very welcome!

At the Aforia the winners of this year’s School Marketing Awards were announced. A pdf report will be available with more details of why our judges selected these.

Issue 586 - 29-jun-2014

Explain the educational benefits of technology and not just the facts

A friend posted on facebook a graphic from a café “No WiFi – talk to each other, call your mum, pretend it’s 1993. Live.” This café, rather than feeling compelled to offer WIFI, boldly promoted some benefits of not providing it.No WiFi

Many schools now offer wireless internet access on their grounds. Yet when talking to prospective parents about technology do we only talk about the WHAT, or go deeper with some of the WHY?

Here are some thoughts to consider adding to your explanation:
• An advantage of WiFi for education is that the use of technology is no longer limited to the classroom. 
• Learning, exploring, researching and communication can happen outside the four walls. 
• We have deliberately created outdoor areas for classes. We are catering for different learning styles.
• The weather is great. Who wouldn’t want to work outside on a day like this?
• We believe there are times for screens and there are times to put them away or turn them off. Part of school is educating students on both. 
• We recognise that wireless access to the internet can provide distractions to students. We proactively block some websites to help student focus their energies while at school.