District Administration October 2017 - 10

OnTopic

Trish Rubin

Building your brand
A proven marketing strategy can help schools thrive
among the masses

What sets your school apart from
thousands of other schools in the
country, or even the others in your
district? Former educator and now
marketing consultant Trish Rubin
says it's up to school leaders to become
the "storyteller-in-chief " by defining
their school's brand.
Rubin provides a step-by-step
framework to the nuances of
spreading good school news and
winning support in her book,
BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build
Relationships and Empower
Learning (2017, Jossey-Bass), which
she wrote with Eric Sheninger, senior
fellow and thought leader on digital
leadership and learning with the
International Center for Leadership
in Education.
"Today's digital and social media
world is driven by mobile content
in short form and long form, in text
and video," says Rubin. "The business
communication tool of brand can

Let's begin by defining "brand."
It's the tangible and intangible presentation of who you are. Tangibly, it's how
people see your actions-walking the
talk. The intangible is the feeling that
people get through what you're able
to communicate. So it's not about just
identifying something, it's about connecting feelings. We have personal and
professional brands. A personal brand
can be developed easily by figuring out
who you are. My word for myself for
years has been "spark." And in my email
signature I'm always adding quotes with
spark or fire. Your brand is how you
are engaging, how you are continuing
this brand and what it is doing to you.
What emotions do you have?
Let's take those ideas and turn them
into action so you can build a personalprofessional brand. When writing the
book, we struggled with what to call
it for educators. Because we wanted to
get people to understand that whatever
they were doing for themselves they
could leverage into their leadership positions in a school.
That's a new idea for many readers.
Staggeringly new. It's actually scary for
some people who will say, "Oh, gosh.
What now? What is this? As a leader,
what will I have to think about?" For
some others, however, there is absolute
excitement: "Yeah, this is what I've been
waiting for. I've been trying to do something like this and I didn't know what I
was doing."

inform a school improvement strategy
that harnesses the power of content of
story in this new media age."

10 October 2017

DAmag.me/brand

Many schools have websites with a
logo and a mascot and think that's
their brand. But that's not the same.
Right. In marketing terms that's your
identity marker. Many schools, their
website is very static. It has a stock
mission statement-nothing unique
about it. Mascot? Check. Logo? Check.
School colors? Check. They assume
that's their brand, but that's the tip of
the iceberg. Again, brand is about feeling. There is no feeling represented by
seeing that.
I say to people, define your school
in three words. Look at how Disney
defines itself: "Fun, Family, Entertainment." That's it. I think of Disney,
because even when they had some horrible things happening to them, they
knew exactly what to do to make people
believe that they are still "Fun, Family,
Entertainment."
You say having a good brand and a
good feeling will promote a lot of
community engagement.
Yeah. We live in a camera culture, and
it's so easy for people to use that camera to share. When you establish your
brand and people understand that they
and their kids are part of it, they want
to share. That camera culture can really
help tell your story. That's why brands
are so important because they create a
sense of belonging.
How receptive are school leaders to
these ideas?
I addressed the National Principals
Conference earlier this year. They came
because they were curious leaders. They
were really interested in getting something fresh and new to take home and
help them as leaders.
District Administration


http://www.DAmag.me/brand

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration October 2017

District Administration October 2017 - Cover1
District Administration October 2017 - Cover2
District Administration October 2017 - 1
District Administration October 2017 - 2
District Administration October 2017 - 3
District Administration October 2017 - 4
District Administration October 2017 - 5
District Administration October 2017 - 6
District Administration October 2017 - 7
District Administration October 2017 - 8
District Administration October 2017 - 9
District Administration October 2017 - 10
District Administration October 2017 - 11
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District Administration October 2017 - 14
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District Administration October 2017 - Cover3
District Administration October 2017 - Cover4
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