Friday 28 June 2013

The Business of School Communications

We have been working with a Secondary Academy over the past year and it's been wonderful to see the tangible results that planned marketing and communications strategy has brought.

Bourne Grammar School became an Academy in January 2012 with a clear aim of becoming the first choice destination for parents and students wanting access to a strong academic education in a mixed selective school.

We were engaged by the School to co-ordinate its PR and press activity with the main objective of raising the School's profile and reputation both in terms of quality and quantity of the coverage and awareness in an extended catchment area.  The underlying aim has been to increase the number of applications at Year 7 and Sixth Form by widening the catchment area and to attract high calibre teaching staff as the school expands.

Specifically we have worked on
  • A coordinated approach to marketing and communications
  • Weekly coverage in local media
  • Encouraging and improving attendance at open evenings and other school events
  • Regular newsletter aimed at Year 11 students who had applied for Sixth Form places
  • Designing new eye-catching recruitment adverts to attract new teaching staff
Highlights that have been achieved for the School include :
  • Over 20 individual pieces of online and printed coverage in local and regional media coverage throughout the year.
  • Slots on BBC Look North, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Rutland Radio and Lincs FM reporting on HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to open the School’s new Systems & Control with Computing building
  • Increase in student numbers attending Open Evenings
  • High percentage of engagement with Sixth Form newsletters, with an incremental increase in the number of students accessing further information each time. 
We are working with the School to enhance its website and to advise the Leadership team on how a social media strategy could improve its reach and influence.  

There's no doubt that these days schools are having to embrace marketing and PR to communicate what they offer and how they are different to pupils and parents. Doing it in a way that enhances, rather than detracts, from their primary purpose - which is to delivery high quality education and personal development - is what we work hard to provide. 

We've noticed that a positive "side effect" of increased external PR is that staff and students have a greater awareness and appreciation of the numerous and varied range of activities, support and achievements that the School.