This Marketing Matter begins this particular way because of the letters stand for the four directions, North, South, East and West. I still remember parents and teachers telling us, “There’s NEWS in the weather,” when we were in school. Indeed, newscasts incorporate weather forecasts, and of course, spawned a cable television channel dedicated to weather.
With that in mind, you might remember a Marketing Matter that talked about the FACE of a faith-based education. FACE was an acronym for Faith, Academics, Community and Experience – three qualities that lead to a fourth, which results when the other three act systemically.
In the Advancementality articles on this site, the “Remarkability” of your school is discussed, and finding 3 to 5 things that make your school “Remarkable,” and therefore, marketable.
The middle ground is finding four qualities – and that’s a good number to shoot for. If you can make an acronym out of them, or use alliteration, those tenets become memorable, and therefore can be talked about. If they’re talked about, that’s good Word of Mouth advertising!
The Catholic church does it – it is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. While the four letters don’t make a word, they are recited at every Mass in the Creed. Christian faiths do this as well at their worship celebrations.
You might tie these in to the name of the school too. For example, if your school’s letters where BMHS (such as Bishop Martin High School), you could say that you educate the whole child – Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. Or pick one letter and build the four qualities around that letter to make it the four qualities memorable ones. One of the coolest ones I’ve heard recently is Learn, Lead, Serve, Succeed.
Such an exercise will help you crystallize your thinking relative to what you need to market your school to the area it influences.
Now, you may be saying, “Wait a minute…you’ve got that wrong. The tag line for Catholic Schools Week is Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed.” Keep three things in mind:
1) I didn’t say those four words were associated with Catholic Schools Week (which is another topic for another day). Those four words in that order are “the mantra of the Alma del Mar Public Charter School” (https://www.giftstogive.org/alma-del-mar/. Accessed 10.9.2023).
2) Marketing needs to be memorable. Note the rhyme scheme created by the positioning of those words that make it more memorable.
3) One may say that “Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed” is a progression, with one following the other. Perhaps more correctly, they’re all important, as one impacts each of the others. Therefore, the words create a system rather than a progression, making the order less important, and the reality of fulfilling each of those qualities paramount to the success of the organization.
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2008-2023 (Original Publication Date: 20081006)