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Blog | Enrol More Students | Innovative and relevant ways to keep your school thriving

What is branding?

Think of branding as a promise you make to your clients. In the case of schools, your clients are your students, your families and your staff. The brand intimates what can be expected from your school. Subtly, it tells how you differ from other schools in the marketplace. The word that sums up excellent branding is ‘consistent’.

5 things that will reinforce your branding

Over the last few years I have noticed quite a few schools applying these points to great effect and this is encouraging. I am sure they are reaping the rewards. However, there are still schools that present a confused and sometimes non-existent brand.

  1. Using a consistent logo – When you think of the world’s most recognised brands, you have a clear picture of their logo and an understanding of their product or service. One of the reasons for this is consistency. You don’t see a squashed version of the Coca Cola logo appearing on a billboard. Recognisable brands are unbelievably consistent – large corporations have departments that look after branding to ensure it is consistent. If many variations of your logo are used then your brand is being diluted.
  2. Using a strong and simple tagline – A tagline can express the essence of your school. It’s a chance to tell part of your unique story or your unique perspective on schooling. The best taglines are succinct and use words that connect to our emotions. Once the tagline has been developed your school should stick to it, repeat it and tie it to your advertising and marketing. The same rule applies to the tagline as to the logo: be consistent.
  3. Using brand elements consistently – Your school brand is usually associated with interplay of your logo, your tagline and your graphic design elements. Graphic design elements include the consistent use of colours, layouts, fonts and even the tone of conversation! Look at what the people outside your school get to see. Great branding is reinforced through creating items that look like they are part of a family. They have the repetitive use of the same elements. For example: your school magazine, year book, newspaper advertisements, website, letterhead, Facebook page etc should all look like they belong. One of the most difficult things to control is having volunteers or well-meaning staff create stationery or posters or flyer that look like they don’t fit into your school. Get tough. Your brand is being messed with!
  4. Using great photography – Photos make all the difference to a school publication or website. The saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is so true – but only if the words are those that you want to hear. I suggest you invest in a professional photographer or an enthusiast (under direction) to collect some great images that speak the right message about your school. Fuzzy, poorly exposed, badly cropped or low resolution photos tell your audience that you don’t really care. If you are telling the story of your school – make sure you include all the players; the staff, the students, the facilities, the expressions and the events (big and small). Photos that include movement and activity are awesome.
  5. Controlling the application of the brand – In each case where a consistent and recognisable brand has been developed by a school I have found that the school has a dedicated person or team of people that control and maintain the application of the brand. This is so important. Any item that people outside the school see or come in contact with has to be produced by the same person or team, following strict design guidelines. Most schools go to the expense of producing a style guide or similar but fail in the application.

 

 

I was reading Social Media News the other day that a lot more than 50% of adults in the same demographic as parents use Facebook an average of 58 times per week. This has a big impact on the style of marketing and communication methods to reach these people.

Facebook Graph February 2012

If you knew that over 50% of your audience were going to the movies – then you would have cinema advertising. The same goes for Facebook. It is just another medium. And your audience is turning up regularly.

How is your Facebook strategy? Are you getting the most out of it? If not, maybe we can help you.

To read more Facebook statistics please visit David Cowling’s site:

Facebook Australia 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]

EmotionToo often, photographs used in school marketing carry no emotion and no emotion equals no engagement. My daughter recently got married and I think the photos from her wedding are awesome….not because I am biased but because they are so different. You see, the photographer used a documentary style for 95% of the shots and by doing that captured the essence of what was actually happening. The photos are alive and full of energy because they were not staged!! It was almost like the photographer was invisible and just captured what was happening without anyone worrying about him being there.

The same strategy should be used when taking photos of school students for publications or marketing. Set-up or staged shots, more often than not, carry no energy or emotion because the students are acutely aware that they are being photographed and somehow that seems to make the energy disappear. When building a database of images for a school, I have found that a roving approach is great…just capture the students doing what they are doing, engaged in their work, relating to the teacher, absorbed in the moment and not too worried about being the subject of a photograph. Nine times out of ten, having the activity or emotion of the moment as the hero of the shot rather than the student delivers an awesome result!!

Tagged with:
 

Everyone seems to be using (or at least talking about) social media across all business sectors.

The question is:

“How does social media fit into school marketing?”

I’ve noticed that almost every independent school now has a Facebook page and a Twitter account and I wonder if they have done so because everyone else has them (and they don’t want to be left behind) or if they have a definite social media strategy in place.

I really believe there is a place for social media in the school marketing environment, but it has to be thought through correctly. The usual questions of any marketing channel should be raised:

  • Why use this channel?
  • What are we going to promote through this channel?
  • Who are we reaching?
  • What do we do with them once we reach them?
  • How do we measure our marketing effectiveness through this channel?
  • What is the cost (time, fixed overhead, staff) of using the channel?

There is an interesting article by Tim Winkler (The Australian) that talks about having rules – worth the read.

If your school is ready for a considered social media strategy (complete with the rules) why not give us a call?

I was listening to an interview with Dr Helen Proctor (Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney) and was interested by her comment that some parents choose to send their children to a private school because they are anxious about sending them to a public school.

Whether that anxiety can be substantiated is another question, but as we all know, perception is reality.

The sample group of parents interviewed was only 60 and may not be entirely representative however this thought should not be ignored by private schools wanting to increase their enrolments by addressing the real needs of parents.

More reading:

Article by Dr Helen Proctor – School choice is not the answer to everything.

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How do parents choose?

When rating the most influential sources of information that a parent would use in choosing a school for their child, the March 2011 Independent Schools Queensland Survey found the following:

2010 What Parent’s Want Survey [1]
Rank

  1. Friends and colleagues
  2. Other parents with children at the school
  3. School open day
  4. Internet
  5. Family member(s) already at school
  6. Pamphlets/brochures/prospectuses
  7. Church
  8. My School website
  9. Independent Schools Queensland
  10. School/Kindergarten child was attending
  11. Other school associations/organisations
  12. Local (suburban) newspapers
  13. Telephone Book
  14. State Education Department

This highlights that four of the top five influences are about relationship. The Enrol More Students strategy fits into the relationship style of communication perfectly.


[1] What Parents Want, An Independent Schools Queensland Survey, Key Findings MARCH 2011, p10
Independent Schools Queensland, PO Box 957 Spring Hill Qld 4004 www.aisq.qld.edu.au

St Paul’s School, an Anglican co-educational school from Prep to Year 12 in Brisbane, has recently embarked on a webinar marketing strategy. An initial program of four webinars broadcast fortnightly has addresssed topics such as “What makes for the best schools?”,”Every child belongs”, “Is private education really value for money?” and “Opportunities for every child”.

Using webinars in the school sector is a new initiative designed to not only develop a sense of community for parents and prospective parents but also to make a very strong statement about the school’s willingness to embrace and use new technology. While lots of schools will say they are embracing new technology, to actually use it as part of a marketing strategy sends a very strong message to the school community.

The St Paul’s School webinars are also just a bit different from the average webinar. Participants not only receive audio input but can view a range of images on their computer screen that highlight what is being discussed. This further reinforces the message that is being broadcast.

Feedback from the school community has been very positive with one parent commenting that she now feels like she has a far greater understanding and appreciation of the pastoral care programs that are available for her two sons at the school. She was very impressed to learn in more detail about how St Paul’s creates a real sense of belonging for students. As a lot of school recommendations are driven by word of mouth, it is great to know that parents can be real advocates for the school.

Here is an example of  the webinars that St Paul’s School recorded for play back:

[hdplay id=2  width=400 height=300 ]

From Dr Linda Vining’s Centre for Marketing Schools:

By early next year the number of people with a smart phone with internet access will outstrip the old phone system. This was a topic at the 2011 CeBit Web Forward Conference.

By 2013 more internet searches will be done on mobile phones than on computers.

Australia has the world’s highest per capita use of mobile phones.

Is your school ready for this?

Is your school website optimised for viewing on a smart phone? Worth thinking about. It used to be that flash animation was very trendy – not so now as flash cannot be easily supported on all smart phones.



Beyonce walks barefoot with Jay Z as they jet out of the Hamptons She had just enjoyed a brief yet relaxing getaway to the Hamptons with her family. And it's clear Beyonce was still very much in vacation mode as she prepared to jet out of the community, as the 34-year-old was spotted going barefoot when she arrived to a heliport on Thursday. The hit-maker donned a white floral print suit and had a backpack slung over her shoulder as she strolled across the pavement beside her husband, Jay Z. Looking fly! Beyonce took the plunge in floral print suit as she jetted out of the Hamptons in New York on Thursday The songbird's stunningly long, sun kissed locks were worn down in its naturally loose and soft ringlets. Her husband, meanwhile, kept it just as casual in ripped loose jeans and a black sweater.pre bonded hair He was spotted exiting their sleek SUV with a backpack and cell phone in hand. Not pictured was their daughter Blue Ivy, four, who also joined them during their trip.

See Beyonce updates as she walks barefoot with Jay Z as they jet out of the Hamptons Flower power! Beyonce walked barefoot when she arrived to a heliport at the Hamptons with her husband Jay Z Going places! The couple made their way across the pavement with their team in tow The outing comes after Jay Z finally responded to Beyonce's new album Lemonade, in which she hinted he's been unfaithful.remy hair extensions He had remained tight-lipped on the infidelity claims since the record dropped in April but he's now seemingly referenced the allegations on Fat Joe and Remy Ma's All the Way Up remix, which hit the internet last week after its debut at the Yankee Stadium. Featuring on the song, he raps: 'You know you made it when the fact/ Your marriage made it is worth millions/ Lemonade is a popular drink, and it still is/ Survival of the littest.' Man of style: Her husband, meanwhile, kept it just as casual in ripped loose jeans and a black sweater The couple - who got married in 2008 - sent the internet into overdrive at the end of April when Beyonce released her hour-long visual album in which she hinted her spouse had been cheating on her with a woman named Becky. In one track, Sorry, Beyonce sang: 'Looking at my watch he should have been home/ I regret the day I put that ring on/ He always got them f***ing excuses/ He only want me when I'm not on there / He better call Becky with the good hair.' By the end of the album, the pair - who have been rocked with affair allegations for years - have seemingly patched up their differences and prepared to give their marriage another go. In the news: The outing comes after Jay Z finally responded to Beyonce's new album Lemonade, in which she hinted he's been unfaithful However, although many fans were quick to lash out at Jay for his alleged behaviour, some people believe the whole album may just be a publicity stunt to rake in cash. Though speculation is still rife, a month on from the release, it's thought the couple are planning to address the claims on a forthcoming secret album. A source told Page Six recently: 'Jay and Beyonce were never going to do an interview to address all the questions that came up after Lemonade. It's more their style to respond through music.'

She impressed audiences with her gorgeous legs as she flirted with Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. And Margot Robbie’s pins were on display as she strolled around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono, on Wednesday. The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Scroll down for video Stepping out: Margot Robbie’s trim pins were on display as she wafted around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono on Wednesday The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC. Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun. The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan. All smiles: Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun High fashion: The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective Good taste: The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands.perruques cheveux naturels Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night.

Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses. Flawles: The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan Going natural: She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands Looking her best: Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power. Others sitting at promising odds to star as the much-desired female character are American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who sits at 22/1, with Brit Emma Watson further down the line at 40/1. The Gold Coast girl found her big break in 2013 opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as the feisty and seductive, Naomi. Plenty to smile about: Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses Adoring fans: Margot caused a stir with passersby as she stepped out in NYC Well made: The beautiful garment had an elaborate rose pattern on its back More recently, she starred alongside Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend Of Tarzan as Jane.perruques cheveux As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn. Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green. Next big thing: Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the Bond role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power . In demand actress: As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn Following in footsteps: Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green Although the buzz around who will land the role of Bond girl is growing, the film is not expected to be released until at least 2018. Producer Barbara Broccoli has two other projects firmly underway and is said to be keen to tempt Daniel Craig into reprising his role as the titular character for the fifth time. Holding her own: Her breakout role was as DiCaprio's feisty wife, Naomi, on Wolf of Wall Street, which her portrayal earned her international acclaim - and showed off her gorgeous legs to the world

Next week will see the conclusion of the 12th season of The Bachelorette, as Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher gets engaged to either Jordan Rodgers or Robby Hayes. And according to a new report, there's set to be a dramatic break-up ahead of the romantic proposal. Us Weekly claims that JoJo comes to the difficult decision of choosing between the two suitors after one of them makes a big mistake with her parents Joseph and Soraya. Family matters: Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher apparently picks her fiance in next week's Bachelorette finale after one of the men makes a big mistake with her parents Who will it be?: Jordan Rodgers (L) and Robby Hayes are the two men left in the competition, and one of them allegedly gets sent packing after failing to ask JoJo's parents for her hand in marriage The runner-up gets dumped after failing to ask the 25-year-old's parents' for her hand in marriage, and during the emotional rejection, JoJo confesses that she wanted things to turn out differently. 'JoJo was sobbing,' a source told Us Weekly. 'She told him, “I wanted it to be you.”' The insider added: 'It was important to JoJo that the guys get her parents’ permission before proposing. JoJo viewed it as disrespectful that he didn’t.' Us Weekly claims that JoJo's family liked both of the finalists, but thought that the man she eventually picks was better suited to her.lace front wigs Favourite from the start: Jordan received the First Impression Rose and his relationship with JoJo has gone from strength to strength ever since Not true: The 27-year-old former quarterback has denied that he cheated on his last girlfriend 'Everyone thought he was husband material,' a source said. 'Later, they told JoJo that they liked the other man too, but they thought the second would be more loyal and a better fit.' And speaking about the family's meeting with the runner-up, the insider revealed: 'After he left, Soraya said she thought he was a player.'

It seems that JoJo did make the right decision however, as she is apparently still very happily engaged to the winner. She likes what she sees: JoJo has also fallen in love with former competitive swimmer Robby, 27 Denying the rumours: Robby has refuted claims that he dumped his girlfriend to appear on the show Former quarterback Jordan, 27, has been a favourite to win the show from night one, when JoJo presented him with the First Impression Rose. Show secrets: Us Weekly revealed details of the dramatic finale And while on Monday's episode of the show he was seen telling the real estate developer that asking her father's permission to propose would be very important to him, a clip for the finale showed JoJo asking if he is ready to get down on one knee. Both of the finalists have faced rumours about past relationships, with Jordan's ex Brittany Farrar claiming that they broke up because she cheated on him. He denied this to JoJo on the show. The footballer is estranged from his famous NFL star brother Aaron, whose girlfriend Olivia Munn is close pals with Jordan's ex-girlfriend. Aaron finally addressed his younger brother speaking about their fraught relationship on the show during an interview with WISN on Tuesday. 'As far as those kinds of things go, I've always found that it's a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I'm not going to speak on those things,' he said. 'But I wish him well in the competition.' Meanwhile a friend of Robby's ex-girlfriend Hope Higginbotham has claimed that he dumped her in order to go on The Bachelorette, something which he denied during last week's hometown dates. The Bachelorette finale followed by the After The Final Rose special will air on ABC on Monday.cosplay wigs She made the right choice: JoJo is apparently still happily engaged to the winner, who popped the question in May. The finale airs on ABC on Monday