Faculty—Your Golden Brand

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Blog, Insights
Faculty—Your Golden Brand

Bringing your faculty alive to web visitors and readers is a fantastic way to differentiate your school from all others. These individuals are the heart of your school, and you should be ready to showcase them by having on hand basic information that goes beyond name and year of appointment. You should have a completed […]

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 […]

Getting Personal with Donors

Posted on Mar 17, 2017 in Blog, Insights
Getting Personal with Donors

What’s the best way to quietly unveil your plans for a major capital campaign with key donor prospects? Treat them like insiders! Especially during the leadership phase of a capital campaign or in the ongoing cultivation of major donors, a school is wise to seek and take counsel from this essential constituency. Your donors and […]

School Reputation—A Matter of Education

Posted on Mar 10, 2017 in Blog, Insights
School Reputation—A Matter of Education

Did you know that a significant chunk of the “data” behind the U.S. News college rankings has been a college’s “reputation” among administrators at other colleges and universities? How other educators look at a college thus matters in a substantive, bread-and-butter way, and it doesn’t matter all that much—at least to U.S. News and its […]

Every School Communication is a Recruiting Tool

Posted on Mar 2, 2017 in Blog, Insights
Every School Communication is a Recruiting Tool

Just as there are new ways to use recruitment videos, viewbooks and websites for “nonrecruitment” purposes, so too a school can use its magazine, e-news and annual report to enhance recruitment efforts. Articles in the magazine can help clarify a school’s image and bring people up to date on programs offered. If the public perceives […]

The Father of Spin

Posted on Feb 23, 2017 in Blog, Musings
The Father of Spin

I bet you thought that branding, marketing and public relations came into being in the last couple of decades. Nope, you’re way off. In truth, the foundations of the now ubiquitous magic of spin were invented by the masterful communicator Edward Bernays more than a hundred years ago. From a quick look at Wikipedia: It […]

9th Period

Posted on Feb 17, 2017 in Blog, Musings
9th Period

Two years ago April, I started a blog and have been posting every week since then except when a guest blogger has provided some nuggets of wisdom for our readers. 9th Period is aimed at independent school communicators and touches on subjects ranging from improving your magazine and admission viewbook to what is branding and […]

Stick With Your Reader

Posted on Feb 2, 2017 in Blog, Musings
Stick With Your Reader

What I dread most each Christmas is the damn stickers and labels. (It’s the beginning of February, and I’m still brooding.) Like on the bottom of every glass at Pier One or every jar of jam at Marshalls or every cellophane wrapper on a box of cookies from Pepperidge Farm. They’re untakeoffable. Scraping doesn’t work. […]

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 […]