In many cases the date schools start preparing for Leavers’ Week may not be what you think

I can make that statement with some certainty, because earlier this year we carried out three surveys of schools to find out what the schools did, who did the work, and when they started their preparations.

The results amazed us in two ways.

The first was to do with the times when schools started to arrange Leavers’ Week.  Not because it was particularly early or late, but because it was so varied.  The other finding that surprised us was that the level of Leavers’ activities in Nursery units and Nursery schools was much higher than we thought.

We’ve put all our research findings on our Preparing for Leavers Week website, which will be advertised to schools in a few weeks time.  But before you go and look I wonder if I could tell you what we have done as a result of these findings – and how I think they may help you.

We are going to promote Preparing for Leavers’ Week to schools not one but three times so that, no matter when schools are making arrangements for their Leavers Week, we (and the companies that join with us in sponsoring Preparing for Leavers Week) will be reaching out to schools at that time.

Companies that join Preparing for Leavers Week will get two exclusive emails to schools, written by themselves and sent out by Hamilton House in the autumn term (starting September), another two in the spring term (starting January) and a final reminder at the start of the summer term (after Easter).

Your emails can advertise your product as well as mention your involvement in the Week – and indeed can cover any ground you wish.

Additionally our sponsors get a page on the website written by the sponsor which includes links to that company’s website.

Then there is also a sponsor listing (with a link to their own website) on the home page plus a listing in five emails we send out to schools to promote the Week, reaching year heads for the relevant years, plus heads and deputies in primary and secondary schools.

There will also be at least five headline stories in the main news listing on UK Education News, each linking to the site and listing the sponsors, and additionally full coverage on UK Education News of both of your individual news pieces that are being sent by email.   We will also send out a full listing on the Exceptional Teaching website which is regularly promoted to schools by Hamilton House.

You can read our research findings, and see the website that will be the focus of Preparing for Leavers’ Week and which will carry all our sponsors information at www.leaversweek.co.uk

Cost and deadline

Members of our Velocity programme who sell products relevant to Leavers’ Week will be included in the Week free of charge. For other companies the cost will be just £195 plus VAT, including your five solo emails, the listings on the site, and full mentions and links in the emails from the organisers of the sites to schools.

We will not accept any directly competing sponsors and thus bookings are very much on a first come basis. The site will be released and promoted to schools at the very start of September, and it will stay on-ine through to July next year.

If you would like your company to be associated with the Preparing for Leavers’ Week please do call 01536 399 000 and ask for me, Jenny Burrows. Or you can email me at Jenny@hamiltonhouse.com or fax us on 01536 399 012.

Jenny Burrows

The two steps you must take to ensure that potential customers see the need to buy what you sell.

It is one of the most common problems: if you are creating your own adverts you will be seeing what you create through eyes that already know all about your business.

What’s more, as you create the journey from your email advert to the web page, you will be seeing that movement with all the benefits of hindsight.

But no matter what you are selling, the person you are emailing will have his/her own preconceptions about that product or service, and if those preconceptions are different from yours, you can have a hard task getting a sale.

So what is to be done?  Two things in fact.

First, if you can find out what it is that might cause a school manager to buy from a competitor rather than you, or indeed not to buy your type of product at all, then you can change your adverts so that they overcome this situation.

Second, if you could have someone in the school, such as another teacher in the same department or year group, edging the purchaser in your direction, that too could be very helpful.  It could be your person on the inside in fact.

Getting information about how school managers see your product or service, and having an insider speak favourably about your product or service, is all part of the selling technique that Hamilton House uses.

In terms of attitudes of teachers, for over half our clients we have discovered through our research on behalf of our client, an attitude or belief that was materially affecting their sales and which they did not previously know about.

For example, for a client selling items for school leavers we found that schools were actually taking decisions far earlier in the school year than they believed to be the case.

In another example our client had a product which he quite reasonably believed was suitable for secondary schools.  We decided to research this further and found (to his, and I must admit, our, amazement) that nursery schools were also buying the product.

It happens time and time again – the fresh eyes lead to fresh questions which can overturn conventional thinking.

As for having the advocate within the school, this can be achieved by emailing not only the heads of departments who make decisions, but also the other teachers involved in teaching that subject.  They get very few emails and so tend to be more inclined to read them – and respectfully approach their head of department with the thought, “could we have a look at this?”

These activities are the sort of thing that we tend to do for our Velocity clients for whom we take a complete overview of their work and come up with new directions to get more sales.

And there is an extra benefit. If we come up with an idea for a different type of promotion and it doesn’t work, it doesn’t get included in our charges to our client for the month.

Plus for the rest of this year, the emailing of non-heads of department to support a head of department promotion is not charged for at all.

Velocity is an extremely flexible programme which works around your product and your needs.  Through it we come up with marketing ideas, which you either approve or not, and then we carry them out according to your wishes.

Better still, the preparation work we carry out in August is not charged for if you join us now.

There are more details on our website.  Or, of course, you can call us on 01536 399 000.

Or if you are still unsure, you might also like to see our latest free report: “The ten key issues that you must get right when advertising to schools in 2016/17.”

If you would like to read a copy (and we’ve kept the size right down to make it manageable) all you have to do is to drop an email to Chris@hamilton-house.com and write in the subject line “The 10 key issues” and we will send it to you.

Tony Attwood
Tony@hamilton-house.com

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What is the easiest way to ensure you reach the teacher you want – no matter what his/her media preferences are?

Media preferences are increasingly something we have to be aware of with teachers.  Some go searching on websites for information, some read emails, some read leaflets, some read news stories and press releases.

Since it is more or less impossible to know what each teacher’s preference is, it is important to reach teachers in as many ways as possible.  Which is why we have one approach that does exactly that.

Better still, you don’t have to do lots of work or worry about each medium. We’ll do all that for you. You just provide us with the leaflet to go to schools and the text as a word file, and we’ll take care of the email, news story, PR, website coverage, etc.

All for a cost of between 10p and 11p per school.

To achieve this complete coverage of leaflet, email, websites, and news services all you have to do is book into the postal shared mailing on 12 September (for primary schools) and/or 14 September (secondaries).

In return we will not only include your leaflet/s in our shared mailing pack to schools but we will also give you an email campaign to the teacher of your choice, plus an advertisement covered in UK Education News, plus a full listing on the Exceptional Education website, and a listing on one of our school blogs.

In short, complete coverage in all the media, all taken care of, while you only pay for the shared postal campaign.

Now I appreciate that this can all look a little bit frightening because there is so much coverage going on, and I realised quite a while back that frightening one’s potential customers is never a good idea.

So I’m just going to give you the basic details about the two shared postal mailings that (on 12 and 14 September) that bring in all the extra goodies.  If you are not familiar with any of the extras just call 01536 399 000, and one of my awfully nice colleagues (or if you are unlucky, me) will talk you through the details.  But do remember, all you have to do is give us a Word file of your adverts and we’ll sort out the rest.  (Of course you can send us a fully designed email if you want – but if you are not set up for that, don’t worry – we’ll do it.)

Alternatively if you have any questions you can also put them to us by email – there’s an address at the end.

So back to the shared postal mailing:

With secondary schools you have the choice of going to all 5000 secondaries or the 3800 secondary schools with sixth forms.

For the primary schools you have the choice of going to all 24,000 primary schools, the 10,000 largest, or the 5,000 largest.  All for around 10p per school.

For the free email campaign you can choose to use any of our email lists as shown on our primary email list page or our secondary email list page.

There is a lot more information about shared postal mailings on our shared postal mailing website including details of sample adverts and how to get the highest response rates.

Meanwhile, for more info…

I think that’s enough email addresses for now.

Tony Attwood

Advertise to schools each month from August to November from under £40 per advertisement.

The “Four Month Marketing” campaigns give the benefit of regular advertising at a low price – in this case from under £40 per advert.  The service also includes a monthly story on UK Education News, plus full listings on a teacher blog, on the Exceptional Teaching website and on “Savings For Schools” on Facebook and Twitter.

The great benefit of your message being publicised in four ways (monthly emails, UK Education News, the blog, and Exceptional Teaching) is that no matter which medium each teacher prefers, your message is there.

And all from £159 plus VAT to cover the whole four months.

The current Four Month campaign (“Series 8”) started this month, but we still have a few places available.  We include August because August emails and news reports will get a lot of readership both among teachers who pick up their emails on home and mobile devices and those returning to school ready for the new term.

This is also a particularly relevant if you wish to have advertisements focussed around GCSE or A level results days or to Scottish schools (returning next week).

If your advertising is only to secondary schools the price is £159 plus VAT for the four months.  If your advertising is only to primary schools, or to a mix of primary and secondary schools the price is £195 plus VAT.   And if you wish to run two emails in each monthly period you can simply buy two packages.

The August email will go out in the latter part of the month (unless you request otherwise).   For the remaining months the adverts will go out on dates to be selected by Hamilton House.  However there will always be at least a two week gap between each mailing.

You will receive, at the end of each month, a report on the number of people who have seen the advert as an email, on UK Education News, and the Schools’ blog.

In the unlikely event that you receive either a poor number of click throughs to your website or a good number of click throughs with a limited number of sales, we’ll offer a free consultation by phone or email in which we analyse what has happened and suggest exactly why, giving you detailed pointers as to how matters could be improved very quickly.

These adverts will all be written and prepared by yourselves and can be supplied as text or HTML files (depending on the source).  It may be possible to include a picture in the UK Education News story, depending on the format.

If you are interested you can call 01536 399 000 and ask to speak to one of us about “Four Month Marketing Programme”.  Or if you have a specific question please do email Chris@hamilton-house.com.

We also have available a free report on the changes to the way teachers and schools are responding to advertising: “The ten key issues that you must get right when advertising to schools in 2016/17.”

If you would like to read a copy all you have to do is to drop an email to Chris@hamilton-house.com and write in the subject line “The 10 key issues” and we will send it to you.

Of course, if you want to have a look at the other services we offer you’ll find them on www.hamilton-house.com.

Or if you want a chat you are very welcome: just call 01536 399 000 and we’ll be happy to talk through our various services so that you can see which one is particularly suited to your needs.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tony Attwood

From furniture to signage, from heating to security. The focus on all aspects of the school environment

It is perhaps the most diverse of areas of school purchase, and is often difficult to know who exactly is making the decisions relating to areas as diverse as desks, air conditioning, lighting, signage, etc.

What makes life particularly difficult is that in many schools each purchase can be made separately from all the others without any unified plan.

To address this problem we have School Environment Week, which exists to encourage school managers to see their whole school environment as an issue that benefits from being considered constantly and not just when something goes wrong.

As the focal point of the Week, companies that join in will benefit from a programme of emails that are directed at decision-makers, along with regular articles appearing in UK Education News, news and highly informative articles on the School Environment Week website, and a series of promotions to schools based around the School Environment Week website.

The website will also contain a range of articles on all aspects of the school environment, emphasising how careful planning of the environment will influence pupil and student behaviour and provide a positive vision of the school for parents, teachers and managers.

The School Environment Week site will be divided into four areas of activity: Inside the school, the school surroundings, beyond the perimeter, and, finally, school safety.

Companies that choose to join School Environment Week will get, as part of the package, two emails of their own (each directed to whichever school manager or administrator they wish) plus a page on the School Environment website along with a link to their own website.

At the same time they will get a listing in four emails we send out to various school managers to promote School Environment Week.

There will also be at least four headline stories in the main news listing on UK Education News, each linking to the site and listing the sponsors, and additionally full coverage on UK Education News of both of your individual news pieces that are being sent by email.

And even that is not all, for there will also be a full listing on the Exceptional Teaching website which is regularly promoted to schools by Hamilton House.

The Week will run from 10 to 14 October.  Then once the Week has passed we shall change the emphasis of the site so that it reflects the need for schools to have their own time considering the school environment as a whole.

We shall also be undertaking a research programme among schools, gathering information on the school environment issues that school managers feel are of particular importance to them. The results of the research will be published on the site and circulated to relevant publications and news outlets – and again publicised on UK Education News with details of the companies supporting the Week.

That is a lot of promotion – so allow me to summarise: two solo emails written by yourself each sent to the list of your choice, inclusion in four emails promoting the Week and the site, two solo stories on UK Education News created by you, being part of four articles on UK Education News promoting the Week, listings on Exceptional Teaching and engagement in the research programme, and the re-launch after the Week itself is over.

And even that is not all, because Hamilton House will constantly be looking for stories and  information relating to the school environment to post on the site, with the emphasis of course on the areas of work of our sponsors.

All of this can be accessed for just £195 plus VAT.

The School Environment Week website is in the process of being prepared, and we are currently looking for companies to join in this significant project with us.

However there is one issue to note: we do not accept any directly competing sponsors in this programme.  Thus we will accept one air conditioning company, one provider of electronic school gate entry, one supplier of internal cleaning materials, and so on.  It is a case of first come first served, and we already have had interest from several companies involved in different fields relating to the school environment.

If you would like to have an idea of the sort of coverage that the website will bring you when it launches in a few weeks,  you might care to have a look at Special Needs Week which we recently ran and which (without any extra charge to our sponsors) is now being re-promoted as “Run your own Special Needs Week”.

If you would like your company to be associated with the School Environment Week and to have these email promotions, plus listings on the Exceptional Teaching site, and the news stories on UK Education News, please do call 01536 399 000 and ask for Jenny Burrows.

Or you can email Jenny at Jenny@hamilton-house.com or fax us on  01536 399 012.

Tony Attwood

Schools are changing so fast and becoming so disparate that new approaches to selling are needed

I have often argued that if you want to sell to schools you have to advertise in a very particular way.  A different way from the way in which you might approach any other market.

This has been my view for a long time, but in recent years the issue has become more complex as schools are changing at an ever faster rate.

In fact two things are happening.  On the one hand, each school is tending to go its own way in solving its own problems of limited space, growing pupil numbers, changing curricula, growing language and special needs issues, safety concerns, parental demands, and above all, an every growing overload.

On the other hand many schools are finding that no sooner have they changed to solve one issue than they are having to change again to solve another.  The system in short is in total flux.

Hamilton House is perhaps closer to this issue than most marketing companies because we not only create advertising on behalf of many clients, but we also run three separate companies that themselves sell their own products and services to schools.

Thus we watch not only the responses our clients get to their promotions, but also the sales our companies get to their courses, on-line diagnostic services, teaching materials and downloads.

It was through this situation that we evolved new approaches to selling to teachers, such as the free online rolling news service UK Education News, which all our customers are able to use as a form of advertising, free of charge.

I mentioned recently that we have produced a report “The ten key issues that you must get right when advertising to schools in 2016/17,” and if you haven’t yet seen a copy, please do email Chris@hamilton-house.com and write in the subject line “The 10 key issues.”   It’s free and we will send it to you straight away.

But there is more. For we’ve now introduced a whole range of additional services for our customers, to help them achieve growing sales in this period of change.

In this regard you will find the five key issues that have recently emerged in terms of selling to schools on our website.  If you feel you are experiencing issues in any of these areas, or you would like to explore possible solutions through our long-established Velocity programme, we will be very pleased indeed to talk with you.

So there is the choice.  If you would like a copy of “The ten key issues that you must get right when advertising to schools in 2016/17,” just email Chris at the address above.

If you would like to see the sort of issues that our customers are finding that they are now increasingly having to address, there are details on the website, as there are of the fundamental issues that the Velocity programme itself deals with.

Or if you would like to start by telling us what you do, and the ways in which you are interested in taking your company forward, we’d be delighted to talk on the phone.

Just call 01536 399 000 and we’ll be happy to answer questions and talk through which of our various services seem the most relevant to your needs, so that you can decide how it is best to proceed.

There is, of course, no obligation with any of this; we are always happy to share our thoughts and views. If we can convince you that Hamilton House can develop your market for you, then all well and good.  If not, then so be it.  No hard feelings, and anyway these days we tend not to send the lads round.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tony Attwood

Tony@Hamilton-house.com

How a one week focus can transform how teachers see your company, your products, and your services.

During the past six months we’ve developed a series of Special Interest Weeks for teachers – each focussing on a specific subject or topic.

And I’m pleased to say that they have gone rather well, covering such topics as school dance, positive play, special needs, and learning outside.

The companies that have chosen to join in these Special Interest Weeks have not only got coverage on the resultant website (with a link to their own web pages), but they also get coverage (including a listing and link) in each of four emails we will send to schools to promote the Special Interest Week.

Additionally each sponsor will have two exclusive emails to schools written by themselves and sent out by Hamilton House, which can advertise their product, as well as a mention of their involvement in the Week.

And that isn’t all for we also run at least four headline stories in the main news listing on UK Education News for each Week, and provide full coverage of each sponsor’s individual news pieces that we send out via email.  Plus you will have full coverage on the Exceptional Teaching website.

The resultant Special Interest Week website remains active for 10 months – and approximately half way through this period we will undertake further promotions to schools (in addition to those mentioned above).

Inclusion in a newly launched Special Interest Week site is just £195. For Special Needs Week, which is now approaching its “further promotions” stage, the price is £159.

So to be clear, that is two exclusive emails to the list of your choice, inclusion with links in our four promotional emails to relevant teachers, inclusion on the website and inclusion in our UK Education News stories; and then involvement in the re-launched week all for £195.

We are now taking bookings for the following weeks:

School Business, Management and Administration Week (aimed at Heads, Deputies, SBMs, Bursars, Administrators, and other management). Price for all activities: £195.

Preparing for Leavers Week (aimed at those in nursery, primary, and secondary schools who start working on next summer’s Leavers Week from September onwards).  Price for all activities: £195.

Study Skills Week (promoting the notion of teaching study skills all the year round, not just before exams).  Price for all activities: £195.

Create Your Own Special Needs Week (following up on the highly successful Special Needs Week by encouraging SENCOs to take the message of the needs they cover to all their colleagues).  Price for all activities £159.

Inclusion in relevant services is free to members of our Velocity programme (please call for details).

For more information please do call 01536 399 000 and ask for the Special Interest Week Dept or email Jenny@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

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Special Needs Week: the perfect way to advertise to special needs teachers at a particularly low cost.

Special Needs Week was notable for providing special needs teachers with a wide range of information and resources, and it seems quite a few teachers found our index of special needs particularly informative.

We are therefore running a second round of promotions for all the resources and information that is on the Special Needs Week site.

This will be launched on 12 September, and all our sponsors who have already joined with us will of course be part of the new promotions.  But we now have an opportunity for other organisations that deal with special needs to join us.

The re-launch is based around the theme: “Run your own Special Needs Week” and will focus on the idea that SENCos can do themselves a lot of good by ensuring that their colleagues in the school understand exactly how many special needs they are dealing with and how many young people they are supporting.

We are suggesting that they encourage colleagues to look at the website, and perhaps use a Continuing Professional Development session to focus on special needs to raise their profile within the school.

Companies and organisations joining us for this venture will get…

  1. Two emails written by yourselves sent out between September and the end of March either to primary or secondary schools.
  2. A listing in each of four emails to Sencos advertising the site and the Week, each of which gives details and links to all the sponsors.  Two will be sent in the Autumn Term, two in the Spring Term.  One each term will go to primary schools and one to secondary schools.
  3. A listing on the “Special Needs in Detail” section on the site, as well as the organisation’s logo in the right column linking to your own site.

Companies and organisations that joined us for the original launch will be included in  parts 2 and 3 above, without any extra payment.

The cost of becoming part of Do Your Own Special Needs Week – the extension of the original Special Needs Week  is £159 if your promotions go to secondary schools, or £195 if your promotions go to primary schools.

If you wish to be involved in the second promotion of Special Needs Week including the “Run Your Own Special Needs Week” theme, please do call 01536 399 000 or email me at Jenny@hamilton-house.com

Jenny Burrows

www.hamilton-house.com

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Advertise each month to schools from August to November from just £159 for all four months

We’ve known for years that reaching out to teachers regularly through a variety of media is by far the most effective way of advertising to schools.

Which is why the “Four Month Marketing” campaigns not only offer one email a month across four months starting at £159, but also include a monthly story on UK Education News, plus full listings on a teacher blog and a teacher orientated website.

The great benefit of your message being publicised in four ways (monthly emails, UK Education News, the blog and also on the Exceptional Teaching website) is that no matter which medium each teacher prefers, your message is there.

And all from £159 plus VAT.

Our next Four Month campaign (“Series 8”) starts in August.  We include August because August emails and news reports will get a lot of readership among teachers who pick up their emails on home and mobile devices.  Some may well buy, and many more will be reminded of the original advert when seeing the September promotion.

This is of course a particularly relevant period as yet more primaries are being supersized this year, and many more secondary schools will get their first big taste of the rapidly growing 11-13 year old population.

The “Series 8” marketing programme give you

●       One email to schools in each month using any of our email lists.
●       One story placed in UK Education News each month (this can either be your advert or a
completely different story – it is up to you).
●       Coverage of the UK Education News story/advert on the Schools’ Blog.
●       A full listing on the appropriate subject section of the Exceptional Teaching website.
●       An entry each month on our Facebook and Twitter services, “Savings for Schools”.

If your advertising is only to secondary schools the price is £159 plus VAT.  If your advertising is only to primary schools, or to a mix or primary and secondary schools the price is £195 plus VAT.   And if you wish to run two emails in each monthly period you can simply buy two packages.

The August email will go out in the latter part of the month (unless you request otherwise) when Scottish schools are back and senior teachers elsewhere are starting to prepare for the new school year.  For the remaining months the adverts will go out on dates to be selected by Hamilton House.  However there will always be at least a two week gap between each mailing.

Response Rates

You will receive, at the end of each month, a report on the number of people who have seen the advert as an email, on UK Education News, and the Schools’ blog.

As the title “Series 8” suggests we have worked on this type of campaign seven times before and we have found that most of our customers have gained very satisfactory sales levels.   However in the unlikely event that you receive either a poor number of click throughs to your website or a good number of click throughs with a limited number of sales, we’ll offer a free consultation by phone or email in which we analyse what has happened and suggest exactly why, giving you detailed pointers as to how matters could be improved very quickly.

These adverts will all be written and prepared by yourselves and can be supplied as text or HTML files (depending on the source).  It may be possible to include a picture in the UK Education News story, depending on the format.

If you are interested you can call 01536 399 000 and ask to speak to one of us about “Four Month Marketing Programme”.  Or if you have a specific question please do email Chris@hamilton-house.com.

Tony Attwood

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Free report on changes to the way teachers and school managers make buying decisions

Schools have always been a particular market – different in fact from virtually every other market. Which means it has always been necessary to approach schools in a very particular way.

That has long been understood, but what is less well noticed is the fact that the schools’ market can and does change very rapidly.

First came the 2010 Academies Act which said all new schools would be set up by groups such as academies and free schools. But the local councils would remain responsible for finding “a place for every child”.  So there now aren’t enough school places.

Second Michael Gove relinquished central government responsibility for teacher supply in 2011. So there now aren’t enough teachers.

Third, funding of schools is linked to the number of pupils and students in each school with no accounting for the building.  So we have supersize schools and not enough teachers. Not surprisingly, the way schools are spending their money is changing. If they can’t spend it on teachers, they spend it on something else.

But the money is still spent by the teachers – who perceive themselves to be busy-busy-busy.

However, there are two problems. One is that schools are trying to work out how to cope with rising numbers and fewer teachers. The other is that many people in schools perceive themselves to be too busy to read their emails.

Indeed our colleagues in the School of Educational Administration and Management (who rather conveniently work in the same building as Hamilton House Mailings) report that many teachers refuse to read internal email memos as they are too busy even to do that.

So you need a way to get to those who don’t read emails as well as those that do – ideally without increasing your costs.  Such as combining emails with a free online service which teachers and managers are turning to in increasing numbers.

All of these points mean that the whole world of schooling has changed. In effect successful selling to schools is now quite different from all that has gone before.

And this is why we have produced a new report with the snappy title, “The ten key issues that you must get right when advertising to schools in 2016/17.”

If you would like to read a copy (and we’ve kept the size right down to make it manageable) all you have to do is to drop an email to Chris@hamilton-house.com and write in the subject line “The 10 key issues” and we will send it to you.

Of course, if you want to have a look at the other services we offer you’ll find them on www.hamilton-house.com.

Or if you want a chat you are very welcome: just call 01536 399 000 and we’ll be happy to talk through our various services so that you can see which one is particularly suited to your needs.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tony Attwood