Promoting Clubs for Schools

Clubs for Schools is a hub for clubs that helps primary schools to run all their clubs from a single website and for parents to book easily online. It connects schools to thousands of specialist club leaders, connects parents to all the clubs available for their child and is free for schools because the club leaders fund it.

The team behind Clubs for Schools approached us to help raise awareness of their service to primary schools and to help position their CEO as an important voice in debates linked to extra curricular clubs.

We worked to create a campaign that used research about parents’ attitudes to extra curricular clubs to develop a news story. We worked with the team to create a series of survey questions and then put these into the field with the support of a MRS registered polling company. We secured 2000 respondents and then analysed the findings to create a number of different news angles.

We focused on securing coverage in the education sector media, with stakeholders and in selected local areas. We had access to some great spokespeople including Paralympic and Olympic athletes as well head teachers from primary schools already using Clubs for Schools and the charismatic clubs for Schools CEO.

We secured coverage across print, online and radio including TES, Teach Primary, Primary School Management, ATL Report, Education Executive, Juice FM, Shropshire Live, Dee 106.3 FM, and the Institute of School Business Leadership. Based on circulation and listener figures, the campaign reached more than 500k.

It provided valuable content for Clubs for Schools and they promoted it widely through their social channels. They also created a downloadable research report and sent hard copies to key stakeholders, ministers and senior officials.

Michael Ledzion, CEO of Clubs for Schools said:

“From the outset Pedroza Communications provided expert and professional advice about how best to reach our primary school audience. They were unafraid to challenge us, and great to work with. They created a news story which appealed to the education sector media, bloggers and local media. They worked tirelessly to secure coverage in a range of key publications and delivered great results. I’d recommend them to anyone who wants a specialist agency which understands the education sector.”

Read the research findings here: https://www.clubsforschools.org/research/

 


Education publications: a useful directory

In the first of our new regular feature, we’re introducing you to some of our favourite education-sector publications and platforms that we think you should know about. First up, we take a look at some of the most popular publications and platforms aimed at the primary sector. 

You’ll no doubt be aware of some of these publications already, but if you’re planning a new campaign and you want to reach out to people in the education sector, it’s a good idea to start building yourself a database. By familiarising yourself with these publications, keeping up-to-date with their writers, and understanding their editorial angle, you can make sure your letter will genuinely interest them and land you the coverage you need.

We’ve done some of the research for you and included useful details such as their circulation, topics they cover and their social media links, so you can start to build your own bespoke press database. Don’t forget you can connect with any editors who are on Twitter too! We’ve provided the links.

We’d love to know what you think of our selection. Have you had any success pitching to any of these publications? Are there any key primary sector publications you think we’ve missed? If you’d like to know more about how to approach these education-sector publications with a press release or pitch, then get in touch.

 

Teach Primary Magazine

Teach Primary provides teaching ideas, resources and professional development. Their contributors include leading experts and practitioners who are trusted by teachers, such as Mick Waters, Sue Cowley, Michael Tidd and Professor Mike Askew. They also have a substantial following on Twitter, particularly in comparison to many other primary publications, which is great news for anyone featured as they share many of their stories. Teach Primary is part of The Teach Company, which also includes the publications Teach Secondary, Primary School Management and Teach Wire.

Fact file

  • Circulation: 22000, distributed to primary schools free of charge and sold on the news stand in WH Smith and other outlets
  • When they publish: monthly publication, glossy magazine format
  • Audience: core audience is primary teachers and other teaching staff
  • Focus/editorial: news, events, product reviews, KS1 / KS2 learning resources (including free lesson plans) as well as features to support NQTs, SEN, and other specialist roles
  • Editor: Elaine Bennett
  • What to pitch: articles from teachers talking about what works in the classroom, news items about competitions and initiatives for primary teachers, Q&As with celebrities or well respected public figures

Social Media Links

Teach Primary has a large and active following on Twitter.

Headteacher Update

Headteacher Update is a free half-termly magazine and regular ebulletin that features up-to-date best practice and resources. It is the only magazine that is sent to every UK primary school headteacher in the UK, so if primary headteachers are your target audience, it is a key publication to target. Headteacher Update is owned by Mark Allen Group which also includes SecEd and Primary Teacher Update.

Fact file

  • Circulation: 24,000 hard copy and email newsletter
  • When they publish: every half term during the academic year
  • Audience: head teachers and leadership teams in primary schools
  • Focus/editorial: news analysis, teaching topics, CPD, reports on new research, whole school issues and leadership. Articles tend to be quite long 1200+ words, so be ready to tackle quite a detailed topic. At the beginning of the publication there is a short resources section which carries reviews, research updates and forthcoming events.
  • Editor: Pete Henshaw
  • What to pitch: articles from head teachers, or other primary school leaders, about any leadership issues (see above), news

Social Media Links

Headteacher Update has a Twitter account, which is run by their Editor, Pete Henshaw who is also on Twitter.

Primary Teacher Update

Also owned by Mark Allen Group, Primary Teacher Update is an online magazine that supports anyone involved in primary teaching. The online magazine aims to provide the latest best practice on the methods of teaching and thinking from the classroom, along with practical suggestions to help teachers apply this in the primary school environment.

Fact file

  • Circulation: 7000 online publication and resource of more than 2000 articles
  • When they publish: Monthly
  • Audience: Everyone that teaches in primary schools
  • Focus/editorial: Teaching and learning in the primary classroom focusing on best practice
  • Editor: Karen Faux
  • What to pitch: First person case studies about classroom practice

Social Media Links

Primary Teacher Update has a Twitter account, although it is not regularly updated.

Primary School Management

Primary School Management is unique in that it provides school business professionals and headteachers with advice and information relating to the organisational and logistical aspects of running a primary school. They show best practice in anything from from planning an annual budget to redeveloping the school grounds. This publication is part of TeachCo, which also includes Teach Secondary and Teach Wire.

Fact file

  • Circulation: 19,600 copies of the title are distributed to schools across England and Wales
  • When they publish: monthly publication with a glossy magazine format
  • Audience: all those involved in the management of schools. School business practitioners including school business managers, bursars, finance directors, and school administrator
  • Focus/editorial: Primary School Management provides helpful advice and information relating to all the organisational and logistical aspects of running a primary school.
  • Editor: Callum Fauser
  • What to pitch: articles by school business professionals, or other experts, covering subjects such as budgeting, energy procurement or supplier management

Social Media Links

Primary School Management is not active on Social Media.

Tes

Last but not least, no list would be complete without the Tes. Although it covers primary and secondary schools and colleges it is critical in any campaign where you want to reach primary because of its massive reach. It covers a great deal of primary related editorial and this is collated in a primary section of the website.

Fact File

  • Circulation: 58,000 print & 185m online
  • When they publish: weekly glossy magazine, press day is Wednesday plus daily on their website
  • Audience: all those teaching, leading and managing schools
  • Focus/editorial: everything to do with teaching and schools including education policy, teacher welfare, comment, news and big issues.
  • Editor: Ann Mroz plus a team of journalists
  • What to pitch: opinion and comment from well recognised experts, interviews with celebrities about their own experience of education, articles by primary leaders and teachers about teaching and learning, whole school issues, education policy or new education research findings

Social Media Links

Tes has a huge active following on Twitter and they post regularly. You can also follow the Tes Editor Ann Mroz and Head of Content Ed Dorrell on there too. Tes is also active on Facebook.

In our next piece in this series, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite publications aimed at secondary. Sign up to our mailing list for this and other practical advice, news and tips to help you reach an education sector audience.


How to get a letter published in a national newspaper or online news site

A letter to the editor can be a great way to secure national coverage and spark a wider conversation. With national newspapers receiving hundreds of these letters every day, how do you improve the chances of your letter appearing in print? Read on to find out.

Each day, national newspapers and their online sites publish a selection of letters they have received in response to the news, which they feel will be of interest to their readers. Getting a letter in print can be a great way to:

  • Make yourself known to a relevant audience
  • Engage in debates relevant to your organisation
  • Communicate your organisation’s key messages
  • Demonstrate that your CEO, or other spokesperson, is a thought leader and someone who is opinionated and well informed

Act fast and be current

Most platforms and publications strive to stay current. So there is little point in writing about a topic that was relevant last year, unless you are presenting a groundbreaking new perspective, evidence or angle. The best approach is to write about something that is happening right now. To ensure your letter has a good chance of being published, make sure you file it with the letters editor by midday on the day you send it. Sending it later may still secure publication but it limits your chances. At Pedroza Communications, we know it’s hard for some organisations to respond quickly, as everyone has other deadlines and priorities. Get organised in advance – understand who is writing the response, how it will be signed off, and who will send it to the publication.

Get organised

There are lots of things in the news that we can respond to, but in order to make your letters a worthwhile part of your PR strategy, identify the topics that are most relevant to your aims in advance. Prepare your key messages, identify an example, or recent piece of research, and then monitor the media to see when it is covered in the news. If you don’t have a tailored news service, a cost-effective way to monitor the news is to set up Google Alerts for the relevant keywords or topics.

Catch the reader’s attention (and keep it)

Start your letter with a strong hook that will get the reader’s attention. Unless you’re talking about a widely understood subject, your letter should introduce the topic in a way that makes it accessible to everyone, otherwise you’ll alienate some of your readers. For inspiration, just take a look at the letters that are printed in the publication you are targeting. You’ll find plenty of ideas there.

Keep it snappy

When you feel passionate about a subject, it is easy to write a lot, but letters editors aren’t going to publish a 2000 word piece - they simply don’t have the space! At Pedroza Communications, we often need to edit letters down, and a letters editor may edit it even further. So try and make your letter no more than 350 words. Doing this will help you to stay on topic too!

Offer a unique perspective

A letter from someone with personal experience of an issue, such as a parent, teacher, or someone within the sector, will have much more impact than someone outside of that experience. Play to your strengths and offer your unique perspective on a  topic. Don’t forget to say who you are and why you are well placed to comment.

Proof it

However quickly you need to send it, always make sure you proof read your letters. The less an editor has to correct or change, the more likely they are to use it, especially if they are on a tight deadline.

Don’t give up!

Don’t be disheartened if your first few attempts don’t make it in to print. The key is in persevering and honing your approach. Good luck!

If you’d like more support and advice on how to secure good quality media coverage, please get in touch to arrange a free consultation. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter for free resources, tips and PR advice for education-sector specialists. 


BETT 2019 – start your education PR campaign now

If you’re exhibiting at BETT in January 2019 you’ve already made a major investment – so how do you ensure it delivers everything you hope? With more than 40,000 people visiting the show you need a plan if you’re to maximise your investment and reach the right people who will be interested in what you have to offer.

 

 

Timing is everything

The sooner you start to plan your BETT PR campaign the better. Good stories don’t grow on trees – it takes time to plan and develop fantastic PR.

Hundreds of companies will be vying to get the attention of journalists in the run up and during BETT. Give yourself enough time to develop some really creative ideas that will give your story the edge. Below are a few tips, based on years of supporting clients maximise their presence at BETT:

Be clear on your BETT goals

PR isn’t simply about the amount of coverage you secure it has to be relevant to educators and connect clearly with what you do. Think about the stories that readers can easily connect with your offering.

Consider how you want your target audience to react, what you want them to think about your brand, and what you want them to tell others, having read about you.

Don’t miss PR opportunities

You will miss out if you simply upload your press story to the BETT website and email a few journalists the day before BETT starts. Instead research your target media and think about three main PR pushes:

  1. BETT previews – campaign to secure coverage in as many previews as possible. These are mailed out before BETT and delegates use them to help plan their visit.
  2. Pre-BETT news story – break your news just before BETT so that you reach your audience and get on their radar as they plan their visits.
  3. Plan journalist meetings and liaise with the BETT press office to host broadcast opportunities.
Ensure you have the education PR essentials

By getting started now with planning you PR for BETT you can make sure you have all you need in place for success. These are the essentials:

  • New things to announce – product launches, new research, new partnerships or connections, new deals and acquisitions – these all provide valuable talking points.
  • Customers ready to talk – journalists want to know what teachers, head teachers, IT coordinators, and anyone else think about you. They want to hear from the horse’s mouth.
  • Influential supporters – journalists also want to hear from experts that aren’t you! Do you have an influential support who can offer an opinion about your ‘news’?
  • Friends and stakeholders – who can help amplify your message, for instance do your suppliers, partners and or professional bodies have channels that you can use?
  • Brilliant spokespeople – think about who is best to speak from your organisation, (hint: it’s not always the CEO).
In summary

If this all feels a little alien to you or overwhelming, then get in touch with the experts and let us help you plan and deliver a campaign that will get your voice heard.

Call us on 07813 938020 or email anna@pedrozacommunications.co.uk

 


Influencer marketing in education - a step-by-step guide

This year, my mission is to create practical resources that de-mystify the PR and marketing process for education specialists.

I’ve recently received a number of queries about influencer marketing and how it can benefit those in the education sector. So I’ve created a free step-by-step guide to help you to create your own influencer marketing campaign.

The prevalence of influencer marketing has grown substantially in the last few years. From its beginnings as a niche marketing tactic, it has become an essential part of many marketing campaigns. But how can it benefit organisations looking to reach the education market? And how do you go about creating your own campaign?

This guide will take you through all of the necessary steps, including:

– Understanding influencer marketing
– Addressing common misconceptions
– How to find the right influencers for your campaign
– How to reach out to influencers
– How to launch and measure your campaign

After reading, you will have the tools to launch your very own campaign!

To download your step-by-step guide to influencer marketing, just subscribe to our mailing list. Our aim is to provide our subscribers with useful and relevant material every now and again but if you don’t like what you receive from us, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Fill out your details below and we’ll deliver your free guide straight to your inbox!

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Education marketing and PR

Education marketing - getting more value from PR

Going beyond sales conversions

Many prospective clients ask me: How do we measure the value of a PR campaign and understand the return on investment? It’s a good question to ask. Certainly, online coverage has made it easier to understand how people are reacting to content, which makes links to sales more tangible. But perhaps it is because of this that the additional benefits of PR are often overlooked. There are other ways to dig deeper and measure campaign success. And by rethinking your education marketing campaign activity, you can also increase the value of your PR.

Incorporating PR into your SEO strategy

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to how a search engine determines where you rank in its search results. A key factor is the number, and quality, of backlinks to your site from other web pages and how authoritative and relevant Google deems those links to be.

PR is a great way to increase the number of websites linking to your own site. Google is far too savvy these days to let you boost your ranking by placing coverage on random ‘link farms’, so the best route to securing links is through targeted PR generating quality online coverage.

So, liaise with your education marketing team to make sure your press release is as optimised as your website, including keywords in headlines and main paragraphs of news content.

Also, the more online coverage you get, containing the right keywords, the more Google real-estate you’ll own on a search result. And with research showing that the first page of Google receives 95 percent of all web traffic, it is clear why PR needs to be part of your SEO toolkit.

Incorporating PR into your content and education marketing strategy

For many organisations, content is now fundamental to their education marketing effort. PR generates content, whether that’s a press release, images, videos, reports or research and it can all be repurposed as part of your wider content marketing strategy. Here are some of the ways you can create content from your PR:

  • Convert a press release into a news item or blog
  • Take data from research and create simple infographics in a program like Canva
  • Combine images into a collage and share it through your social channels
  • Share coverage through your social channels and e-newsletter
  • Upload a research report and ask people to provide their email details to download a copy

So, make sure you squeeze the maximum value from the content created by PR, it’s a gold mine.

Using PR to support sales

When a business secures positive PR it acts as a great resource for the sales team. They can get in touch with prospects to share a link to the coverage, even providing a tracking URL so they know how many of their prospects clicked on the link. An impartial, third party endorsement from a trusted platform is a fantastic asset to add to a sales presentation.

So, you see there is a lot to be gained by incorporating PR into your wider content marketing and SEO strategy. But that’s just the beginning! Thinking about PR as simply a way to generate leads means you can overlook some other great benefits too.

Building trust and credibility

In the words of marketing guru Guy Kawasaki, “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself.” Creating engaging content is an important part of your marketing strategy but if no-one trusts you as a source, your content is less likely to reach a wide audience and start conversations. Trust and familiarity are fundamental in driving your audience to share your content. That’s where you can leverage PR to build awareness about your organisation.

Editorial coverage is gilt-edged and demonstrates that the wider world is interested in a company and what it does. It is an implicit endorsement and makes coverage a valuable way to build your credibility and protect your reputation now, and for the future. It can also help to establish trust with prospective investors too.

Diverting attention from competitors

Of course, PR isn’t simply about making your brand the centre of attention, it’s also about keeping the attention away from your competitors. Every mention, article and feature written online about your brand or product helps detract from your competitors, so don’t just analyse your own outputs, measure against the competition.

So there you have it. Simply measuring PR in relation to direct sales does not give you the full picture of the value of PR to your entire organisation.

PR helps to generate awareness, establish credibility and develop and protect your reputation. These foundations are crucial in influencing people’s decisions to do business with you.

Take a whole-organisation approach to PR and you will instantly begin to gain more value.

To discuss the ways that we can help you get greater value from your PR campaign, please give me a call on +44 (0)7813 938 020 or drop me an email to anna@pedrozacommunications.co.uk


Bett PR

Download our Bett PR guide

Download:  Secure brilliant PR at The Bett Show

This useful guide covers everything you need to know:

  • Planning and strategy
  • How to create a newsworthy story
  • Case studies, experts, influencers and celebrities
  • Securing coverage

BETT education PR – 5 tips for autumn

Exhibiting at BETT is a big investment for any company. If you’ve not had time to start planning your education PR campaign here are five things that are important to start now.

1. Research the media your audience read

There are thousands of media outlets so it’s important to do your research and understand what your target audience consumes. People often think Tes is the key publication in education PR but it depends who you want to reach.

Talk to your existing customers and find out what media the read, watch, and engage with when they are in ‘work mode’. Think big and ask them about:

  • Traditional media (TV, radio, print) - national, regional and local
  • Education sector media – newspapers, magazines, websites and pod casts
  • Social media - education blogs, Tweeters, Instagrammers, and YouTubers

So be open-minded about the media you target and get it right for your audience.

2. Decide what you are launching at BETT ASAP

I’s essential to have something to launch or announce at BETT. There are lots of options: research findings, product launch, competition finalist, partnership, new feature, campaign, to name just a few.

From a PR perspective, think about what is most newsworthy, will appeal to the audience, and help to set you apart. However, the sooner you decide, the more potential there is for PR. See our earlier post about planning for BETT.

3. Nail your case studies

Journalists are much more interested to speaking to your customers than you. Recruiting a small group of your customers (or even just one) who is happy to speak about how your product or service makes a difference can really add to your PR success.

Case studies bring a story to life and make it much easier for others to relate to your news. Also, in the education sector media journalists will be much more open to accepting a teacher-authored article for their publication or website.

4. Add credibility with an expert

Many companies involve experts in the development of their products and services. If this is the case, why not involve them in your PR plans for BETT? Their expert opinion of what you do, and the wider context, gives you another angle to offer to journalists. And, again it is someone other than you talking about your product or service which adds credibility.

5. Secure your coverage in the BETT previews

In the run up to BETT many education publications produce previews featuring highlights of what’s happening at BETT. Competition is fierce to be featured so get started early and make contact in September so you know the deadline dates and have a sense of what journalists want.

Next steps

If this all feels a little alien to you or overwhelming, then get in touch with BETT experts and let us help you plan and deliver a campaign that will get your voice heard.

Call us on 07813 938020 or email anna@pedrozacommunications.co.uk


Radio - alive and kicking

 

We love radio. It’s a persuasive medium which reaches the heart as well as the head.

The latest RAJAR figures have been published for the previous quarter – here are the key facts, (thanks to Markettiers4DC for sharing their insight).

49.2 million adults, that’s 90% of the UK adult population, are tuning in each week, listening to an average of 21 hours of live radio each.

Digital listening now accounts for 48.7% of all listening in the UK and we predict it will become the majority within the next 6 months.

There's been a huge spike in listenership for BBC Radio London, which registered a staggering 88.7% increase in audience figures quarter on quarter. A potential reason for this could be the major news events that occurred in London during this quarter of measurement, which highlights the importance of local radio for news, information and reassurance.

BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Wales have also registering a 10% and 9.4% increase in audience respectively. And LBC Network, talkRADIO and JAZZ FM, all achieved impressive audience gains.

What's also interesting is that the data shows that 44% of 15-24-year-olds who use social media claim to receive regular updates about their favourite radio station or presenter, which suggests radio is still hugely relevant for this important audience. As well as youngsters, 31% of adults claim to follow the same pattern.

Radio is a powerful medium for education PR stories and can reach teachers, head teachers and parents. If you want to know more about how radio can communicate your message get in touch for a chat.