Crane: Unfold Your Story

Brand Bravery in Troubled Times: Refreshing Your Message to Meet the New Moment

2021 NAIS Annual Conference Workshop
February 24-26, 2021

Over the past year, your school, like all others, has faced unprecedented challenges: You have shifted your program, almost overnight, from your classrooms to some form of distance learning. You have boosted morale and celebrated community spirit. You have struggled to determine when and how to reopen, even as public health information changes by the minute. You have endured serious Zoom fatigue.

Yet, you’ve had to maintain and even step up recruitment, retention, and advancement. And in times of crisis and uncertainty, you may feel your current messaging doesn’t quite match the moment. How can you persuade current and prospective families to consider your school’s offerings when you can’t yet predict exactly what those offerings will look like? How can you convey genuine sensitivity to unsettling times while inspiring optimism in your internal and external audiences?

In this fast-paced session filled with concrete examples, Shelly Peters and Angie Jackson of CRANE | Atlanta explain how your existing messaging, with a few adjustments, can speak most effectively to your current and prospective families today. Rather than backing down from marketing, you can lean into your differentiators in ways that not only address families’ immediate concerns, but suggest a realistic and exciting path forward for their children’s education.

Join us as we show you how to put theory into practice with a series of quick-hit case studies. We’ll show how some existing taglines and programs already work amazingly well when thoughtfully articulated in our new context. In other instances, you’ll see how changing your messaging hierarchy—pulling “background” language and imagery to the fore—can highlight distinctions that have taken on additional significance. We’ll also discuss how to refresh existing messaging in ways that convey your empathy and agility—the most important qualities any school has to offer now, and likely for months or years to come.

After the case studies, Shelly and Angie will lead break-out activities to help you begin reshaping your own school’s messaging—making it more relevant and resonant today and well into the future.