Importance of school brand on the rise
- Trish Rubin, a marketing consultant and author of "BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships and Empower Learning," writes for District Administration that schools need to consider ways to improve their brand, describing administrators who established an image of their school and promoted its strengths with parents and in the community.
- Examples include a Michigan school district hosting a regular podcast with the local city manager to promote the “quality of life” in the area, and a Toronto area principal who has established a brand for her school that trumpets its “resilience, empowerment and commitment” — a theme she backs up with thoughtful, frequent use of Twitter, Facebook and an online newsletter.
- Rubin also suggests that administrators should build their brand with others in education and with the business community, noting that one school got internships for half of its 500 students by working with potential employers and establishing a positive message about the school with them.
A school’s physical appearance also can be key to building a brand, according to an article from The American Association of School Administrators, and it should be given thought when renovations are undertaken, noting that the costs for such enhancements are often not high.
The article gives examples of schools that have designed space to create a specific atmosphere or celebrate the heritage or other qualities of their community, noting that such efforts clarify a school’s mission, improve school culture, make connections to the community, and can reinforce school policies.
A school must also consider its “instructional brand,” according to Adam D. Fried, superintendent of the Harrington Park, N.J., School District, who offers five tips that include an engaging parent-teacher night video that explains the school’s instructional approaches. He also recommends regular student-produced videos or daily photo posts on social media with school news and images — all available to parents.
Other experts say a brand must be be visual and visible and based on a school’s identity, which should be explored first.
- District Administration ‘Telling, not selling’ your school’s story