We Asked Businesses What They Think of School Prospectuses

When parents are choosing a school for their child, the prospectus can be a determining factor. For an outside perspective, we’ve asked businesses how they think school prospectuses could be improved.

Prospectuses are an essential component of any admissions campaign. More than most other school communications, prospectuses are almost entirely about straightforward marketing; you have to sell your school to prospective parents.

To provide schools with a different perspective and some tips from people experienced in marketing, we asked businesses what they think about school prospectuses.

“They Often Sound The Same”

It is a cliche in marketing to say that content should ‘set your business apart’, but prospectuses should be a reflection of the school’s personality and character. In the case of schools, the problem with a generalised prospectus is it can cause damage by coming across as soulless and impersonal. This is a particular pitfall for schools as their potential ‘clients’ must trust the school to look after their child.

By referring in the prospectus to your school’s specific vision, values, ethos, and other distinctive qualities, you can show that you care about the way you interact with your students as people. A particularly good way of doing this is including an impassioned message from the principal.

“They Don’t Focus Enough on the Target Audience”

School prospectuses are only actually relevant to a very small group of people. For primary schools, the audience is parents and carers with children turning school age or who they want to move to a new school. For secondaries, the prospectus should target students as well as parents. It pays, therefore, to make sure your content is tailored specifically for this audience.

“They Are Too Wordy”

The businesses we talked to found that many of the prospectuses we showed them took quite a significant amount of effort and time to read. Prospective parents will often be looking through a whole pile of prospectuses. If, when they get to yours, it looks like a time-consuming read, they might put it to one side and never look at it again.

Reducing the word count might seem like quite a challenging prospect. We know how much information you want and often need to get across in your prospectus. Fortunately, however, there are a number of tricks and techniques that can be used to break up text and keep it more concise and digestible.

If you want to know more, or would even like our copywriters to produce the prospectus for your content, contact the Eduprise team today.

“They Often Don’t Mention the School’s Unique Selling Points”

The concept ‘unique selling points’ originates in business and marketing theory. It centres around the idea that differentiation is one of, if not the most, important activities involved in marketing. Any entity engaged in marketing should aim to offer something their competitors cannot.

In terms of your school, this can be difficult to communicate without coming across as arrogant or presumptive. Nonetheless, all schools can, with a little searching, find something positive that they alone can offer. This could be as straightforward as pointing out a field of study your school excels in; it could refer to your school’s unique location, or perhaps the range of non-academic or extracurricular opportunities available to your pupils.

Whatever it is that makes your school stand out should be made clear to readers as early as possible in the prospectus. If you think our marketing expertise can help your school sell itself better, get in touch with our team today.

“The Quality of Visual Presentation Varies Drastically”

From what we’ve discussed so far, it could be made out that school prospectuses are only composed of text. This is of course, not the case. Text is only one of many components that make a good prospectus, visual design, formatting, and the use of images and photography are all also crucial ingredients.

Some of the ways that good design can improve prospectuses include:

  • Using theming that reflects the character and branding of the school.
  • Drawing attention to key quotes from the copy by using text formatting and colour panelling.
  • Using spacing and images in order to break up the text and make it more easily digestible for readers.

At Eduprise, our expert content writers have produced prospectus content for schools across the UK, working with our talented web designers to produce a prospectus that ultimately increases interest and drives admissions.

If your prospectus feels outdated, or your admissions drive needs added impetus, contact Eduprise today.

Published by
Adam Barker-Wyatt

Producing content and communications on behalf of schools and multi-academy trusts.

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