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school marketing news

How strategy is delivering a school's vision

Posted by Suzanne Willcock

How strategy is delivering a school's visionHow strategy is delivering a school’s vision

One of the biggest communication challenges that faces any school is how to communicate to prospective and existing parents the value of an education at your school. That challenge is intensified if your school is lacking profile and positioning within your community. Here’s how one school tackled the challenge head on, with a strategy to deliver its vision …

Bishop Tyrrell Anglican School approached imageseven in 2015 with concerns around its positioning and profile within the Newcastle, NSW, region. The leadership team’s biggest concern was that no-one knew who they were or where the School was located.

In addition, the School had recently overcome a period of financial and leadership instability which had negatively impacted brand perception within the broader community. Prospective and current parents reported that they had concerns about the School’s financial stability and ability to deliver on education outcomes.

Compounding these issues, the School’s visual identity was outdated and no longer reflected the School’s new vision and strategic intent.

How we helped

imageseven proposed a Message Architecture Program (MAP) to first understand parent perceptions and the brand impressions Bishop Tyrrell was making, and then put in place a strategy to help re-position the School. The MAP included:

  • a review of the School’s survey data;
  • qualitative interviews with current and prospective parents;
  • staff surveys and interviews; and
  • a competitor comparison.

This revealed some strategic insights which confirmed the Bishop Tyrrell brand was not well recognised and the School’s positioning to the outside world had become inconsistent. This meant potential future parents were unable to recognise the value of a Bishop Tyrrell education.

With the research done, imageseven worked closely with the Bishop Tyrrell team to articulate the School’s value proposition and a set of key messages to reinforce what parents value. The proposed marketing strategy focused on consistently positioning the School as a quality, affordable and credible choice for parents who want their child to learn, lead and serve in a caring, Christian environment.

To address the lack of brand recognition, a Visual Identity Program was undertaken to create a new visual identity and brand that would reflect the School’s new vision, but retained links to the School’s heritage.

A series of new logo and visual identity concepts were presented to the School. imageseven recommended the development of a new logo and visual identity to be applied across the School’s entire online and offline publication suite. This included the introduction of a new typeface, colour and stronger definition of graphic elements, namely the introduction of a Bishop Tyrrell ‘tartan’ to be incorporated as a secondary brand element.

A further strategic roadblock for the School was its existing website. As the primary communication tool for prospective parents, it failed to meet the information needs of those parents who are in the pre-enrolment life cycle. imageseven worked closely with the School to develop a new website where the focus of the site was shifted toward prospective parents, with the site acting primarily as a marketing tool.

Happy clients

The School’s broader marketing and communications activities are now being implemented in accordance with the strategy and the refined visual identity and messaging form the basis of all new initiatives and are gradually being deployed across the School’s existing collateral.

Bishop Tyrrell’s satisfaction with the strategic advice and tactical execution was further cemented in March 2016 when it became a member of imageseven’s School Marketing Institute (SMI) – a revolutionary marketing system to take a school's marketing to the next level and deliver the latest marketing trends.

“SMI gives us the chance of getting some mentoring for our staff to build the capacity of our team from those professionals who have the knowledge and expertise for a cost effective price,” said Peter Moulds, Principal of Bishop Tyrrell Anglican School.


Are your School’s communications being executed in a strategic and targeted way? Do you want to learn how to get your message heard? Download your complimentary copy of our ebook or contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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This blog was written by Suzanne Willcock

Suzanne Willcock is a Senior Account Manager for imageseven. She is a professional services and education marketing specialist who happens to love copywriting and blogging. She is also particularly fond of interior design magazines and home renovation shows.


Topics: Education, imageseven, Communication, Marcom, School vision, School marketing strategy, School marketing