Most schools conduct tours or hold Open Days during daylight hours. However it means some interested parents are not available. I recently attended a very popular Parent Information Night at a local school with around 250 other prospective parents and children.
GOLD Award 2015
St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School www.stpaulsags.vic.edu.au
SILVER Award 2015
Beechboro Christian School www.beechborocs.wa.edu.au
HIGHLY COMMENDED Award 2015
Mundaring Christian College www.mundaringcc.wa.edu.au
FRESH & INNOVATIVE Award 2015
Download the Judges Report to understand better the criteria and comments.
School Marketing Awards 2015 REPORT (641 KB)
Each year Centre for Marketing Schools evaluates the effectiveness of prospectuses from a variety of schools. The role of the school prospectus is continually being questioned. These schools have chosen to continue to use printed prospectuses as part of their promotion to parents. Download the Judges Report to understand better the criteria and comments.GOLD Award 2015
School Marketing Awards 2015 REPORT (641 KB)
This year our judges gave a significantly higher score to the winning video. As a result we have introduced a Diamond Award. Download the Judges Report to understand better the criteria and comments.DIAMOND Award 2015
MOST LOVED AND SHAREABLE VIDEO Award 2015St Catherine’s Waverley, NSW
School Marketing Awards 2015 REPORT (641 KB)
Your school’s reputation is a fragile thing. Don’t take a good one for granted. Allegations of breaches in child protection, even historical ones, can bring your school’s name into the media for all the wrong reasons. One school, which as far as I am aware, do not have any allegations against them, took a proactive stance through an open letter to their school community. I have removed references to the school but believe it could be used as a good model for others.
An Open Letter to the [School Name] Community from the Head, [Name] regarding allegations of child sexual abuse - Historical MattersWith the increased level of public awareness and concern arising from past breaches of trust in child protection matters, it is natural for people to reflect on experiences in their lives, particularly during their time in school. The Council of [School Name] encourages any member of the [School Name] community who may have matters of concern from their time at [School Name] to make contact with us. To assist with this process, the School has established a Confidential Help Line [1800 Number].
However, if you would prefer to write to us, please use the following email address concerns@[Schoolwebsite]. This confidential email address is managed by our Senior Counsellor, [Name].
If any member of the [School Name] community wishes to discuss any matter personally with me or someone from the School, please do not hesitate to contact the School. Please be assured that all matters raised with the School will be treated with the utmost confidentiality, compassion and respect. Our prayerful support is offered to every generation that makes up our community of [School Name].
When considering promotional videos for your school the expense of a professional quality production can seem daunting for many school budgets. A good video can be used for years. Since 26 January 2012 the John Paul College 'Spirit Video' has received over 100,000 views on YouTube.
Have you re-read your school advertisements from five, ten or fifteen years ago? Are they still true? Would your current parents who responded to them think so? A recent article reported that “The Armidale School (TAS) would admit female students next year for the first time in its 123-year history.” The decision was considered divisive among parents. “One mother calling it a "disgrace". "It's not about tradition it is about what was sold to us," she said.
I like to watch popular videos about education on YouTube to better understand the many messages our parents are exposed to, or bombarded with. I call it research. Many videos are easy to agree with yet do need to be challenged. I find many solutions offered are simply based on alternative worldviews and belief systems. All education starts with a belief system. Replacing one belief system with another may satisfy one group and alienate others.This video encourages us to consider the real purpose of education for children and adults. Do we agree that ‘Working’ and ‘Sustaining good relationships” are really what we should be aiming for? The following words and phrases - “should”, “ideal”, “utopia”, “what they actually need to learn” all reveal a belief system about education.
What do people think of your school? What reputation does it hold in the community? Greg Pendlebury of Think-write Consulting believes "Most people tend to stay loyal to their initial point of view. A single piece of paper, no matter how well written, may not be sufficient to sway an entrenched mind. Persuasion sometimes takes time and multiple presentations. Keep the lines of communication open so that your audience can understand and assimilate your message."
School marketing does not rely on a single advertisement, presentation or conversation - either positive or negative. The continual combination can shift perceptions.
An effective question to ask a prospective parent is "what do you already know about our school?" This gives you an insight into what is either attracting them, or possibly causing hesitation, and allows you to better tailor your responses.
It is currently school holidays in Sydney Australia. Yet for 6 days I am with over 20 Year 11 students, staff and several former students serving, learning and experiencing life with an Aboriginal community in Yarrabah Queensland. This is the 10th year of these trips, but my first. The relationships developed over those 10 years have been mutually beneficial for both communities. The fact that so many former students return, at their own expense, even after graduation demonstrates the impact the trips have had on them.
Many schools include radio advertisements in their marketing mix. Here are some ways to extend the impact of this medium beyond those who listen to any particular station.
Michelle Favero, Marketing and Communications Manager at Emanuel School attended, and presented at, the recent School Marketing Aforia. Below is the delightful auto responder she set up during her absence.
Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office at a Schools Marketing Conference learning new ways to promote our wonderful school. Sorry I can't get to your email until next week when I return, filled with exciting ideas.Michelle FaveroMarketing and Communications ManagerEmanuel SchoolAddress / Phone / Website details
Barker College in Sydney took out half page advertisements in a local community newspaper. Rather than the more common promotion of an open day or tours they raised curiousity by mentioning two activities students had taken part in. The short teaser finished with “For the full story see our website”. On their website home page was a repetition of the same heading from the advertisement, a similar thumbnail photo, and a link to the longer story.
Yesterday I was honoured to attend an 80th birthday party. It was of the Deputy Principal from my Sydney High School. I have kept in contact with Errol Duck Chong and continue to be grateful for the impact he had on the school and myself. Errol is a rare man. 20 years after I left the school, with 1,200 students, he was able to help me identify the 240 people in my own year group by name, their sibling’s names and often the names of their parents. Although these students were in my own year there were many I realised I had never met.
I recently visited a school for the first time. There was a great team, passionate teachers with a good location and facilities. One team member had to leave the meeting to conduct a school tour for a prospective family. I asked “How do they find you?” She thought I meant “How did they find out about the school?” Instead I meant… “When they park their car how will they know where to find you?” I had the experience earlier and knew it could be difficult for first timers.
Students, parents and staff may all appreciate great educational facilities, well trained teachers and even our school website, but ultimately they will remember relationships and the experiences they shared. This video tells a real story. It's a story of a young man and his elementary school teacher and her lifetime commitment to her students and their lives – beyond school.
My Google Alerts recently directed me to an article on ‘How to spot if a school is right for you when job hunting’. The article, written for teachers, highlighted that how schools treat prospective teachers says a lot about their culture. The article concluded with this amusing, but true statement
Each teacher who applies but DOESN’T get employed by your school has still had an experience with your school and is likely to tell others about it – positively or negatively. While most school marketers are not involved in recruitment remember that our teachers actually do more ‘marketing’ than any of us. They have networks and parents often respect their advice when asking about local schools.
How you and your staff treat teachers in training on professional placement at your school is another opportunity. Take the time to meet, greet and engage with ‘prac’ teachers. They can be a source of great information and insight about your school plus other schools they may have been to.
Why a prospective parent, student or teacher chooses your school often comes down to “that gut feeling.” How we treat people creates feelings that can override any logic or rational decision making.
Greg Pendlebury of Think-write Consulting says “Publishing a document that nobody reads, or that people don't understand, or that users don't act on, is a waste. It's very risky to assume that a published document is achieving its purpose. Test early, test frequently to check that your document is hitting the mark with users.”
Many schools have policies and strategies on bullying. Instead of focusing on what NOT to do students at East Ridge Middle School have been challenged to do 1,000 acts of kindness. The media, and several bloggers picked up on the initiative.
When you have a group of schools to promote video can be an effective way of presenting a united vision.
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Join us. Together we can learn, share ideas and tell the unique story of our school community.