‘Staged’ Events for school marketing.
A number of events may be 'staged' for optimum media / marketing coverage throughout the year.
These events would most often be normal school events which would be heavily marketed, with a primary marketing aim of gaining some media coverage. The desired media involvement would be free coverage gained as a result of media releases and / or phone calls to key media people.
The main staged event for most schools is the Open Day.
Two other events, which have been found to be very successful at Aquinas College, were a special Phone-a-thon and a unique Liturgy.
The Phone-a-thon was set up with the local television station and went live to air during and after the local news and weather segments. The purpose was to track down past students from the College for an upcoming major school anniversary. The setting was a small room with a number of key people, including the Principal, a past Principal, staff member, student and Sschool Marketing Manager - all with telephones. The School Marketing Manager asked people to ring in details and also had a little 'chat' about the event with the host. The whole promotion went very well and was free of charge.
The Easter Liturgy is still covered yearly by the local television station and major newspaper. Its significance is its size, number of students in costume or otherwise involved, scenes and props used throughout the school campus and local church, and vision of whole school being involved with each new station of the cross.
Either the Principal, students or School Marketing Manager are interviewed by various media outlets each year.
Other events could be:
the Night of Excellence / Awards Night
a sports grand final game eg Firsts
a past students‟ event
the school‟s feast day
The event, or aspects / moments within it, should be as unique as possible to gain media attention. The staged event then becomes the focus of a marketing campaign.
Written by Bryan Foster author. This is an extract from the section "'Staged Events'" in the 'School Marketing and the Media' chapter in School Marketing e-Handbook: Easy to Use Guide to Market Your School