A great way to kick off the conference!
As a school branding professional, marketer, designer, or content creator, being and staying creative is essential to your success. In the best of times keeping the creative fire burning takes focus and hard work. Add to that the stress of the cultural moment we live in and it is no wonder maintaining a sharp creative edge can be a real struggle.
In this session we’ll look at the importance of establishing some self-care habits for creatives as well as some practical creative exercises and initiatives you can add to your routine to revive, inspire, and maintain your creative health.
Back by popular demand, Angie Ward & Katie Bero will dive into how to attract, engage & convert prospective parents online in order to keep your brand top of mind and stand out among the competition while building a qualified enrollment funnel. In this 3-hour interactive session, we will review the must-have website updates and Google Analytics reports for marketers, as well well as the digital platforms to pay attention to this year, in order to improve your digital footprint. Whether you’re in admissions, enrollment management, or MarComm, there is something for everyone in this workshop to take back to campus, and improve upon, immediately.
LinkedIn is the most trusted social media network in the US. Gone are the days when it was just for employers and job seekers! It’s now used as a way for businesses, non-profits, and schools, to engage with constituents, and drive members, students, donations, and more. We will dive into the top ways schools can leverage LinkedIn for fundraising, alumni engagement, and as an enrollment marketing tool.
In this session, we will use multiple case studies to demonstrate how your school’s brand is perceived and how to strengthen your brand moving forward. It is how you position it in the minds of your school community, outside community, and prospective families. We will explore the challenges and opportunities; along with a plan to strategically position your school to succeed in an over-populated market. You will return to campus knowing what you can do right now and what it will take to build a competitive school brand. Be prepared to think differently, interact with your colleagues, and most importantly be courageous and honest with how you feel about your school.
In addition, what are your key attributes and how important are they to your print, website, and photography? This hands-on session will have you applying your brand attributes to all your school’s marketing materials. You will leave knowing what they are, how important they are to your school community, how they relate to your competition, and how to apply them.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for schools and can help with admissions, retention, development, and more. But where do you begin? And how do you unlock the power of email marketing for your school? In this presentation, you’ll learn the importance of email marketing along with tips and tricks to make your email marketing plan work for you!
The Admissions office provides a warm welcome to families interested in your school. Do other offices provide the same level of service? Does this matter? The answer is a resounding YES!
In this two-part session, Jamie will review best practices for communication and engagement equity in the areas of outreach, cultivation, yield, and long-term connections with your school. Putting the student at the center of all communications, we will also look at why engaging families through an advancement lens and sending information early and often sets your school apart from the rest. Jim in the second half of the session, will share his wealth of knowledge from visiting hundreds of independent schools. How does a family view your school, consciously and subconsciously once they arrive on campus? Jim will share how to make a first impression to your families whether in your print materials, website, photography, environmental design, to the way your tour guides present themselves – everything is about your school’s brand! Sometimes the smallest touch will convince a family to make the decision between you and a competing school.
Identifying, communicating, and demonstrating a clear and compelling value proposition – that which makes your school different and more attractive than the competition – has never been more important. Independent schools across the country are facing more challenges than ever before. Beyond societal barriers to entry (cost and access), new roadblocks are affecting many schools and with a direct impact on earned income (enrollment) and contributed revenue (fundraising). School closings are becoming a reality. Student crises are more publicized. Covid learning deficits and the unknowable but undoubtedly significant impact of Covid on student wellness are still lingering. The recruitment landscape has also changed and will continue to do so. Stealth shopping, test optional, willingness to pay versus ability to pay, indistinguishable mission statements, high price points, and an ever-demanding “amazon prime” society are a new reality. As a new generation of parents navigates this landscape with their school-aged children, brand loyalty is at an all-time low. These factors make the enrollment goalposts narrow and fluid today and will impact fundraising tomorrow. How will you stay relevant and ahead of the next curve, when you don’t know what the curve is or when you will come to it? Is your school able to differentiate itself in a competitive and uncertain landscape while remaining true to its mission and values? We will explain the differences between a mission statement and a value proposition and show how to communicate both early and often from enrollment through graduation and beyond. A clear and compelling value proposition and the ability of each constituent group to communicate it can be a game changer for your school – are you ready to dive in?
For small schools, thinking about fundraising on the millions-of-dollars scale can be intimidating for school leaders, but NOT if you have the necessary marketing and branding. Every independent school has its unique content. However, I will share lessons learned over 12 years of fundraising and marketing for a small private school. We will explore the intersection of fundraising and marketing through interactive self-reflective activities, small group share-outs, and opportunities for collective brainstorming.
WordPress is fast becoming the most popular platform for schools.
Not all WordPress CMS platforms are the same. During this informative session, we walk you through why WordPress is the most powerful ecosystem, how it adapts with other products (ie. Blackbaud, Veracross, etc.), it’s affordability, and ease of use. Your school may not be currently thinking of a website redesign, but be equipped why WordPress can be a great future option.
Back by popular demand! Brand Together has been fortunate to have O’Neill and Associate’s 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 public health crisis, 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.
If you haven’t worked with the media before it can seem daunting and be hard to know where to start. Media channels can help you get your school in front of the right audiences. Whether you want your sports to shine, new campus expansion to get noticed, or showcase your amazing academics, the right radio, TV or print placement can help you connect.
Working with the media gives the chance to convey these topics, but also provide expert perspective on important issues and highlight the important work your institution’s mission is doing. Media work can raise your school’s brand, maintain and build support for your school, and even attract the attention of prospective families.
Learn the importance of press releases, who’s your target audience, think about the visuals, and if your story is even “news worthy”.