When a music teacher uploaded a video, taken on her phone, of students singing in the school choir she obviously didn’t expect it to generate over 20 million views on multiple platforms. The video was picked by Choir Buzz and shared to their network. The amateur video has been an unexpected marketing coup for Cardinal Shehan School in Baltimore

This video raises several concerns as a school marketer:

  1. Did the Music teacher Kenyatta Hardison (who has taught at the school for 23 years) ask permission before posting it to facebook?
  2. Is it a missed opportunity that there is no clear school branding or banners visible?
  3. Could she have chosen a better angle, tidied the classroom or improved the lighting?

At almost 6 minutes long it is considered too long for facebook

Yet, possibly all these ‘negative’ factors actually helped the video’s success. Sometimes we may follow the “rules” and the end product feels too polished and actually hinders people sharing it. The original video was not trying to sell the school and I suggest that was part of its appeal – these young students can sing and that is what matters.

Some of the 12,000 comments include these...

  • Fametta Jackson - Blessed to be the principal of this school. The extraordinary and amazing choir director has impacted many lives with her gift of music for over 23 years. Our teachers are awesome and teach with the same level of passion. And the students.... our students are the true gifts!!!
  • Dominique Oliver - All 4 of my boys attend this school and this made me cry! And what's even a better testament to this school is that each one of the students singing are amazing kids!
  • Kaye Midkiff Thomas - Wow! This is what can happen when you have a talented dedicated adult, who obviously has high standards and strongly believes in the young people she is working with! There are so many things I want to say but it all boils down to “kids don’t care what you know until they know you care”. These students believe in themselves because SHE believes in them.

Watch the original video at: Choir Buzz Rise Up https://www.facebook.com/choirbuzz/videos/1924858531169148/

Since the initial video went viral the choir was asked to perform on many TV shows including Good Morning America. Even this “professional” performance for TV is shorter than the original.

Source: Video of Baltimore Catholic school choir closing in on 10 million views

Lesson: Take some risks. Break some rules. Authentic good quality education is attractive. Sometimes the extra polish may hinder rather than help our school marketing.