Overview of this campaign
Many schools in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, are very competitive in terms of their achievements and offerings in the classroom, on sports fields and in society generally. Independent Schools and also many of the more prestigious state schools compete to attract students - especially high achievers - to their institutions and look for innovative ways to get their recruitment messages out in the public arena.
On the other side of the fence most parents search for a school which will offer their children the most and the best at a competitive price.
The Mercury is a respected morning newspaper in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, attracting readers from the higher LSM groups, including business leaders, politicians, high achievers etc, many of whom are parents of school-going children.
We offered schools the opportunity to use the Mercury to shout out to their target market what is unique about their offering and why it is a cut above the rest.
The idea was to provide information in the form of words, pictures and graphics in compact products which had all the necessary information in them to enable readers to narrow options and pinpoint schools which stood out for them.
We did this through a series of three high quality supplements published in the Mercury at strategic times during the year ie when (i) schools were doing their annual pupil recuitment drives, (ii) when they were in the middle of hectic school sport calendars, and (iii) at the end of the year when they could boast about their achievements.
The overall objective was to provide useful information about schools in well designed, well written and spunky publications which earned good revenue for the carrier newspaper and achieved modest circulation gains
Results for this campaign
The results were three supplements appearing in The Mercury newspaper on high circulation days. They were a successes in terms of attaining their objectives ie useful information offered about schools, excellent revenue for the newsaper and modest circulation gains.
Schools were provided with with highly credible forums to market their institutions through a variety of advertisements - many of which we desgned for them. The products all had trency designs and front covers plus relevant articles from specialist writers.
The first supplement - 2016 Focus on Independent Schools in KZN - published in February at a time when schools were looking to attract pupils for the following year. A total of about 16 schools participated in the 16-page broadsheet publication in high quality paper.
It proved to be a handy reference guide for readers, highlighting what the schools offer for those searching for an institution of distinction. Schools boated along the lines of providing opportunities and resources that encourage students to accept challenges, particpate effectively, think independently, question critically, and become lifelong learners.
The supplement, which also appeared online, proved to be a neat/handy reference guide to what schools offered.
Second in the series - Focus on Sports Facilities at KZN Schools - published as a 12-page broadsheet supplement in high quality paper in June when schools were heavily involved in competitive sport. Sport is an important offering and the supplement gave readers a well compiled summary of sports facilities and the ethos of schools around sport. There were also intersting articles on sport and school sport achievers.
Third in the series - 2016 KZN Schools Scrapbook - published in November in a traditional scrapbook format as an eight-page tabloid allowing schools to boast about their achievemnts during the school year.
Our supplement series will be repeated this year with many schools having participation costs in their 2017 budgets.