eNews: It’s Winter

2 June, 2022

From 119 to 156 Enrolments

You may not think of Updat-ed as a Marketing Consultancy, but we are. Here's a story about a Melbourne primary school we worked with to lift their enrolments. Read about Kananook's principal, Michael Block, and his take on our approach to school marketing.

"A few short years ago we were staring down the barrel of 119 enrolments; a far cry from our peak at 180. We were struggling, but not with our product. Perceptions were killing us and as unfair as they were, they had an effect that was gathering momentum. We were on a dangerous trajectory.

Our leadership and school council were so concerned that we decided to engage a digital advertising agency at considerable expense. The agency had a digital advertising focus that seemed appealing. The agency also suggested a few minor tweaks to the website. We’ve been an Updat-ed school for many years, so I contacted Denis Masseni (founder) with the recommendations. Luckily, Denis asked a few questions wishing to understand the motivation behind the changes. 

I expanded on our enrolment issues and our urgent need to work with a digital agency and get some advertising happening. Denis immediately said, “Stop. Give me 24 hours to address your school council and leadership on my approach to school marketing. And I’ll do this for a tenth of what the digital agency will charge”.

I never really associated Updat-ed as a marketing consultancy for schools, and they weren’t back then, but Denis had a marketing background and had always (luckily) wanted to prove he could make an impact.

Updat-ed met with our stakeholders to gather data for the marketing plan which was implemented in September of 2020. The plan, as it turned out, did not involve any digital advertising, but rather a strategic use of the school’s Facebook page and a range of other activities; both digital and more traditional. Facebook would generate interest and the website would then lead the prospective parent to ultimately engage with the school. Our mission was simple; generate enquiries and turn enquiries into a visit. We knew once parents saw the school and met the staff, perceptions would be more accurately set.

All the activities were underpinned by a simple ‘6 Key Message’ approach. It meant every time we wrote (website, Facebook, internal communications etc) we would be informed by the key messages so overtime, our school story would be reinforced. Having said all this, our school council and many of our parents become wonderful advocates telling our story at every opportunity. Denis said parents were one of the most important marketing channels and this proved to be the case.

This year we have 156 students at Kananook and looking at our early enquiry’s year to date, we think 2023 will be bigger again.

In simple terms, we’re better now at getting our school’s true story out into the community by having a strategy and a better understanding of all the marketing mediums available to schools, including digital mediums."

Michael Block
Principal: Kananook Primary School

If you think you have a need for marketing assitance, we offer a free, no obligation, one hour consultation to help you better scope the task. And before you spend money on digital advertising, please speak to us.

You can read more about our approach to school marketing by downloading the paper, 'What principals need to know about the principles of school marketing'. Click here.



If you haven't got a Sign In kiosk......

Sign in kiosks are a great way of managing your school visitors. But if you're yet to commit to one, we have a simple idea for you - and it's free! And you can thank COVID for the freebie. We all know about scanning into venues via QR codes and so do your parents. Well let's use that technology to have your visitors sign in. See below for the simple steps in creating your visitor sign in QR code.

The Cheat Sheets for all the functions below can be found by clicking on the Steps below.

Step 1: Create a sign in form on your sponsor-ed website
Step 2: Paste the form on a new webpage 
Step 3: Copy the new webpage's URL (address link)
Step 4: Paste the URL into a QR code generator* 
Step 5: Print the QR code (laminate it if you can get the prep teacher away from the laminator) and make it available for scanning by your visitors

Our sponsor-ed forms are pretty clever. You can set them up so every time a visitor signs in, you receive an email with the details. A spreadsheet of all the visitors can be downloaded from the website too.

Note: You can use your preferred QR generator or one we found, QR Code Monkey 

Here's a sample below.

Grab your mobile and scan our QR code below. You'll see the sign in form appear. Easy!

Website Upgrade Suggestions

We're currently working on our next website upgrade and we'd love to hear from you.

Many of our upgrade ideas come from you, the website administrator.

Is there something that you would love to see in the next upgrade, it could be a design that you'd like to see, or a new feature that you think might be handy.  It could also be something that is frustrating you and you'd like us to simplify.

We'll take all your ideas on board and give them careful consideration as we continue to provide you with an easy to use website that fits with the current design trends in the web world.


Sorry Pro Photographers, a smartphone is all you need

past edition of our eNews, covered smartphone photography and the use of portrait mode. This is the feature that blurs backgrounds. In this article you'll see a bunch of school photos I took on an iPhone - sorry pro photographers, but a smartphone's all you need for your website.

Check out our demo site at demo.sponsored4.com to see a range of photos both inside and out, blurry backgrounds and some not and a range of compositions (photographer speak for where you want people to stand).

A few tips.
  • Make sure the lens is clean - they can get awfully smudgy
  • Get in close so the subjects are the stars not the whiteboard and carpet
  • For outside shots, keep the sun over your shoulder
  • Add text to your homepage gallery images to tell a story about your school activities. "A picture is worth a 1,000 words" is not true. A few words help
  • Explore smartphone photography features, they're amazing. Make Portrait (iPhone) mode your friend - it's a game changer
Click on the image and view our demo site.