04 May Printed marketing materials for schools – how prepared are you?
Where does the academic year go? Another twelve months to organise printed marketing materials and the day-to-day essentials in the back office. So how is it time to review the school prospectus again?
At the start of every new school year there is an abundance of time to plan events, exams, open evenings and parental engagement. Or so you thought…
Prepare for annual marketing materials and ad-hoc print
Each year, your school, college, academy or university requires similar materials to help ‘sell the school’ to prospective pupils and parents. Giving careful consideration to what these materials should look like to best capture the imagination, needs and wants of the intended audience isn’t always that easy.
Securing anticipated enrolment numbers is highly competitive and schools, academies and colleges have to think like a business and get market-savvy by paying attention to how they are perceived by their potential audience. Visual impact is important and highly effective wording, imagery and material can make a big difference.
At Panda Press, our team is well versed in project managing the print requirements for educational organisations. That’s why we recommend every new project be approached with a structured plan, working backwards from the proposed deadline. This will enable sufficient time for everyone required to have their say and input into the school materials. This also allows for adequate print production schedules and an element of contingency.
It’s not just about printing repeat copies of the annual prospectus and topping up the storage cupboards. Education evolves, children evolve and we all know that expectations are not getting any lower.
Schools and colleges need printed marketing materials that stand out and shout an appealing message to new and existing pupils, parents and supporters within the local community. Marketing materials can support regular calendar events such as:
- Open evenings
- School events – theatre productions, sports day, the harvest festival
- Extra curricular activities – after-school classes, Young Enterprise, community competitions
- Awards evenings
But it’s not as simple as throwing together an A4 booklet and replenishing stocks of branded letterheads and compliment slips.
Your school, academy or college has an identity and this personality needs to be expressed everywhere, including your printed materials:
- Awards certificates
- Promotional flyers
- Parent’s evening invitations
- Outdoor weather-proof PVC banners
- Raffle tickets
- Car park passes
- Indoor pull-up banners
The list really can be endless when you start to think about the options in more detail – how can your school make a difference? The planning stages play a key part in eliminating last minute stresses, meeting budget allocations and avoiding taking delivery of a substandard piece of work.
The printed school prospectus – choices, choices…
At Panda Press, we’re about sharing ideas and becoming a trusted advisor to make sure all options are considered – and that your printed materials express the culture and benefits of the school.
As an example, your next school prospectus could take the form of a perfect bound brochure with high-class imagery, course overviews and pupil testimonials.
But then again, what about a textured folder with bespoke printed inserts or a series of cards, collated together with a brass eyelet for effect? You see, anything is achievable. And that’s what Chesterton Community Sports College found.
Chesterton Community Sports College
In 2017, the Panda Press Team met with Steph Waterhouse from Chesterton Community Sports College (CCSC) to talk about the print and design of a new school year prospectus.
The school and Trust were developing and Steph was looking to build a relationship with a trusted supplier for long-term projects. Products and communication needed to be of a high quality because CCSC had previously encountered bad experiences with printers.
“I found Panda Press online and was impressed by how quickly they responded to my enquiry and that they offered to visit us at the school,” said Steph.
Panda Press worked with CCSC as a full-service supplier. This approach is valuable to schools as it’s a bit like a one-stop-shop. As well as the obvious print production, all other requirements of printed materials are managed including:
Just one supplier to approve, one designated project manager, and one final invoice to pay – it couldn’t be easier.
“All our publicity material is designed by Panda Press. It’s so much better now and we’ve had several positive comments about our ‘style’ ,” Steph added.
Often support from a production point of view can be invaluable. A second pair of trained eyes can suggest tweaks to improve copy, artwork and image files to ensure photographs are well defined and the colours vibrant. The last thing anyone wants is a poorly received promo going out in the post.
Trust in the Panda Difference – we’re here for you
Planning printed materials for the coming academic year (or term) is critical to time, stress, budget and bums on seats.
CCSC requested a new colour scheme from the designers at Panda Press and since the new prospectuses, banner stands, signage and event marketing materials have all been produced with the new branding.
The school and Trust have benefited from building a solid relationship with Panda Press. Sharing new ideas and knowing that orders will be handled efficiently and produced to a high standard is invaluable.
Steph concluded: “We will not use anyone else. Panda Press are fantastic and we’ve even had other schools (outside of our Trust) ask where we have our materials produced.
“From initial requests, to the design process, then on to the final outcome, the service and communication is second to none.”
To talk to someone about how Panda Press can add real value to your school’s printed marketing materials, please call 01785 815110.