The 8 Key Elements of Communications Planning

Posted on Jan 24, 2019 in Blog, Fundamentals
The 8 Key Elements of Communications Planning

1. Constituencies Identify your important audiences and get to know their needs and expectations. 2. Programs and Services Know your “product.” True marketing involves a give and take between you and your “customer” with something of value going in both directions and both parties benefiting from the exchange. This is as true for your development […]

The How-To Guide for School Communications Directors

Posted on Dec 6, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
The How-To Guide for School Communications Directors

Some of the days in your many-layered job, you’ll spend time as a writer/editor. Here are 18 essential survival tips for the 5 selves in you: The Egotist Be a reader first and an editor second and a writer third. Listen and then give it your own touch. Pick your fights. If you have to […]

Color

Posted on Nov 16, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
Color

Color is the foundational and indispensable element of visual branding. Color comes from light, “that first phenomenon of the world,” as said by the famous color theorist, Johannes Itten. Color: distinguishes mood and style symbolizes trends, ideas and traditions lets you identify without reading (think hospital wayfinding signage and the right team bench) Most older […]

Own Your School’s Identity

Posted on Aug 27, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
Own Your School’s 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 […]

Start to Finish

Posted on Jun 18, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
Start to Finish

More than any other factor—yes, even more than money—the importance of plotting your marketing communications (aka marcom) projects on a master calendar is the most undervalued planning step we encounter working with schools around the country. Starting too late and guessing at how long it will take is rampant. What do you get when you […]

Market Research–It Begins at Home

Posted on Apr 7, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
Market Research–It Begins at Home

My friend and marketing expert Jeff Wack recently commented, “For me, marketing/enrollment is not the output goal of truly strategic planning; rather, coupling an understanding of market factors (competitors, demographics) with a cold-eyed look at the organization (product, price, messaging, staffing, resourcing), are the main inputs to strategic thinking.” I agree with Jeff. Sometimes we […]

3 Essential Marketing Fitness Factors

Posted on Feb 5, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
3 Essential Marketing Fitness Factors

Marketing communications is finally becoming an accepted strategic tool in good school management. Effectively connecting with your audiences cuts across all departments if you hope to meet your goals in student and faculty recruitment, philanthropy, parent and alumni relations and happy neighbors. Reputation is born in relationships (delivering on your promise), and your active responsiveness […]

Calculating Your Magazine ROI

Posted on Jan 15, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals
Calculating 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 […]

Campaign Microsites: A New Tool in Your Online Ecosystem

Posted on Dec 2, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
Campaign Microsites: A New Tool in Your Online Ecosystem

Digital media offer exciting new opportunities to reach prospective donors and thank those who have already contributed to your capital campaign. Campaign microsites are becoming increasingly popular as a vehicle to trumpet your campaign’s brand, highlight campaign news and provide an easy way for donors to make a pledge or an outright gift. Ensure your […]

School Fairs—Why They’re Worth It

Posted on Oct 9, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
School Fairs—Why They’re Worth It

It’s worth your institution investing in attendance at a school admissions fair, but maybe not for the reasons you think. Of course the hope is that lines will form at your table to find out more about your school. You are armed with your new materials, an iPad video and fabulous tchotchkies. Sad to say […]