For a long time, word-of-mouth in the community generated long waiting lists for The Rumson Country Day School. When the dependable stream of new families stalled, RCDS needed to articulate its brand, value and distinctions to an audience that was increasingly choosing public school options. ECG worked closely with RCDS to develop a brand identity and multi-phase admissions campaign that reversed the decline, substantially increased inquiries and applications, and produced a waiting list for the early childhood program.
Energizing the Brand
RCDS is a vibrant, exciting place to learn. Truly Great, N-8 became the anthem to promote small classes, outstanding academics, The Four Pillars and more.
RCDS’s timing of its Truly Great, N-8 campaign couldn’t have been better. Launched in the spring of 2020, the school’s message and visuals resonated with families who were moving to the area and those reconsidering school options as a result of COVID-19.
RCDS had a great story to tell when admissions season launched: the school was on campus full-time when most were not, and faculty and administration continued to deliver hands-on learning. Consistent promotion of programs and a school culture that goes above and beyond for students, helped to drive more phone calls, inquiries, virtual tours and attendance at information sessions.
Lead Generation Tools
The Big Idea Activity Guide, Executive Functioning: How to Bolster 10 Essential Skills Students Use for a Lifetime, and The Happiness Factor: A Parent’s Guide to Social Emotional Learning are several lead generation tools RCDS utilized to engage with the wider community and generate interest in the school. For example, The Big Idea Activity Guide was timed for summer break when camps were not re-opening due to COVID-19. It addressed a “pain point” many parents were experiencing while promoting RCDS programs and faculty. In total, more than 170 individuals provided an email in exchange for a guide, generating new leads that RCDS could continue to communicate via its email marketing program.
ECG was engaged to consolidate and rebrand two St. Benedict’s alumni publications, the quarterly newsletter and Headmaster’s Report, in advance of the launch of the School’s ambitious $100 million capital campaign, Forever Benedict’s: The Campaign for St. Benedict’s Preparatory School — the largest campaign in school history.
Rebranding the Future
Through the use of branded content and vibrant photography, the resulting St. Benedict’s Preparatory School Magazine accurately tells the compelling story of the monks of Newark Abbey, their devotion to the School and their commitment to the education of young men and women from Newark.
Due to the success of the rebranded publication, ECG was asked to produce a series of videos to communicate the distinctive aspects of the St. Benedict’s experience to a broader audience of donors, alumni, current and prospective parents, students and friends. These award-winning videos helped inspire an emotional and financial investment in the School. A subsequent video series was produced to galvanize support when Forever Benedict’s was launched in 2018. To date, the campaign has raised more than $75 million.
“You guys are awesome. The magazines turned out beautifully! I love it and can’t wait until we produce more.”
In the midst of a $65 million capital campaign and its transition from College to University, Saint Peter’s sought to reinforce its relationship with alumni by elevating the quality of its flagship alumni communication vehicles.
A New Look
ECG completely re-engineered the alumni magazine, from design through editorial tone and depth, ensuring that the magazine captured the vibrant life of the University, while still connecting with the thousands of alumni who attended the venerable Saint Peter’s College.
ECG was also responsible for the capital campaign case statement. Most recently, ECG was tapped to produce videos in support of the University’s strategic plan and community investment report.
A Trusted Partner
ECG has been a trusted partner of Saint Peter’s for more than 10 years, including one $65 million capital campaign, two strategic plans and a decade of growth, innovation, and meeting some of the most pressing challenges in higher education today.
“If you want a cookie-cutter approach, DON’T hire Erbach Communications! In my experience, it’s rare to find a partner that truly understands an institution’s culture and voice. Erbach does. When you partner with Erbach, you aren’t just assigned an account rep. You’re assigned a TEAM. Together, they work with you to make it look right, make it sound right, and make you stand out. But more than anything else, the one thing I get patted on the back for the most is our magazine. Erbach transformed that publication.”
Sarah Malinowski Ferrary
Director of University Communications, Saint Peter’s University
The Willow School is an extraordinary school for children. Admissions, however, had declined due to misperceptions about the school or prospective families weren’t aware of Willow. New branding separated Willow from the pack, reinvigorated admissions, and produced a 180° turnaround that got retention and enrollment results.
Update Branding and Identity.
A new logo elevated the Willow brand with a modern and dynamic look; other visual elements were also created to showcase the school’s many distinctions.
Too often, independent school websites are cluttered with information not pertinent to prospective families. By presenting information in ways most relevant to its target audience, and integrating lead generation tools, the Willow website produced immediate results for admissions. Prospective parents, who applied to other independent schools, also commended the Willow website for its clarity and ease of use.
Willow had a lot of strengths to showcase. When juxtaposed with traditional school experiences, it made a powerful statement about the school’s value promise. These brand differentiators supported admissions and also instilled a great deal of pride in the Willow community.
Double Digit Increase in Admissions
130+ Leads Generated through Inbound Marketing Tools
Altered perception from “tree hugging” school to serious place of learning
Xavier High School needed to marry its advancement publications and communications with the vision of its president and long-term institutional goals.
Update Branding and Identity.
ECG rebranded Xavier’s flagship publication for a diverse audience of alumni, parents, alumni parents and benefactors and for more than five years, consistently paired dynamic design with engaging content and stories. Creative work has accomplished a myriad of objectives, from enlightening alumni and supporters on the deeply Jesuit nature of the school to unpacking school finances for all constituencies in an informative and compelling way. ECG is also a key communications partner on Xavier’s annual reports, admissions view books, fundraising videos and other collateral needed to advance admissions and development.
“Thank you. The magazine is an important contribution to our work of advancing the Xavier mission, and has extra importance this time in advancing consideration of vocation. The copy is terrific—well-written, thoughtful, clear, the photos, the layout, the overall presentation and feel are outstanding, too. It is a gift to have ECG as part of the Xavier team. You make our work better and stronger and I am grateful.”