Would you be more interested in a (state) school that advertised in a newspaper or on the radio?

(46 Posts)
Itchyandscratchy Thu 04-Aug-16 11:38:01

I'm doing some adverts for my school in the lead up to open events in the autumn. The local paper is hounding me to commit to their 'Education special' but I don't think I'm interested. We always used to automatically put an advert in the paper but budgets are much tighter now. It's about £1K for a page advert!!

I'm a parent myself and I just don't take any notice of the local press anymore, except the odd article online. I think the demographic for newspapers is pretty high in age anyway (50+?) so they wouldn't be the ones choosing the school or going to the open events.

I'm thinking I'd rather spend the money I've got on a radio advert. It's about the same price to have a radio advert for 2 weeks as it is for a full page in the local paper. I also know that the demographic for the radio station is younger and more female, which I'm thinking is the right audience for parents interested in hearing about schools.

Would any of you / do any of you pore over the local education supplements? Would a newspaper - or a radio advert for that matter - make you interested in a school?

Thanks.

OlennasWimple Thu 04-Aug-16 11:41:37

I'd be more interested if the ad told me something I didn't know, like it offered some unusual courses. Or its results were better than local gossip would have me believe (eg if it was a turned around school)

Back of a bus is probably the most high profile but radio sounds better than print, unless the newspaper ad also gets you online space

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Thu 04-Aug-16 11:41:49

I poured over education supplements when I was applying for schools.

Radio advert - no no no no no no no. Radio adverts only work if you're a multi national company keeping yourself in people's minds. Everyone else comes across as cheap.

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Thu 04-Aug-16 11:42:00

I listen to local radio and would check out the schools website if looking for info on open days. I'd also look at my local news updates on Facebook.

Wouldn't bother with the local paper - chances of me reading it the right week/noticing the ad would be fairly small

SaltyMyDear Thu 04-Aug-16 11:42:23

I would assume the worst about a school advertising (ie they were a very unappealing school) whether the ad was in a paper or on radio.

Banners outside school gate fine. Anything else deeply suspicious.

YesItsMeIDontCare Thu 04-Aug-16 11:45:32

Salty is right.

If your school is good enough you only need to advertise the dates and times of open days/evenings. Schools are full of catchment kids unless they're crap.

chopchopchop Thu 04-Aug-16 11:48:35

I agree. There's a state school near us (secondary) that advertises on the back of buses, and I like it less for doing that.

The best advertising our local school does is to have a double page spread every month which is done - I think - by sixth form kids - and has a mix of news about the school. This gives me a much clearer idea of what is going on and more of an insight into the ethos of the school and what they are proud of.

I do read the local paper, but take much more notice of editorial stuff than ads.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Thu 04-Aug-16 11:49:43

The problem with adverts on the radio is they invariably sound a bit naff - I would probably be a bit put off a school that did this.

A certain litigious private school near me, posts about which on MN tend to get deleted, does radio ads and they are awful!

Grumpysfirstwife Thu 04-Aug-16 11:49:43

I didn't even notice the adverts in my local paper when the schools advertised. I only realised what they were after attending the open evenings (which were advertised via the primary schools with leaflets sent home in the year 5 and 6 bags) and they had the adverts printed out on display saying 'as printed in the xxx newspaper'.
I would say that I would notice quality leaflets/prospectuses via the primary school more than newspaper or radio. Maybe social media is a good way to advertise. I follow my childrens schools on Facebook and Twitter and the primary schools always retweet and share local high schools information.

If the school has a Facebook page with a decent fan base then I would look into the targeted Facebook adverts as its really easy to advertise to a mirrored base.

Itchyandscratchy Thu 04-Aug-16 11:52:10

SaltyMyDear really? Nearly every school (esp secondary and all of the privates) spend a lot on advertising. I can see that maybe with primary schools they wouldn't advertise as much, but most secondary parents I know go to minimum of 3 open evenings.

Secondary places are very competitive. And majority of the sec schools in our area are rated 'Good'. And many parents make their minds up on open days.

But, yes we'll be doing banners too.

Itchyandscratchy Thu 04-Aug-16 11:56:48

Useful comments - thank you.

I've noticed a lot of the sixth forms do radio advertising. Some of them are naff but some aren't too bad. We're oversubscribed as a school but we have a relatively new sixth form so that's why we're considering this.

I also agree that news items are always useful, and preferable to adverts. We try to send as much info as we can to the local paper about what the students have been doing.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 04-Aug-16 11:57:32

I do still read the local papers but never, ever listen to local radio. FB, banner adverts for open days, leaflets in primary school bookbags all good. Any more than that starts to look a bit desperate, one of our local schools is on a massive hard sell to year 5s and their parents at the moment which is having the effect of putting many of us off.

noblegiraffe Thu 04-Aug-16 11:58:21

The demographic for regular readers of a newspaper might be high, but wouldn't you expect people who are looking at schools to go out of their way to buy the education special? That way you would be targeting your advertising at those looking at schools - a radio ad would be less targeted and more likely to be missed by those interested. People looking at schools won't suddenly start tuning in all day every day just to hear the occasional relevant advert.

MammouthTask Thu 04-Aug-16 11:59:20

I would be the same than * Salty*
Hardly any advertising where I live, either private or state school.
Seeing that you are stuck within your catchment area with secondary state schools, I'm wondering whybtheyvarexadvertisibg where you live. Is there that baby secondaries in the same catchment area?

NicknameUsed Thu 04-Aug-16 11:59:54

I don't listen to commercial radio, and view adverts for schools with suspicion. DD's school is over subscribed and doesn't need to advertise.

IMO a really good website should sell the school. All you need to do is make sure the open day dates are prominent.

MammouthTask Thu 04-Aug-16 12:01:17

YY about leaflets in the primary school school bags.
In our area the local newspaper also lost the dates of all the open evenings in the area (I've never used that though and relied on info given through the school)

Itchyandscratchy Thu 04-Aug-16 12:03:32

Cheers. Lots of food for thought :-)

noblegiraffe Thu 04-Aug-16 12:05:21

If you're advertising a new sixth form, then who are you advertising to? The kids or the parents?

Itchyandscratchy Thu 04-Aug-16 12:15:48

Both noblegiraffe. I guess at 16, the parents still have the last word but the students' views are very important.

noblegiraffe Thu 04-Aug-16 12:23:44

You need to make sure you have a strong internet presence then. Active Twitter account with the open days pinned, up to date sixth form website etc.

drspouse Thu 04-Aug-16 12:35:53

One of our local secondaries advertises on buses. I have never seen any of them advertise in the local paper (I don't read it much but see it occasionally) and I don't listen much to local radio but ditto haven't heard ads.
I tend to think the bus ads are not "we are desperate for students" but more "we have turned ourself around so please think of us even though you wouldn't have" or even just "please think of us even though you wouldn't have" (it's a fairly strongly Catholic school but not so over-subscribed it doesn't take non-Catholics - but has the local impression it is only for Catholics. I happen to know two former teachers and have a good impression from them but otherwise would be going on "only go if you're Catholic").
All the other schools have never advertised to my knowledge except possibly for a banner outside the actual school with open day dates on.

Balletgirlmum Thu 04-Aug-16 12:38:16

I don't buy the Locsl newspaper any more

Many of our local schools advertise on the radio. Often the ad has been put together by the pupils as part of a radio /work experience media scheme.

JimmyGreavesMoustache Thu 04-Aug-16 12:43:48

neither would make much difference to me
but I agree wholeheartedly with the posters suggesting investing time and energy to a solid, informative and up to date internet presence. Has the benefit of being equally helpful and informative to current parents as well as prospective ones if done properly not like our school displaying dates for last year's inset days and no sign of ones to come.

MachiKoro Thu 04-Aug-16 12:49:58

I wouldn't hear an advert on radio as I only listen to R4 & R3.
I certainly would think less of a school that used public money in that way.
Doing good things in the community is the way to recruit children. Have your Y11s go into Y6 in schools and run maths or languages sessions, helping at old people's homes,that kind of thing.

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