First Impression in 7 Seconds

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
First Impression in 7 Seconds

It better be great because you only have one chance! Your website is your stand-in for your own initial smile and handshake. Does your site make the grade? Here’s an easy test to gather information about first impressions. I used this as an exercise at the National Coalition of Girls Schools conference in Washington in […]

Creating a Global Communications Calendar

Posted on Jun 22, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Creating a Global Communications Calendar

Your marketing communications plan is most effective when its foundation is a “global” communications calendar that covers the whole school and accounts for all constituencies. Preparing a truly comprehensive annual agenda serves as the organizing force behind your annual cycle of print and electronic publications, special events, outreach and publicity efforts. You should put the […]

Be a Data-Driven Marketer

Posted on Jun 9, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Be a Data-Driven Marketer

Stacy Jagodowski is on the move. This high-profile indy school marketing and communications strategist is headed west from Cheshire Academy to a new assignment at Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles. I caught her for a farewell lunch today, and—as always—she was generous in sharing her expert advice as the year wraps and summer offers […]

Avoid the Jargon Jungle

Posted on Jun 3, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Avoid the Jargon Jungle

Are you thrashing through the marketing jargon jungle? Confused about what is Brand Essence, a Value Proposition, the difference between Vision and Position and how do you get it? What happens if you don’t? Well, you’re not alone! There’s lots of competition for your business now that marketing has become an accepted management tool in […]

8 Ways to Reduce Snooze in a Long Story

Posted on May 11, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
8 Ways to Reduce Snooze in a Long Story

Headline Grab the attention of your distracted reader with a powerful headline—make it pithy and make it colorful. Deck Explain your story through this précis, building on the headline—a phrase or a short sentence or two will do the trick. Running Heads Show your reader through the content by adding bold subheads for new sections […]

7 Ways to Improve Your Admissions Collaterals

Posted on May 5, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
7 Ways to Improve Your Admissions Collaterals

Yes, people still want to receive print from you. To maximize your investment, these materials must create an experience for the reader that mirrors what they will find when they come to your campus. Too often, they fall short. Print gets bad grades for: amateur graphic design that decorates but does not illuminate your editorial […]

Assessing Your Magazine ROI

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Assessing Your Magazine ROI

Taking time to review your work is a discipline that often gets lost in the day to day. But it’s essential to evaluate the process and product that keeps communication flowing with your desired constituencies. Using the school magazine as an example, here’s what you should look at: Objectives What do you hope to accomplish […]

Writing Fit for Reading

Posted on Mar 23, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Writing Fit for Reading

By now, I hope your school has created the position of director of communications. And if you’re keeping up with the times, you also have an associate or assistant responsible for the website and social media. This puts your school in good shape for producing well-written content for both electronic and print communications. Although the […]

The Hollister Communications Plan Process

Posted on Jan 26, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
The Hollister Communications Plan Process

In 1984, soon after I established Cheney & Company, I attended a fantastic conference session led by Peter Hollister of Hollister, Trubow & Associates. Peter outlined a process for developing a strategic communications plan that makes perfect sense today. Here it is in a nutshell—with only a couple of updates! One-time participative management meeting Agree […]

Own Your Identity

Posted on Jan 12, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Own Your Identity

Schools think they will save money with do-it-yourself branding by using clip art or by having an enthusiastic parent draw a logo that will be emblazoned on the website, letterhead and campus signage. Home pages abound with newly created heraldic crests with indecipherable Latin phrases, lamps of learning, swords and trees meant to define the […]