Think. Plan. Do.

Your school should not be a well-kept secret.

Independent schools and small colleges have powerful stories to tell, but resources and expertise can be limited. To thrive in a competitive environment, schools need to understand who they are, who they serve, and communicate their value proposition clearly, concisely, and effectively to the right audience.


What’s In Your Quiver?

Posted on February 3, 2017

Content is king. To be specific, remarkable content is king. This is the case across industries, and even in the curation of our personal lives on social media. It is especially true when considering large purchases like an independent school education. We are drawn to remarkable content like a moth to a flame. We click on the videos or images that possess ‘another level’ of attraction. (I dare you to click on National Geographic’s ...

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Messaging Your Value Proposition

Posted on May 19, 2016

Messaging is mission-critical as you attract new customers, retain current customers, and nurture long-term brand ambassadors that will lead to future leads. The challenge we each face within our own schools is prioritizing what to communicate given the plethora of opportunities for remarkable content coming out of our schools on a daily basis. As we approach the graduation season, this challenge is amplified. Every single day brings with it ...

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Quantity vs Quality. Playing the Long Run Content Game.

Posted on April 26, 2016

We are surrounded by content. Social media. Email pushes. Blog Posts. Videos. Commercials. Pop-up Ads. Everyone wants a click. We live in a constant battle for conversion opportunities so companies can gather data in order to power their marketing efforts. Schools aren’t excluded from this ‘race to the click’ as the fight for tuition revenue dollars heats up in the independent school world. As school marketers, we are facing similar ...

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Be an “Implementor”

Posted on April 14, 2016

Engaging in a strategic planning process as a school is an exciting process. Sure, there are moments when you feel overwhelmed by adding another layer of responsibility to your already full plate of teaching, coaching, and advising, but overall, working alongside your board of trustees and others to develop a strategic plan is invigorating. As you collectively uncover your strengths and weaknesses, your community is simultaneously drawn ...

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Why “Fit” Matters in Your Strategy

Posted on April 14, 2016

Proctor Academy is in the midst of another record setting admissions cycle, however, when asked why there is such strong demand for a Proctor education, we often struggle to articulate a concise answer. Proctor’s educational model works not because of a single program, but because of the unique combination of programs and culture undergirding those programs. Michael E. Porter wrote one of the best pieces on organizational strategy for the ...

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Don’t Be a Commodity

Posted on April 14, 2016

 Recently, I saw a video discussing the power of collaborative branding efforts in education. The host of the video discussed his work helping Ocean Spray collaboratively market cranberries on a national level, thus increasing the demand for the product and consequently doubling revenues. Other collaborative branding efforts, like the Got Milk campaign that ran for over 25 years, have been hugely successful as well. Hans Mundahl ...

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What’s In Your Way: People or Process?

Posted on April 14, 2016

We live in complex school communities where we interact with our colleagues not just professionally, but as we raise families together, work through discipline with our advisees together, share meals together, and navigate crisis communications together. When you live alongside your coworkers, it changes the dynamics of your working relationships. We also live in dysfunctional communities. We love our schools (in fact we probably each ...

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An Economics Lesson for Independent Schools

Posted on April 14, 2016

Independent school tuitions have continued to rise at a higher rate than incomes over the past twenty years. This is not news to any of us, neither is the notion the price point of an independent school education is a factor in attracting families to the admission process in the first place. While many independent schools are beginning to understand the need to market their school more effectively, few understand the economics behind this ...

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A Lesson from a College Essay

Posted on April 14, 2016

One of my advisees came over to my house to work on his college essay the other night and as we explored the Common App prompt and brainstormed, it became increasingly clear he didn’t need help writing his essay, he needed help branding himself. Our conversation quickly turned from focusing on what he had accomplished during his four years at Proctor Academy, to who he was as a young man. The prompt asked: Some students have a backgro...

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Why Do You Matter?

Posted on April 14, 2016

Sebastian Buck published this article in Fast Company earlier this week. It poses the important question, “How is the world better if your brand succeeds?” In a world where a dual bottom line is more important than ever, organizations must ask this question of themselves. We ask it of ourselves this on a daily basis as parents (Am I raising my child to make the world a better place?) But do we ask it organizationally? Schools are ...

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