You’ve got a website and a presence on social media, so why do you need a prospectus to market your school?
Despite the popularity of online marketing, school prospectuses are still a crucial part of a school’s marketing strategy.
When presented well, a printed school prospectus allows you to sell yourself and tell a powerful story that is very difficult to replicate online.
So, how do you create a stand out school prospectus?
Read on to find out our top tips for creating a school prospectus that gets results.
Planning your school prospectus.
Whether you're creating your prospectus ahead of an open day or your busy admissions period, planning is key to success.
When planning your college prospectus, here are some things you should consider:
1. Who is your prospectus for?
This may seem straightforward, but it’s not always just the parent who needs persuading.
If you’re creating a prospectus for a sixth form, college or university, your prospectus will need to appeal to students as well as parents.
Think about who your school’s current customer base is? Who are the current parents and why have they chosen your school?
Talking to parents at the school gate, sending out surveys, or hosting parent and staff focus groups, is a great way to get to know your target audience better.
Once you know exactly who your target audience is, planning a school prospectus that resonates with them will become an easier task.
2. What should you include?
Gone are the days where your prospectus would cover every aspect of your curriculum, with a lengthy statement from your Head Teacher.
Choosing a school is a huge decision for both students and parents, something that affects the child’s life for years to come. Creating an enticing story that captivates your school's values is a great way to sell your school as something the reader wants to be a part of.
Here are some key things to include in your school prospectus:
Name and type of school.
Your school's values.
Testimonials from current students and parents.
Statement from the head.
Curriculum information, including teaching methods.
For higher education:
A brief course description.
3. How should you structure your prospectus?
Once your content is written and perfected, you will need to look at the structure of your prospectus.
This involves assigning your content to pages and deciding on running order.
Although every school’s marketing prospectus will be different, here’s an example of how you may want to structure your prospectus:
Page 1: Contents
Page 2: Statement from the Headteacher.
Page 3: Your school’s values and mission statement.
Page 4: Testimonials from students and parents.
Page 5: Statement of teaching methods.
Page 6: Reasons to choose the school.
Page 7: Information about the curriculum.
Page 8: Admissions policy
Page 9: Term dates.
Page 10: Closing statements.
Page 11: A map of the school, other useful information or statistics.
Top Tip: Remember that your brochure has to be printed in multiples of 4. If you’re struggling to increase your page count, add pages of high-quality photography to break up your content.
Designing your School Prospectus
From choosing exceptional photography that sells your school to deciding on effective colours and fonts, there’s a lot to think about when designing your school prospectus.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional Graphic Designer, here are a few of our top tips for designing a school prospectus:
1. Choosing the right size for your school prospectus.
A4 portrait may be the most common size for a school marketing brochure, but why not stand out from the crowd?
Remember, your aim is to differentiate yourself from other schools and colleges in the area.
You could produce a mini prospectus to act as a direct mailing piece, opt for a 210mm square brochure or incorporate a folder into your prospectus design – perfect for holding the other documents your prospective parents will collate at your open day.
2. Selecting the right colours and fonts.
Often overlooked, selecting the right colours and fonts is vital for creating a stand out marketing booklet for your school.
Following your school’s brand guidelines and creating a prospectus that matches the rest of your branding is a great way to establish your brand identity and build trust. After all, a consistent brand is a memorable brand.
Remember to choose your fonts wisely. Big, bold typefaces are easier to read than smaller, more decorative fonts.
Top Tip: Aim for a good contrast between the colour of your fonts and the colour of your background. This will ensure your copy stands out and is easy to read.
3. Create a clear layout.
Opting for a clear, uncluttered layout is simple for your prospective parents and students to read and understand.
Leave plenty of white space around text and images that you want to draw attention to and, ensure you start with a clear contents page that makes your prospectus easy to navigate.
4. Embrace digital trends.
With the rise in popularity of online marketing, combining print and digital marketing strategies is a great way to create multiple touchpoints, helping you convert more prospective students into actual students.
Utilising QR codes or digital calls to action in your printed brochures is a great way to create a seamless omnichannel experience within your school prospectus. You could link to video testimonials from students, course information sheets (an in-depth view of individual courses) or a student guide to life at your college.
Printing your School Prospectus
1. Experiment with creative finishing options.
Your prospective parents are inundated with school prospectuses that look the same. Formulating an imaginative idea that sets your establishment apart from the rest might be difficult, but it’ll do wonders for the exposure of your school.
Experimenting with creative finishing options is a great way to stand out from the crowd. From Spot UV and foiling to getting creative with different paper types, there are plenty of creative ways to make the cover of your prospectus appealing to touch, hold and look at.
2. Which binding should you choose for your school prospectus?
With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right binding for your school prospectus.
Here are a few of the options you might want to consider:
Saddle-Stitched Binding: Saddle stitch binding is perfect for a brochure with a small number of pages. Two metal staples are placed through the spine of the document to keep all of the pages together.
Perfect Binding: Perfect binding is often used for magazines or books. As the pages are glued together at the spine, it provides space for your school name to be printed on the spine too.
3. Compliment your prospectus with other open day print.
School prospectuses are a brilliant way to get the word out about your school, but when combined with other print and digital marketing you can create multiple touchpoints that will enhance your marketing activities.
Other school print that is perfect for enhancing your marketing includes:
- Floor stickers
- Branded merchandise – pens, lanyards, mugs, notebooks.
Are you ready to create a stand out school prospectus?
Designing and printing your school prospectus can be a challenge. With so much to think about, it may just be another task to complete in your busy schedule.
At Soar Valley Press, we make designing and printing your school prospectus simple. From planning your prospectus to choosing your paper stock and binding, we can guide you through the whole process, leaving you with more time to focus on your core responsibilities within your school.