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  • Writer's pictureSimon Jones

The one thing every school tells me

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

Note 3rd March:

My website is playing up a little at the moment. If you only see a picture below and no ability to start playing a video then it's still faulty. Sorry....!

Quiet office? The text below is in case you can't watch the video.

I'm going to tell you the one thing I hear from school marketing managers more than anything else. It's literally the most common thing I hear you all say.

And you're not going to like it. Because you know when you were young and your parents used to give you a telling off? And it hurt because you knew they were right?

That's what this blog post is. It's me telling you off.

So, let's get into it.

In most towns there’s the school that’s known to be good at getting results. They’re known to be the academic school.

And then there’s often the school that’s less known for academic results and known more for that pastoral caring side of education.

One is right for some parents. The other is right for other parents.

Let’s demonstrate this with a middle-class representation. Nespresso pods.

The green Nespresso pod represents the strong academic side. The orange pod represents the caring, nurturing side.

The academic school says to me, “Simon, we’re known for being academic so we want to promote the pastoral, caring side to our school.”

They want the perception from the outside world to be academic and pastoral.

The school that’s known for being caring and nurturing (you know where this is going) says to me, “Simon we’re known for being nurturing and caring so we want to promote the more academic side to our school”

And now, both schools are seen as both. So from the customer’s point of view, they’re identical.

Which means that these two schools are collectively damaging the school sector.

Now, I’m not stupid, I know why these schools do this.

It’s similar to when you employ people. And this is something I learned when I was a marketing manager.

Someone explained to me that with staff we often train them in areas they’re less good at and we leave them be with areas in which they already excel.

"But", I was told, "that just makes your whole team multiples of the same person. How about, instead, we spend time promoting the areas in which someone is already good. And make them amazing."

And, taking it back to our Nespresso-pod schools, how about we promote schools to be outstanding at that thing they’re known for which, they are probably already outstanding at?

So take a look around your school and see what you can naturally use to promote your school.

I know you’re not trying to pretend to be something you’re not. But let’s take that further and really be something we already are.

Let me know how you feel about this. Do you feel a desire to show a different side to your school?

Or do you feel comfortable promoting that which you’re known for?

Send me a message, let me know what you think.

Simon Jones

Bonjour School Photography

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