Home' Independence : Independence Vol 33 No 2 Oct 2008 Contents 44 Independence Volume 33 No. 2
• A consistent call to action. Included
in the advertisements was the line,
‘To learn more about our curriculum
especially designed for boys ring John
Arrowsmith on 8591 2202’. If an open
day date had to be included it would
just sit next to the call to action. The
same call to action was used in all
radio advertising as well.
While the style of the advertisements had
great consistency, it was never boring be-
cause each week in campaign time there
was a different advertisement showing
a different aspect of teaching boys. The
boys, parents and staff looked forward to
seeing what would come next. So too, we
had a series of radio advertisements, each
one telling another small part of the story
in a slightly cheeky way.
BGS has run several three- to four-week
campaigns leading up to open days, but
focusing more on branding and generating
enquiries than promoting school tours.
During the campaign periods, adver-
tisements were placed in local papers
(consistently on a page targeted at
women); complementary radio advertise-
ments were booked on an AM station
breakfast show that has the highest
ratings in Australia; and when possible
we took distressed (discounted) space
in magazines inserted into the weekend
newspapers. This layered, concentrated
coverage gives readers the sense that BGS
The campaign generated excellent outcomes:
• In 2007 levels of enquiry doubled,
numbers attending the open days tripled
and the number of students who signed
up and paid an enrolment fee for 2008
and beyond, also doubled. These figures
have continued to grow in 2008.
• Teachers from other schools rang to
find out more about our programs
• The type of attendee at open days
changed from many with vague enquir-
ies to parents and boys who had come
to see what BGS was offering espe-
cially for boys.
• Levels of enquiry from media dramati-
cally increased, seeking expert opinion
about boys’ issues.
• Boys and staff are lining up to feature
in an advertisement!
• The ‘we teach boys’ campaign featured
in a good hearted way in the Year 12
Please note, it hasn’t all been easy. Many
staff, especially in the early stages, were
uncomfortable with the approach. They
didn’t like the way our advertisements
used politically incorrect phrases such
as ‘boys like to blow things up’. But, the
boys liked it and mothers, who know
boys so well, really liked it. It was having
the courage to ‘be real’ that made the
Many in our school community and be-
yond simply did not understand why BGS
was advertising, and assumed the enrol-
ment levels were low. Nothing was further
from the truth. Enrolments were strong –
we simply wanted to clearly communicate
who and what BGS is all about.
I am grateful to our Headmaster, Michael
Urwin, who empowered us to develop
and execute this campaign. He also will-
ingly lent his voice to the radio adver-
tisements, resulting in gentle and not so
gentle ‘digs’ from many of his colleagues
from other schools. I admire the courage
he showed and the faith he demonstrated
in his staff to get on with the task.
And so our work continues. We consist-
ently go back to talk to more boys and
staff about their experiences at BGS
allowing the ‘we teach boys’ campaign to
continue to be relevant, searching for the
opportunity to push just a little further
outside the square, and tweaking it to
highlight different programs or aspects of
school life. These days most people we ap-
proach in the school community are very
enthusiastic to talk to us, clearly hoping
we will choose to tell their story about
our school. There is a sense of pride in the
obvious success of the campaign.
It’s a great thrill when you say to some-
one you just met that you work or attend
BGS and they respond with a big ques-
tioning grin – ‘BGS, we teach boys??’
Natalie van Wetering is Director of Develop-
ment and Community Relations at Brighton
Grammar School. Prior to her appointment at
BGS six years ago she was Executive Director of
the St Vincent’s Hospital Foundation, Mel-
bourne for five years. Natalie is also President
of the Victoria/Tasmania chapter of ADAPE, the
Association of Development and Alumni Profes-
sionals in Education (Australasia Inc). ADAPE’s
website is www.adape.org.au
Blood, sweat and cheers.
Inspiration for life.
90 Outer Crescent Brighton Vic
Telephone: 8591 2202
BRIGHTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL
An Anglican School for boys ELC to VCE
Where do they
keep the spare tyre?
Boys need to know how things work –
they love to ask questions and just get the answer.
We know exploration is one of the ways boys learn best.
Throughout their schooling we look for opportunities
to teach in this way.
To learn more about our curriculum especially designed
for boys ring John Arrowsmith on 8591 2202
OPEN MORNING & SCHOOL TOURS
Friday 16th May 9.30am
Links Archive Independence Vol 33 No 1 May 2008 Independence Vol 34 No 1 May 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page