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Boosting Enrollment:   Strategies from a Gold Medallion-     Winning Marketing Campaign                     Delaina Bierns...
Our School District•   13,000 K-8 students•   25 schools (elementary & middle)•   Phoenix metro area•   Home to Arizona St...
Background: 2006-07• Open enrollment law in Arizona• Marketing had increased our out-of-district  students from 500 to 1,9...
PROBLEM:•   Changing demographics in Tempe•   City is landlocked, no room for growth•   Fierce competition with charter sc...
GOAL:Implement a new specialty-school concept thatwould increase the school’s enrollment andimprove the school academically.
RESEARCH:Market research study of school choice:   • Phone surveys (Quantitative data)   • Focus groups (Qualitative data)...
ANALYSIS:•   Research showed parents were most    interested in a “School of the Future” theme•   Four district schools we...
PLAN:Transform Scales Elementary School into a“School of the Future” to open at its brand newcampus in August 2008
Timeline: 16 months                                                        0 08                               08          ...
Timeline: 16 months                                                        0 08                               08          ...
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   A
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   A     Developing a brand for the      school that doesn’t exis...
Arizona’s rst tuition-free K-5school to provide a laptop for        every student
Arizona’s rst tuition-free K-5school to provide a laptop for        every student
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08Website - www.ScalesTechnologyAca...
M   J   J   A   S        O           N            D            J           F           M           A   M   J   J   AMarket...
M   J   J   A   S   O    N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08                        E-mail B...
M   J    J                  A                  S                  O                   N             D   J      F         M...
M           J               J             A               S              O               N               D   J   F   M   A...
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08                Local Media Cover...
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08
M         J              J             A              S              O              N               D            J   F   M...
M   J   J   A   S   O    N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08                        Open House
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08            Open House - Poster S...
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #3 - July ’08                    Direct Mail ...
M   J   J   A   S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #3 - July ’08                    Direct Mail ...
M   J   J   A    S   O   N   D   J   F   M   A   M   J   J   AMarketing Blast #3 - July ’08                Movie Theater T...
EVALUATION:• Enrollment surveys• Record of phone calls• Website tracking
Results - Academics, Apr ’09  • 8 to 38% increase in DIBELS (reading)    aptitude test  • More students at benchmark level...
Results - Enrollment• 441 Scales students as of May 2007• 558 Scales students in April 2009 (9  months into rst year)    •...
Return on Investment• Under $90,000 spent marketing• $4,000 income to district per child• 117-student increase in one year
Return on Investment  • Under $90,000 spent marketing  • $4,000 income to district per child  • 117-student increase in on...
Resources•   Tested Advertising Methods,    John Caples. Fifth edition, 1997.    (Great resource for writing ad    headlin...
Ongoing marketing• Parenting magazines• Targeted Google Adwords on Google search  and Greatschools.net• Reworked e-mail bl...
This session and all marketing materials can              be found online:     www.tempeschools.org/nspra2009
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Boosting Enrollment: Strategies from a Gold Medallion-Winning Marketing Campaign

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Facing dropping enrollment and fierce competition from charter schools and other districts, the Tempe Elementary Schools needed a plan to enhance their appeal and stimulate enrollment. Through research, strategic planning, and effective marketing we boosted enrollment by turning a typical school into the cutting-edge Scales Technology Academy.

This was a 1-hour presentation session from the National School Public Relations Association Annual Seminar on June 29, 2009 in San Francisco, CA

Presented by: Delaina Biernstein, Graphic Design Specialist for the Tempe Elementary School District in Tempe, Arizona

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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  • - Demographics were getting older and younger. Older parents with kids out of school, and students attending ASU. Fewer families with elementary age children.\n
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  • - The district contracted with a research company to conduct a study for us\n\n-Impressions of area school districts\n- What influences parents when choosing a school\n- Interest in themed schools\n
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  • - less time consuming, cheaper, but still effective\n
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  • Transcript of "Boosting Enrollment: Strategies from a Gold Medallion-Winning Marketing Campaign"

    1. 1. Boosting Enrollment: Strategies from a Gold Medallion- Winning Marketing Campaign Delaina Biernstein Tempe Elementary School District - Tempe, Arizona This session and all marketing materials can be found online: www.tempeschools.org/nspra2009June 29, 2009 NSPRA Seminar, San Francisco
    2. 2. Our School District• 13,000 K-8 students• 25 schools (elementary & middle)• Phoenix metro area• Home to Arizona State University Main Campus
    3. 3. Background: 2006-07• Open enrollment law in Arizona• Marketing had increased our out-of-district students from 500 to 1,900 in ~5 years• District opened a K-8 traditional academy in 2005, very successful
    4. 4. PROBLEM:• Changing demographics in Tempe• City is landlocked, no room for growth• Fierce competition with charter schools• Enrollment reached a plateau and was starting to decline• Mediocre achievement in some schools
    5. 5. GOAL:Implement a new specialty-school concept thatwould increase the school’s enrollment andimprove the school academically.
    6. 6. RESEARCH:Market research study of school choice: • Phone surveys (Quantitative data) • Focus groups (Qualitative data)What are parents impressions of area school districts?What in uences parents when choosing a school?What is their interest in speci c themed schools?
    7. 7. ANALYSIS:• Research showed parents were most interested in a “School of the Future” theme• Four district schools were being rebuilt, including Scales Elementary School near Arizona State University, downtown Tempe, andand several technology businesses
    8. 8. PLAN:Transform Scales Elementary School into a“School of the Future” to open at its brand newcampus in August 2008
    9. 9. Timeline: 16 months 0 08 08 07 0 y2 t2 ay2 0 Text n ua r ug us M Ja A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A New building is readySchool & theme Enrollment School chosen begins opens
    10. 10. Timeline: 16 months 0 08 08 07 0 y2 t2 ay2 0 Text n ua r ug us M Ja A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A Delaina joins the process New building is readySchool & theme Enrollment School chosen begins opens
    11. 11. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A
    12. 12. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A Developing a brand for the school that doesn’t exist• Naming the school• Discussions with Scales Elementary teachers• Research into similar schools• Logo and visual identity• Photo shoot
    13. 13. Arizona’s rst tuition-free K-5school to provide a laptop for every student
    14. 14. Arizona’s rst tuition-free K-5school to provide a laptop for every student
    15. 15. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08Website - www.ScalesTechnologyAcademy.org
    16. 16. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08 Phoenix Arizona Local News – City of Phoenix Arizona – Phoenix Business News Banner Ads - www.AZCentral.com
    17. 17. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08 E-mail Blast
    18. 18. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08 January 23, 2008 Dear Parent, Choosing a school where your child will excel is one of the most important decisions you will make in 2008. Before you make that decision, I’d like to share with you my vision for the future of education, both here in the Valley and across the nation. My name is David Diokno and I am the principal of the all new Scales Technology Academy. If I asked you to think of one word that defines the future, you might say, “technology.” Without a doubt, technology really has had a huge impact on our society. Just a hundred years ago, cars and airplanes were cutting-edge to most people. Today, we have machines that fit in the palms of our hands and allow us to interact in real time opening August 2008 with people on the other side of the planet without leaving the comfort of our living rooms. It’s truly amazing what has been accomplished in just a century. Enrollment Checklist: As an educator, my concern – and probably a concern of yours as well – is that our (Bring this checklist with you when you enroll your child) schools are not keeping up with these powerful but commonplace technologies that are q Certified Birth Certificate – Call the Arizona Office of Vital being used every day in the real world. Nor are they focusing enough on the skills our Records at (602) 364-1300 to request your child’s certificate. children need to live productively in a rapidly changing global economy: skills such as q Immunization Records for Hepatitis B, Diptheria, Tetanus, critical thinking, information literacy, communication, collaboration, and self-directed DTP, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella. learning. q 2 Proof of Residence Documents, such as utility bills. I’d like to introduce a new kind of elementary school to Arizona: one that teaches the same curriculum as any other K-5 school, but presents that curriculum to students in a Fifth St. SCALES TECHNOLOGY Enrollment starts way that is relevant to their world, and not to the world as it was 10 or 20 years ago. ACADEMY January 30th, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. With the help of organizations like Apple, ASU, Intel, Sprint, Xerox, and Troxell UNIVERSITY DR. Enrollment site: Communications, this school is now a reality. Scales Technology Academy: A School ENROLLMENT SITE 1045 S. Beck Avenue in Tempe PRIEST DR. MILL AVE. Beck Ave. Hardy Dr. for Innovative Learning will open in August 2008. This school is part of the award- Brand new campus: winning Tempe Elementary School District and is located less than a mile from the 13th St. 1115 W. Fifth Street in Tempe ASU Tempe Campus. Unlike any other elementary school in Arizona, Scales Technology Academy will provide every student – kindergarten through fifth grade – with a fully featured laptop computer to use free of charge. Technology will be integrated into every subject. In Direct Mail Letter from the Principal
    19. 19. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08 East Valley’s newest K-5 school will engage students through individual laptops, technology David Diokno, principal of the new Scales Technology Academy, gives his perspective on the future of technology in education Choosingmake in 2008. important deci- a school where your child will excel is one of the most sions you’ll addition, every classroom will have a Smart- Board, which is an interactive white board. With these tools, teachers can record their Before you make that decision, I’d like lessons as they write on the boards, then send to share with you my vision for the future them to students, who will be able to save of education, both here in the Valley and the lessons on their laptops and replay them across the nation. while doing homework. ese are just two of If I asked you to think of one word that the many tools Scales Technology Academy defines the future, you might say, “tech- will use to make learning come to life. nology.” Without a doubt, technology has But please don’t mistake Scales Tech- had a huge impact on our society. Just a nology Academy as a school where students hundred years ago, cars and airplanes were just learn technology for its own sake. Of cutting-edge to most people. Today, we have course, our students will learn how to use machines that fit in the palms of our hands various technologies, but our intent is to inte- and allow us to interact in real time with grate these technologies as tools for learning people on the other side of the planet without math, science, history, and every other sub- leaving the comfort of our living rooms. It’s ject area. We want laptops and SmartBoards truly amazing what has been accomplished to take their place alongside textbooks, pen- in just a century. cils, calculators, and the many other efficient As an educator, my concern – and prob- tools students need for learning. ably a concern of yours as well – is that our Enrollment for the 2008-09 school year schools aren’t keeping up with the powerful starts January 30th. It’s free and open to but commonplace technologies being used all children from across the Valley. We’ll every day in the real world. Nor are they open in August 2008 in a brand new facility focusing enough on the skills our children located at 1115 W. Fifth St. in Tempe. Until need to live productively in a changing global then, enrollment will be at our temporary economy: skills such as critical thinking, site at 1045 S. Beck Ave. in Tempe. information literacy, communication, and I’m excited about Scales Technology self-directed learning. Academy and the promise it holds. I believe I’d like to introduce a new kind of ele- that the more you know about our “school of mentary school to Arizona: one that teaches the future,” the more excited you’ll be, too. the same curriculum as any other K-5 school, I invite you to call me, personally, at (480) but presents that curriculum to students in a 929-9909 to find out more. I’ll be happy way that is relevant to their world, and not to to answer any of your questions. You can the world as it was 10 or 20 years ago. also read more by visiting our website at With the help of organizations like Apple, www.ScalesTechnologyAcademy.org. Local Newspaper and Magazine Ads
    20. 20. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #1 - Jan ’08 Local Media Coverage
    21. 21. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08
    22. 22. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08 Media Day • Press release sent out For Immediate Release Contact: Monica Allread, 480-730-7304 Sneak Preview of Technology-Infused School • One classroom set up First Arizona elementary school to provide laptops for every student, kindergarten through fifth-grade in new building TEMPE, Ariz. – The school of the future has arrived. Scales Technology Academy is ready to provide students with a unique learning environment that infuses the best technology solutions in every classroom and across the curriculum. You are invited to a media preview on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 10 a.m. at 1115 West Fifth Street in Tempe. • Fact sheet and At this preview, you will see how technology opens up the world of reading for kindergarteners, travel to New York City on a virtual field trip, and create a multi-media “book report of the future.” promotional notepad You will see one of the most technology-equipped elementary schools in the nation and learn how these technologies will help children excel academically. Nowhere else in Arizona will you find a kindergarten – fifth-grade school that is providing every student and pen were provided to reporters with their own laptop computer to use for schoolwork, at no cost to parents. Educators and technology experts from Apple, Intel, ASU, Sprint, Xerox, Troxell Communications, and the Tempe Elementary School District worked together to create this school that will give students the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century. “Technology is a tool for students to gain knowledge, collaborate, and express themselves in ways they never could,” said Brian Gahan with Apple. “As we rapidly move toward a global economy, it is imperative for today’s students to • Teachers and develop the strong critical thinking and communication skills that will better prepare them to compete in the job market,” said Erik Hanson of Troxell Communications. students brought in for lesson demos “We are confident Scales Technology Academy will become an example others will follow,” said Sprint’s Craig Carroll. Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Class begins at 10 a.m. Don’t be tardy! ###
    23. 23. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08 Open House
    24. 24. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #2 - Apr ’08 Open House - Poster Series
    25. 25. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #3 - July ’08 Direct Mail DVD
    26. 26. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #3 - July ’08 Direct Mail DVD
    27. 27. M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J AMarketing Blast #3 - July ’08 Movie Theater Trailer Ad
    28. 28. EVALUATION:• Enrollment surveys• Record of phone calls• Website tracking
    29. 29. Results - Academics, Apr ’09 • 8 to 38% increase in DIBELS (reading) aptitude test • More students at benchmark levels • NWEA reading and math test scores up
    30. 30. Results - Enrollment• 441 Scales students as of May 2007• 558 Scales students in April 2009 (9 months into rst year) • Included 93 out-of-district students
    31. 31. Return on Investment• Under $90,000 spent marketing• $4,000 income to district per child• 117-student increase in one year
    32. 32. Return on Investment • Under $90,000 spent marketing • $4,000 income to district per child • 117-student increase in one year$378,000 net nancial gain
    33. 33. Resources• Tested Advertising Methods, John Caples. Fifth edition, 1997. (Great resource for writing ad headlines)• Ogilvy on advertising, David Ogilvy. 1985.• Clicky Web Analytics -
    34. 34. Ongoing marketing• Parenting magazines• Targeted Google Adwords on Google search and Greatschools.net• Reworked e-mail blasts
    35. 35. This session and all marketing materials can be found online: www.tempeschools.org/nspra2009
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