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Leadership webinar: marketing on a shoestring (video and webchat)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by AndrewFIS, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Competition between schools for prospective pupils can be fierce. Effective marketing, however, can make the difference; and gone are the days of the amateurish approach.

    As part of the TES Leadership webinar series, I’ll be putting your questions to Carolyn Reed, founder of Reed Brand Communication.

    We will examine all the different ways in which your school can get the edge on your rivals, and for a cost-effective sum.

    Post your questions below now - and, if you can, join in our live webchat on January 26 at 4.30pm.

    Before that, you can watch a video we’ve made in which Carolyn and I discuss the issues, with key advice for school leaders.

    1920x1080-leadership-video-still-v2.jpg

    To access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Leadership subscriber.
     
  2. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Don't forget to submit your questions for Carolyn Reed below ahead of today's webchat or you can post them during the discussion which starts at 4.30pm.
     
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Good afternoon and welcome to the sixth in our series of webchats aimed at school leaders.

    In a few moments I will hand you over to Andrew, who is editor of FIS, who will be hosting this week's hour-long webchat.

    Andrew and this week's guest, leadership expert panel member Carolyn Reed who will be available for the next hour to answer your questions on effective marketing for schools, particularly those on a limited budget.

    If you have any questions please submit them below. Don't worry if we run out of time, any unanswered questions will be responded to and posted on this thread later this week.

    I'll now hand you over to Andrew.



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  4. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Hello and welcome to a live webchat with Carolyn Reed, founder of Reed Brand Communication. We’re going to be discussing marketing on a shoestring. For those of you following this thread, please feel free to post your query. Remember to refresh your page to see the updates as they appear.

    Welcome, Carolyn. Could I begin by asking why marketing is important for schools?
     
  5. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Schools are no different to any other business and need exposure to sell their services. This exposure needs to be done with the right tools, appropriate for the business and using the right channels. It is also very important for schools that don't have enough pupils on roll or the pupils are not the right fit for the school.
     
  6. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    For a school new to the function, where should they start?
     
  7. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Make sure you have someone in your team that has some marketing experience, there is a clear line of responsibility and that they know exactly what the objectives are. Then start with some research in order to get a comprehensive picture of what the perception of the school currently is among your stakeholders - parents, students, alumni. Then do a competitor review to see what their strengths are. This will give you an idea of where you sit in the marketplace and how you should communicate your brand or even adjust it to fill a much needed gap.
     
  8. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Where do schools waste the most money in their marketing?
     
  9. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Press advertising can waste huge amounts of money if you don't have a media plan that sticks to your strategy. You should draw this up at the beginning of the year based on publications that are in the right locations for your school with the appropriate readership. Allow for a couple that weren't on your list if something amazing comes up but don't get continually distracted by the never ending calls from other publications trying to sell you space.
     
  10. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    We've all heard of instances where schools have stacks of prospectuses that have gone out of date. Is there a more efficient way to produce them?
     
  11. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    First, ask the Admissions department how many enquiries the school normally gets in a year, including visitors to open day. It may be a lot less then you think. When you're ordering litho-printed prospectuses, you generally need to order huge quantities, like 1000 or more to get the unit cost down. There are now some great quality digital options that may be more expensive per unit but on balance if you can order fewer it will be more cost effective and you can update it without having to throw lots away.
     
  12. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    So should schools ditch the printed prospectus?
     
  13. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    We'd all love to but parents still like to go away from an open event with something to take home to remind them of the school. This seems strange when so many other areas are going completely digital. It means that we need to be even more inventive with the design of prospectuses and think of something completely new to stand out from the crowd, as long as its appropriate for the school.
     
  14. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What are your top tips for an effective website?
     
  15. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Write a clear brief if you're designing a new site. Go through your old site in detail to work out
    a) what is working well and you'd like to retain and
    b) which aspects you'd like to improve.

    Make sure the look and tone of the site is in keeping with the rest of your marketing materials, using the right colours, fonts and brand identity.

    Have a great landing page that engages the audience and be really clear in all your messages. You'd be amazed how many schools miss the basics - what age group the school is, the name of the Head etc.

    The best sites set out very clearly exactly what the school offers.
    Also make sure the key areas are easy to find - admissions, fees, open days, term dates etc.
     
  16. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Where does social media fit into marketing plans?
     
  17. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Social media should follow the guidelines set out in the overall marketing strategy for the school. The channels that you use should be appropriate to the school and the section of the audience you want to speak to. For example Pinterest is perfect for primary schools where you can include school work, entertainments etc., whereas Instagram would be helpful for marketing to Sixth Form. LinkedIn is a great platform for recruiting staff and to teach Sixth Formers how to create their CVs as preparation for the world of work.
     
  18. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Finally, who is doing marketing well?
     
  19. Carolyn_Reed

    Carolyn_Reed New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    It's all about having a great customer experience via every channel. Apple still wins hands down as a global brand that manages to look after the individual customer at every step of the way (a good example to use as reference for the Admissions journey!). Airbnb have disrupted the whole holiday accommodation market and have a great website and reservation system.
    Schools could do worse than look at companies like these and particularly new market entrants for inspiration.
     
  20. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Thanks, Carolyn, for joining us this afternoon. If anyone would like to pose questions for Carolyn in this thread, please do so and she will answer them later. We hope you found this webchat useful.

    To view other videos of interviews, you can subscribe here. This also includes a host of other benefits.

    The next webchat will be on identifying future leaders and will take place on February 10 at 4.30pm. Thank you.
     

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