3 tips to writing a killer school prospectus
1. Ask lots of questions
Your new prospectus will be read by parents who may know nothing about how your school runs. When writing your content you should approach this in mind. Every prospective parent or student will be reading your prospectus because they have questions so it is important that you take time to understand what these questions might be. What might they be worried about? What might they have heard?
Consider questions such as:
How do I know my child will be safe?
What subjects will be taught in Year 7?
I heard some stories, are they true?
How is it different from primary school?
How do you communicate with parents?
Who can I talk to about my child once they start?
What if my child struggles at school?
How do you ensure high standards?
What cultural experiences do you offer?
The last question to ask is this: what might they not have heard? Do they know your plans for the future? Have they heard about the great things you are already doing?
2. Keep your audience in mind
Once you know what you should be writing about you can create your first draft, and this can be the most daunting stage. At this point remember who will be reading your prospectus and assume that they don’t know anything about your school.
Resist the temptation to include data or terms that you and the leadership team feel are exciting. They may not mean much to a parent. By considering your language and taking time to explain things in simple english parents will connect better with your message. A parent would rather trust a school that explains things clearly than one which overwhelms them with jargon.
3. Tell the right story
Many schools are tempted to include detail about every aspect of the school from how the day is structured to uniform policies and curriculum content. While all of this is important, it’s not what connects with parents and much of it is best left on your website.
Your prospectus is an amazing opportunity to communicate the mission and values of your school and to tell the story that will connect emotionally. A lot of this will be down to the images you select (but that’s another article) but the clarity of your words will have a big impact. A prospectus with great images and a few well placed paragraphs that flow well and make sense will have more impact than one that is filled with all kinds of information and has poor images.
You might need to start telling a new story. Rumours and stories of past incidents last for a long time in parent’s memories. To overcome that you need to consistently tell a better story. It can be done. It does work.
Note: Think about creating a separate booklet that contains all of the day-to-day detail, or creating a details section within the last few pages of your main prospectus, which can be formatted to feel different to the marketing pages.