Name: Jayne Burton
Job title: Director of Marketing and Admissions
Current place of employment: Chigwell School
Years’ experience in education marketing: 1
How did you get into school marketing?
I was working in the corporate sector and looking for a role with more purpose and tangible impact. I spotted the advert online and although I hadn’t considered moving to the Education sector before, as a coach and mentor, I have always been passionate about learning and development. It was the best move I’ve ever made!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is completely different and always busy, which I love. I usually start off by setting my top three priorities for the day to keep me focused. I’ll check the social media feeds and schedule content via Hootsuite. Then at the moment, it’s onto our exciting new website design and content creation with our external agency, running brand workshops with staff and pupils, and catching up with my team on admissions. I’ll also usually be out around the School’s 100-acre site – taking photos and videos of school life for content marketing and while getting my step count in!
How do you measure the success of your marketing campaigns?
I take a qualitative and quantitative approach – while the data and stats are excellent metrics for optimising campaigns, it’s the personal feedback that really brings the success of a campaign to life for me.
How do you ensure you’re keeping up to date with different methods of marketing?
I find the School Marketing Facebook groups really helpful, as well as the daily news summary from the ISC. I also read blogs from agencies and my network on LinkedIn to ensure I’m also keeping a broader view.
Which social media platform do you get the most from?
Instagram for reach and Facebook for deeper levels of conversion and connection. While Twitter has been declining in popularity for some years now, interestingly, many of the requests for PPE have arrived via Twitter.
What’s your favourite tool you use? Such as Asana, Hootsuite etc.
Canva is a really useful tool for creating simple designs for social media when you need something quick, effective and budget-friendly.
What’s your favourite date in the school calendar for marketing?
My favourite event is the Chigwell Open Art, Design and Technology exhibition, now in its 24th year, as it brings together the work of 25 other local schools and has a real buzz about it. The pupil’s artwork is so colourful and inventive that it looks great on Instagram stories.
Moment(s) you have been most proud of in your current role?
The creation and implementation of a new social media strategy which included the launch of our Instagram page, the introduction of Hootsuite and lots of daily nurturing, has resulted in a huge increase in engagement of 1,390% YoY.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Reach out to other School’s marketers and use your networks. I have felt truly welcomed by the community of marketers working in the sector. Many of us are in the same position, working as either a small team or a team of one, so I have found it invaluable to bounce ideas off of others.
What do you see as being the most significant change school marketers will face in the next 10 years?
Gen Z values, beliefs and expectations, as both pupils and parents. I think schools marketers will see an increased emphasis on:
- Diversity and genuine representation
- Digital acceleration and AI – a change not only for marketing but also to teaching and learning
- Connectivity across local and global communities
- How we find purpose and create a positive impact on the world around us; such as how schools are playing their part in addressing environmental concerns.
What’s been the biggest challenge in your role?
As a new role for the school, it has been a big challenge but also such a huge opportunity to start from the ground up; establish the marketing strategy, introduce new technologies and to bring about change.
Do you have any podcasts or webinars that you’d recommend to other school marketers?
It’s not education-specific, but I would recommend starting the day with the Insights Timer app. This meditation app helps me to start the day feeling clear and focused.
How is your school dealing with marketing throughout the COVID-19 situation?
Chigwell has a really strong sense of community – so we’re all pulling together to support each other and those in our wider community. Marketing efforts have focused on communication; coordinating PPE requests via our social media channels and connecting those requests with our dedicated D&T department who have produced hundreds of visors so far for NHS trusts, GP surgeries and care homes.
The School embraced delivering both its academic and pastoral provision digitally rapidly; with the Chaplain quickly acquiring his own YouTube channel! In times when we are all working, teaching and learning from different places, marketing communication technologies have been vital in keeping us all connected and our digital channels have really come into their own.
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