Wednesday 1:00 – 4:30 | The Providence Art Club
From Best Fit Candidate to Your Biggest Advocate: How to Use Content Marketing to Convert Prospects, Energize your Core Families, Dominate Search Results, and Shift Your School’s Trajectory Forever.
Say goodbye to the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality and say hello to the future of independent school marketing.
During this interactive workshop we’ll take a deep dive into the fundamentals of inbound marketing, learn how to create awesome content that will fuel your website, and help Google see you as an authority.
You’ll walk away from this workshop with a solid understanding of how to create and leverage content to attract best fit families to your school’s website, and nurture them through the admissions process until they become your biggest advocates.
We’ll take you on a tour of effective content in action, share our own tips for uncovering hidden value and turning your school into a publishing powerhouse, explore marketing metrics that matter most for your organization, and help you discover ways to get strategic buy-in from leadership.
Thursday 9:00 am – 10:45 am | The Providence Art Club
Michelangelo was asked by the Pope about the secret of his genius, particularly in regards to the statue of David, widely considered to be the greatest sculpting masterpiece of all time. Michelangelo responded by saying, “It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.”
You are the Michelangelo of your school’s brand. And during this session you will gain the tools needed to boost your “creative confidence” and become the master influencer of your school. Your school is a block of marble and it is your job to chip away everything that is not your school’s brand to reveal the heart and soul underneath. This fun but practical session will touch upon the length and breadth of branding–from the big-picture mission and beloved traditions to the micro-decisions of colors and fonts and style guides. Let Jim help you to reveal your masterpiece!
Thursday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm | The Providence Art Club
You think you have branding issues? For ten years Jeff’s Transitional Kindergarten-Grade 8 school’s name was Marin Preparatory School, having been founded as an offshoot of a group of successful preschools named Marin Day Schools. Located in the heart of the Castro District of San Francisco, Marin Preparatory School was just a few miles south of a similarly named entity, The Marin School located in Marin County. Confusing? Many prospective families thought so. To make matters worse, the school campus had been home to two prior schools adding more fuel to the marketing confusion.
The tough decisions Jeff’s school made—including revitalizing the Mission Statement, changing the name, moving to a new location, and embarking on a marketing campaign that would significantly improve the schools’ reputation and increase enrollment—touch upon universal truths and hard choices all schools face.
During this presentation, Jeff will share insights into developing positioning that compels and resonates with your audience and is aligned to your strategic vision. He will offer lessons learned and recommendations for working with creative agencies to develop a distinctive brand, methods to test ideas, and how to gain buy-in from stakeholders. This interactive session will teach methods for bringing your new brand to life and measuring its impact, as well as strategies to help your brand stay relevant.
Thursday 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm | The Providence Art Club
Join blogger extraordinaire John Bishop, Director of Communications for Lawrence Academy, for an informal round table discussion about the merits of blogging about your school. Once deemed a pejorative term, “blogging” (and its video cousin, “vlogging”) has become a staple for major news, sports, and entertainment sites and should be folded into your daily independent school communication and social media plan. This is a chance for participants to pick the brains of a pro on a hot topic in school marketing and communications. John is the former beat reporter for BostonBruins.com and the co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. In addition to helping his school reap the benefits of blogging, John contributes to MickeyBlog.com, where his beats include Star Wars, Disney travel, and movie reviews.
Thursday 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm | The Providence Art Club
Your school’s website is your greatest marketing asset. Your brand, content, design, and technology team have all worked tirelessly to build that asset for you – but some simple SEO pitfalls can be a barrier to exposure and positive user experience.
In this presentation, we will dive into the most common SEO hurdles schools face. We will demystify these issues, giving turnkey tips on how to break down these barriers and lift awareness of your website and institution. From metadata and structure, to 404s and page speed, you will gain knowledge that you’ll be able to share with everyone on your marketing team to ensure that your greatest marketing asset doesn’t fall short of meeting your audience.
Thursday 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm | Providence Art Club
In this case study, Dianne Regnier, chief communications officer at Pope Francis Preparatory School, dissects and discusses the complications of branding a merge of two schools—with lessons that are broadly applicable to the marketing challenges we all face. Featuring a catastrophic tornado that brought one of the merging schools to the ground, Dianne’s story tells of building a new school—and brand—from the ground up. The branding of a school means capturing the hearts and minds of its alumni, faculty and staff, current students, and governing boards – not to mention prospective families! Learn how the building of this school’s new identity involved understanding and capitalizing on the five universal emotions: fear, anger, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
Friday 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Providence Art Club
Evan Kanouse knows that small schools can do more with fewer resources and less time. In this presentation he will share how one school of just 100 students built a branding powerhouse from scratch on a shoestring budget, and he’ll show how participants can do the same.
By the end of this interactive workshop, participants will:
• Review a model of effective branding for small schools
• Conduct a “SWOT” analysis of their school
• Design a “branding roadmap”
• Learn how to balance marketing, branding, and fundraising
• Discuss strategy and define actionable steps that can be taken tomorrow
At small schools administrators wear many hats. Regardless of your title, this session will be beneficial for you!
Friday 10:00 pm – 11:30 pm | Providence Art Club
Human beings make sense of the world through stories. But what actually constitutes a story? And how do we craft stories that truly engage our audience? Stories evoke a strong neurological response in all of us. That’s exactly what makes them such a powerful tool. A story can go where logic and facts fall short—directly to our hearts. In this session, we’ll help you harness the timeless power of stories, and how to use them to accomplish your strategic goals. You’ll learn the science behind why stories are the best way to motivate your audiences, the basics of storytelling, where to find stories on your campus, and how to write better stories. You’ll even practice writing a compelling story about your school!
Friday 11:30 am – 12:30 pm | The Providence Art Club
Back by popular demand! Brand Together has been fortunate to have this team of experts give a session at every conference we’ve held. Come to this presentation and you will see why. Whether it is a natural disaster, a legal difficulty, or a human tragedy, a crisis is like an octopus with lots of tentacles: How do you keep your brand intact in the face of the unexpected? How do you communicate with different constituencies? How can you be responsive to a developing situation? How will the crisis affect admissions, development, and alumni relations, and what can you do about it? The team has expert knowledge and wide experience with the kinds of challenges schools face. The resolution to your future crisis begins now–with educating yourself on how to prepare! Come for the session, and stay for the roundtable discussion to follow during lunch.
Thursday 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm | Round Table Session | The Providence Art Club
Essentia Communications is a strategic communications company offering a suite of services, tailored to the specific needs of our clients.
With a specific focus on videography and photography, Essentia also offers strategic planning and web design. Essentia provides targeted and effective communication support for any sized project.
Our creative, forward thinking, professional team of experts is dedicated to delivering every project on time and within budget. We partner with our clients to achieve optimal results.
Essentia is based in Boston but works with clients all over the country.