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How to use the right tone of voice in marketing to make your school 'sing'

Posted by Vanessa Klomp

Make your school ‘sing’ by using the right tone of voiceEvery singer has their own unique tone when they sing, but it might not necessarily be music to the listener’s ears. It’s only when the person singing knows their audience and performs with them specifically in mind that they hit the right note and it resonates, leaving a lasting impression.

Like singers, schools need to know how to use the right tone of voice in marketing to their audience – parents – to leave a good impression. This is where the right tone of voice for your school’s brand comes into play.

Ask yourself, ‘What is your school’s brand tone of voice? Does it convey the personality of your school? Is it consistent with your brand values? This is achieved through your language, written and oral, with types of words you use and how key messages are formed – it isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it!

Here are some proven tips to help your find the right tone of voice for your school:

  1. Know and understand your school: If you haven’t already, work out your school’s values – the ‘heart’ of your school and what it stands for. These are the unique qualities that are to be conveyed in all content and communication.

  2. Understand your parents: Your brand tone of voice should suit the demographics of your current and prospective parents. So, it’s important to research and determine your target audience. A good way to do this is by creating a persona – a representation of your ideal customer (parent), which includes their demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioural characteristics. Understanding your audience will ensure you ‘speak’ to their needs.

  3. Learn from other schools: Have a look at how other schools communicate with their parents. What are they doing well? And, where are they failing? Take note of the tone that parents respond to best, and what they don’t like. Try and identify a gap amongst your ‘competitors’ so you can create a unique tone of voice.

  4. Create your school’s tone of voice: Once you have determined your school’s values and obtained an understanding of its parents, establish a few tone of voice characteristics that have the values and ‘personality’ you want to express. Identify keywords and phrases that suit your chosen tone of voice. These should be used regularly in all communications.

  5. Review your school’s current content: Review all marketing communications content in your school for consistency of tone of voice. Does it resonate with the tone of voice you wish to convey? Is it consistent in every communication medium? If not, take the appropriate steps to fix it.

  6. Use a style guide: The best way to ensure the keywords and phrases you have selected are used regularly and consistently in all communications is through the use of a style guide. If your school doesn’t have a style guide, create one and educate all administrative and teaching staff on how to use it as a guide when communicating with parents and students. Explain what your school’s tone of voice is, why it is important and its characteristics. Include a session on its use in new staff inductions as well as annually with existing staff in a professional development day.

Tone of voice is a powerful way to communicate your school’s vision and values and build trust with your parent community through the use of consistent messaging and language.

To learn more about brand tone of voice and getting heard, download this complimentary ebook:

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This blog was written by Vanessa Klomp

Vanessa has in-depth knowledge of the education industry having worked in high school, home-schooling, international language and post-graduate fields of education, making her a natural fit to undertake the marketing communications of a number of imageseven’s education, not-for-profit and professional services clients. Vanessa enjoys travelling, running, sharing time with friends and family, and simply being outdoors.


Topics: Education, Inbound marketing, imageseven, Branding, Communication, Online marketing, Positioning, Marcom, Content marketing, Messaging, School marketing