School Marketing Aforia 2009 Adelaide

The School Marketers Aforia Conference for 2009 was held in Adelaide Australia.

This was my first School Marketing Aforia. I loved it. The variety of speakers, the school tours, the discussions. It was the largest Aforia which presented some logistical challenges but I felt it was extremely worthwhile and decided to keep coming back!

Host Schools Aforia 2009

Aberfoyle Park High School

Aberfoyle Park High School was founded 1984 and is a government, coeducational, secondary school for students from Year 8 to Year 12. Today there are approximately 1150 students Aberfoyle Park High School is one of the largest secondary schools in South Australia. It is set in a natural environment with hundreds of trees, many of which were planted by the students. Today there are approximately 1150 students
Mr Allan Phelps - Principal

Neil Pierson's comment… This school fascinated me. Rather than duplicating facilities the school and local community share them. This means the library, gymnasium and sporting fields are better equipped and better utilised. The school connects the community.

Westminster School

Westminster School was established in 1961 and is a Uniting Church, coeducational, Early Learning Centre to Year 12, day and boarding school. The school is set in 23 hectares of grounds in Marion, a south-western suburb of Adelaide. The school has a 68 hectare property on the banks of Lake Alexandrina which is used as a working farm and for outdoor education. Today there are approximately 1,230 students
Mr Steve Bousfield - Principal

Neil Pierson's comment... Westminster is a beautiful school, with extensive grounds, wonderful facilities and room to move. We ate lunch in the school's winery which is part of their farm complete with Barramundi tanks. A unique school - who are famous for their Christmas lights.

Feedback from School Marketing Aforia 2009 Delegates

Really really good. A positive experience in all ways - Darin Betro (Westminster School, SA)

Well organised, kept to time well, excellent exchange of ideas – Chris Kane (Perth Modern School, WA)

A great opportunity to share ideas in a non-threatening environment – Robyn Dunbar (Investigator College, SA)

Well run, well structured, & quality delegates to network with - Bruce Pipkorn (Ballarat Grammar, Vic)

Inspirational. Only came one day, but wished I’d come both - Andrea Halliday (St Leonards Collage, Vic)

Mind boggling, inspiring, reassuring and motivating, thanks - Carolyn Googe (Orange Anglican School, NSW)

Good perspectives as a newcomer. Will return and recommend to others – Catherine Hunter (Pulteney Grammar School, SA)

All was good. Having lunch in the vineyard was extremely enjoyable, being removed from session environment – Karen Schaumloffen (Cabra Dominican College, WA)

Although I was only able to attend Aberfoyle Park High School, I have pages of notes and inspiration to keep me busy for months and months after hearing such a broad variety of speakers and insights – Kelvin Grivell (Our Saviour Lutheran Primary School, SA)

Overall very good, well managed, diverse – Gerrard Bain-King (Christian Brothers' College, Vic)

School Marketing Speakers at Aforia 2009

Speaker: Nanette van Ruiten Principal, Parafield Gardens High School SA
Topic: Reputation turn-around
Parafield Gardens High School has implemented strategies to improve the culture and image of the school which is fast becoming a school of choice. Nanette is a former entertainer (singer) and she uses her performance skills to connect with her students, parents and staff to make the school a happy, “crazy” place with a positive school culture. She says her best marketing tool is a pair of rose-coloured glasses. Be prepared for an entertaining session.

Speaker: Dr Linda Vining FACE Director, Centre for MARKETING SCHOOLS
Topic: Methods for training staff in customer relations
Administrative staff are the school’s front line and teachers are the enduring component in a school’s retention strategy. Both need skills in customer relations. Linda will illustrate different models of training that have been successful in different schools. Be prepared for an interactive session.

Speaker: Professor Ross Vining Director, Forensic Science, SA
Topic: Measuring Satisfaction: turning raw data into valuable intelligence
Ross has won many customer service awards in the public sector. He is an analytical scientist who loves fitting together the pieces of a jigsaw. He takes raw data and transforms it into valuable intelligence. He says that all service organisations need to understand their customers and respond to their perceptions and their needs. His customers are the justice system, the SA police and the families of victims. Schools are service organisations too and Ross will explain how a school can use market research to improve customer service and plan strategic direction.

Speaker: Karen Zeuschner Marketing & Development Manager, Avondale School, NSW
Topic: Early Years Program: How to market your school without spending a cent
A creative program for 2 to 5 year olds allows children and parents to have an educational experience at Avondale School that has the community buzzing with positive word-of-mouth promotion. “Parents pay us to market to them!” says Karen.

Neil Pierson's comment… this was the proposed line up of speakers but there were some changes due to personal circumstances with speakers.

Who attended School Marketing Aforia 2009?

Speaker: Darin Betro Registrar, Westminster School, SA
Topic: Marketing in hard times and overcoming hard issues
A school without main road visibility has a location disadvantage. Darin will show how he overcomes this challenge at Westminster School and attracts families to his “out-of-way” location in Marion without spending any money on advertising. He will discuss how he measures marketing success through enrolment enquiries, and his sales process, from enquiry to enrolment.

Speaker: Julie Brentson Registrar, Investigator College, SA
Topic: Style Guides
Julie takes a customer centred approach to all aspects of her role as Registrar. From initial enquiries, answering questions, tours, and all the paperwork, Julie works hard at making the transition to a new school a seamless one for families. She will discuss how the College Style Guide has helped raise the bar.

Speaker: Elizabeth Christie Publisher, Schooldays Publications
Topic: Special enrolment offers and other ways of adding value
Elizabeth is the CMS agent in the UK, Europe and Africa. She brings to the conference a global understanding of the impact of the economic crisis on schools. She will talk about innovative marketing strategies that overseas schools are developing to attract and retain enrolments in hard times.

Speaker: Barrye Dickinson Director of Marketing, The Knox School, Victoria
Topic: “For customer service, please press 1”
Excellent content, professional delivery and a delightful sense of humour earned Barrye the accolade of top presenter at the 2008 conference. By popular demand he will be back with a completely different topic telling us how he keeps his customers happy and the little things that mean such a lot. In hard times when it is so important to develop good retention strategies he will show how he is improving the service but reducing the cost!

Speaker: Robyn Dunbar Promotions Officer, Investigator College, SA
Topic: Style Guides
To raise the profile of her school in regional SA, Robyn produces in-house marketing and promotional publications of a high standard. An example of this is a ‘Style Guide’ produced as a part of her CMS Diploma in School Marketing course. She will show how the Style Guide has raised standards and resulted in a consistent and professional image in all printed material, and brought about positive change within the school.

Speaker: Sharon Givoni Principal Solicitor and Partner, Sharon Givoni Consulting - Intellectual Property Law Firm
Topic: Protecting a school’s intellectual property and creative ideas
Sharon is a qualified lawyer who runs a legal practice in the field of branding and all areas of intellectual property law. She will show you in easy-to-understand language how intellectual property impacts on schools and she will use numerous case studies from schools she has advised that illustrate why protection of ntellectual property in a school is a very worthwhile investment. She will address how to identify a school’s intellectual property. Can creative ideas be protected? How can you stop other schools stealing your ideas? How far can you go in taking inspiration from other schools? How can IP protection safeguard school uniforms that are valuable marketing tools? What about school colours? Emblems? Crests? Even your school name?

Speaker: Penny King Director of the Management and Research Centre, Adelaide
Topic: Writing for influence
Penny will illustrate the pillars of outstanding writing, the biggest writing sins and tips for proofreading.

Speaker: John Kramer Director of Development, Westminster School, SA
Topic: Marketing in hard times and overcoming hard issues.
John is a prize winning Director of Development at Westminster School. In eight years he has raised $5 million and increased enrolments by 20 percent. He will talk about staff roles, strategic planning, budgeting and accountability and what his school is doing differently in 2009 in response to the depressed economy.

Speaker: Sue Lear Business Development Director, Cornerstone College, SA
Topic: The NEW Business of Development
“Schools with an eye to a successful future need to change the way they do things so they have a firm financial base to generate income. They need more than philanthropy, sponsorship and donations,” says Sue. Cornerstone College is using its grounds and facilities for commercial purposes and developing mutually beneficial community relationships.

Speaker: Lisa Mitchell Publications Officer, The Peninsula School, Victoria
Topic: In-house publications: utilising the strength within
Lisa produces all school publications in-house and saves the school thousands of dollars a year. She uses students and staff to assist her and to generate clever and original ideas. She says that friendly customercentric content is very important in school communications.

Speaker: Patrick Moran Principal, Elizabeth Park Primary School, SA
Topic: Building community connections
When Patrick took over his government primary school 5 years ago, the morale of his teachers, parents and students was low but through a process of community connections the school is soaring. Patrick will illustrate how he used marketing techniques to build a culture of celebration, develop business partnerships and encourage his staff and community to accept a new vision for the school.

Speaker: Sandy Nelson Director, Admissions and Marketing, Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School, Victoria
Topic: The school uniform as a marketing tool
Sandy has a wealth of experience with school uniforms and how they are marketed. She will discuss uniform styles and what they say about a school and some of the pitfalls to consider before any uniform changes take place.

Speaker: Neil Pierson Marketing Consultant to Covenant Christian School NSW
Topic: Marketing the school using internet technology
When Neil was contracted to help market the school he found the website was outdated and had nothing to entice current families back. Using new technology that combines both a web and blogsite, the school now has an average of 1,800 visitors a week. The main reason is the fresh content being placed on the blogsite each week linked to the email and printed newsletter. The website generates an average of five enquiries a week and enrolments are going up.

Speaker: Wendy Teasdale-Smith FACE College Director, Bradford College, President of the Australian College of Educators, South Australia (formerly Principal of Aberfoyle Park High School)
Topic: Creating a culture of marketing throughout the school
Former ‘Principal of The Year’ Wendy Teasdale-Smith is a legend in education in South Australia. This humorous and high-profile educational leader will be the opening speaker. She will share her experiences about school marketing and branding - the insights she has gained, the mistakes she has made and the lessons she has learned. She will emphasise the role of the school leader in developing a school marketing culture. If you are a marketing manager and you want more support from the top, this is a talk that your Principal should hear also.

Speaker: Tour’n’Talk, with Darin Betro Registrar, Westminster School, SA
Topic: Marketing Boarding at Westminster School
Westminster is one of SA’s largest co-educational boarding schools for students from Years 7 to 12. Girls reside in modern home units while boys occupy the recently refurbished boarding house at the other end of the school. Registrar Darin Betro will outline how he sells boarding to local, country and overseas families and how he measures marketing success.

List of Delegates

Jill Annese Admissions & Community Relations Coordinator St Andrews School SA
Sue Appleby Community Relations Coordinator Good Shepherd Lutheran College QLD
Eve Bainbridge Marketing Officer Faith Lutheran School SA
Ros Bastian Regional Schools Promotions Officer, Sydney Department Education & Training NSW
Phil Beecher Principal Canberra High School ACT
Lyn Bennett Marketing & Communications Brisbane Adventist College QLD
Darin Betro Sales & Marketing/Registrar Westminster School SA
Donna Betts Office Manager Daramalan College ACT
Janice Boarder Administration Manager St John’s Regional College VIC
Karen Boyd Finance Manager University Senior College - Adelaide Uni SA
Peter Bray Director of Admissions & Marketing Melbourne Girls Grammar VIC
Julie Brentson Registrar Investigator College SA
Jessica Brinsdon Marketing Officer St John’s Regional College VIC
Damaris Brown Registrar Daramalan College ACT
Emma Calver Community Relations Officer/Registrar Oxley College NSW
Robyn Carroll Director of Development Mary McKillop College SA
Elizabeth Christie Director Schooldays Magazine UK
Jean Christie Director of Marketing Emmanuel College VIC
Wendy Cudd Marketing & Development Officer St Ursula’s College QLD
Sue Dein Executive Assistant to the Principal Marist College NSW
Barrye Dickinson Director of Marketing The Knox School VIC
Andrea Donald Marketing & Communications Officer St Ursula’s College QLD
Kim Douglas Director, Marketing & Enrolments Australian International School, Singapore
Kimberly Downes Director of Development Genazzano FCJ College VIC
Robyn Dunbar Promotions Officer Investigator College SA
Lynette Eggins Conference Manager Centre for Marketing Schools
Sharon Givoni Principal, Intellectual Property Lawyer Sharon Givoni Consulting VIC
Carolyn Googe Administration Officer Orange Anglican Grammar School NSW
Kaye Grieve Deputy Principal Gympie State High School QLD
Kelvin Grivell Principal Our Saviour Lutheran Primary School SA
Melanie Hall Marketing & Publications Officer Cardijn College SA
Andrea Halliday Public Relations Coordinator St Leonard’s College VIC
Neil Helmore Director of Development Ryan Catholic College QLD
Sheree Henley IT Consultant Dept of Education ACT
Madonna Hennessy Director of Boarding St Vincent’s College NSW
Nicola Holland Director of Marketing The Peninsula School VIC
Catherine Hunter Director of Marketing & Enrolments Pulteney Grammar School SA
Lindsay Ingham Deputy Principal Aberfoyle Park High School SA
Catherine Jeffcoate Development Officer St Gregory’s College NSW
Christine Kane Marketing Officer Perth Modern School WA
Penny King Director Management & Research Centre - MARC SA
Jane Kneale Communications Manager Saint Kentigern College NZ
John Kramer Director of Development Westminster School SA
Sue Lear Consultant Arete MCA & Tatu SA
Matthew Lewis Development Officer Marist Sisters’ College NSW
Ruston Long Marketing & Enrolments Manager Kingsway Christian College WA
Kathlyn McGargill Administration Manager Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College NT
Beryl McMillan Director of Community Relations St Leonard’s College VIC
Vanessa Mepham PA to the Principal St Vincent’s College NSW
Lisa Mitchell Publications Officer The Peninsula School VIC
Patrick Moran Principal Elizabeth Park Primary School SA
Leeanne Moriarty Director of Marketing & Development Mercedes College SA
Nicol Jacques Mouton Business Manager Green Point Christian College NSW
Sandy Nelson Director of Admissions & Marketing Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School VIC
Pamela Peryman Director of School Relations Kristin School NZ
Alan Phelps Principal Aberfoyle Park High School SA
Neil Pierson Marketing Consultant Covenant Christian School NSW
Bruce Pipkorn Director of Admissions Ballarat Grammar VIC
Julie Ralph Coordinator School Promotions Adelaide High School SA
Melissa Ralph Marketing & Development Officer Dominic College TAS
Gillian Roberts College Registrar Trinity Lutheran College VIC
Keira Robertshaw Manager of Marketing St Stephen’s School WA
Jo Ruchel Promotions & Publications Manager Ballarat Grammar VIC
Karen Schaumloffen Development Officer Cabra Dominican College WA
Shirley Seit Head of Community Development Overnewton Anglican Community College VIC
Deborah Slade Enrolment Registrar St Mark’s College SA
Irene Soon Marketing Officer Catholic Agricultural College Bindoon WA
Myfanwy Stanfield Director of Marketing & Enrolments Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School QLD
Wendy Teasdale-Smith College Director Bradford College SA
Katrina Telfer Registrar & Marketing Carinya Christian School NSW
Joe van Dalen Deputy Principal School Of Languages SA
Rene van Eeden Registrar Catholic Agricultural College Bindoon WA
Nanette van Ruiten Principal Parafield Gardens High School SA
Julie Versteegh Public Relations Officer Tenison Woods College SA
Linda Vining Director Centre for Marketing Schools
Professor Ross Vining Director Forensic Science SA
Bronwyn Warden Enrolments Officer Coomera Anglican College QLD
Elise Warner Development Manager Lighthouse Christian College VIC
Sam Yarnold Development Manager Prince of Peace Lutheran College QLD
Karen Zeuschner Marketing & Development Director Avondale School NSW

Dr Linda Vining's invitation to Aforia 2009

Intelligent Innovation
The other night I cooked dinner for 4 for less than $15. Good value, eh? I followed the recipe in the Woolworth’s Meal Deal advertisement. It was one of a series of full-page, colour ads in the Adelaide Advertiser that was designed to appeal to a changing market that is spending with discretion. In these times of economic downturn, the supermarket has changed its marketing strategy. Instead of being the expensive “Fresh Food People” it has become the economical choice that can make a dollar go further.

When it recognised a global shift in its customers’ buying preferences, Woolworths quickly created an innovative marketing strategy to remain a market leader in a troubled economy. Clever.

In tough economic times when parents at your school are likely to be working longer hours and feeling stressed, enrolments may be stagnant, fees unpaid, sponsorships and philanthropy are drying up, and budgets are being pruned . . . clever schools are shifting their marketing strategies to respond to a sober mindset.

Bad times are a good time to re-evaluate a brand, consider positioning and redesign strategy. And to innovate.

The 2009 School Marketing Aforia will examine many of the innovations that are taking place in schools at present. These include diversification of service, commercialisation of facilities to secure future funding, cutting the cost of marketing, embracing new technology and designing creative outreach campaigns.

Market innovation means finding fresh ways to add value to your school. It calls for a marketing manager who is aware of the trends, understands the school’s target audience and who is courageous enough to do things differently.

I see five critical success factors for market innovation - Vision, Risk-Taking, People Power, Knowledge Management and Intelligent Marketing and I have fashioned a table for the Aforia to illustrate these factors.

Aware of emerging trends
Inspirational leadership
Well-crafted strategy

Experience to calculate risks
Ability to overcome scepticism
Contingency plans

People Power
Generation of new ideas
Staff empowerment
Networking partners

Knowledge Management
Capitalising on trends
Understanding target audiences
Information distribution

Intergration promotion
Matching service to needs/mood
Analysing audience satisfaction

As you listen in to speakers from all over Australia you will hear examples of innovation and best practice and see how these critical success factors are at play in schools of all types.

I invite you to add your voice at this interactive conference.

I hope you will leave this year’s Aforia with renewed courage to try different things and a head full of exciting ideas and possibilities to ensure the survival of your school through this tough financial period, and success beyond it.

Dr Linda Vining FACE
Director, Centre for Marketing Schools