Back to school – academies and the importance of marketing communications

Delivering a brand and communications workshop to a group of teachers comes with various perks.

Not only do you get to tell them off for talking in class, you also get to split them into groups and set homework.

That has been my particular privilege at a number of local academies over the last few months – all of whom we’ve been helping to build better connections with their key external audiences – i.e. prospective pupils and their parents.

The move towards academisation means it’s never been more important for secondary schools to review their marketing and communications strategy and make sure they are presenting themselves in the best possible light, particularly if hitting intake targets is a challenge.

3 Vital tips and advice for schools serious about highlighting their strengths

That’s why we’ve pulled together the tips and advice below – all of which are vital for schools serious about highlighting their strengths and the reasons why families should opt for them over the competition.

Develop your proposition

What’s your school ethos? What’s your vision? What sets you apart from other schools in the area? If you and your team don’t know the answers to these questions, how will you convince prospective pupils and their parents that your school is the right choice for them? Having a clear idea of what you offer is a crucial first step.

Agree a clear strategy and communications plan

You know what you want to say, but who are you saying it to? And what’s the best way of reaching them? Is there really any point in a local newspaper ad if the parents you want to reach get all their information online and from Facebook? Think from your audience’s perspective, use only the most appropriate communication channels to reach them and remember – the days of a ‘one size fits all’ approach are long gone.

Get your staff and pupils on board

Staff and pupils are your greatest asset, so make sure they are as engaged as possible to help get your messages across. Let them know what you are trying to achieve through your communications activity and involve them in the process as much as possible. Giving them responsibility for helping to create a new brochure, scripting an introductory video, or developing a presentation to prospective pupils is a great way of engaging your team.

If you’d like to know more about our work with schools contact Mark on 01603 706 559 or


Mark Sowersby.

Deputy Managing Director