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.
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. Construction 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?
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.
It’s interesting to note that:
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.
Further to our article last week on Naming Your Social Media Channels, this website NameCk allows you to check name availability on social media.
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
A survey can identify issues, and from there it is important the school takes action to address those issues.
Learn more > School Satisfaction Surveys
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.
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.
If you need more ideas on how to promote your school, Smart Ideas for School Marketers is full of 128 ideas on school promotion.
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.”
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!
Paul Browning, Principal of St Paul’s School in Brisbane, was our host for the 2012 School Marketing Aforia. His 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
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:
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 (4237 KB)
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!
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: Somerset College www.somerset.qld.edu.au
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Centre for Marketing Schools is an international network of people passionate about schools. Founded by Dr Linda Vining the Centre is now led by Jenny Pierson.
Join us. Together we can learn, share ideas and tell the unique story of our school community.