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The Communications team at Highgate was established in September 2018. During our first year we have grown our social media presence, designed a new website, launched our Marketing Campaign ‘Beyond’ and set up a new portal for our parents. We are now looking to grow the Communications team to help take us to the next level.
The Communications team operates collaboratively, strategically and creatively to develop and deliver communications to internal and external audiences including parents, prospective pupils and parents, staff, alumni, donors, potential employees, Partnership Schools and the wider community. The role of the Communications team is to shape Highgate’s outward and internal media and dictate the way in which Highgate is seen, heard and perceived. We aim to demonstrate Highgate’s aims and ethos in action and present an authentic, Highgate-specific narrative. The team has both a creative, story- and content-generating role as well as a reactive responsibility working with internal clients. In the messages and stories we tell about the School, we try to balance tradition and modernity, our academic prowess with our holistic approach to education. We have a great story to tell and now is an exciting time to join the team!
All members of the Communications team are expected to:
- Contribute to the development of the School Communication Plan and continually work to maximise opportunities for effective marketing and communication
- Maintain and develop a strong Highgate brand identity (via brand messaging frameworks, visual identity, editorial tones, style guides) across all communications.
- Quickly develop a thorough knowledge of the School, its ethos and activities
- Keep up to date with developments in the Communications, Marketing and PR sector, enabling Highgate to reach and engage new or existing audiences
- Earn the respect and understanding of the Highgate staff, encouraging them to think pro-actively of media possibilities: help them to help you.
- Participate in training activities and sessions offered by the School and external agencies in order to gain further relevant knowledge and skills and keep up to date with technical requirements relevant to the job.
- Keep under review good marketing practices, particularly but not exclusively within the School sector, to strive to improve our own processes.
- Ensure all activities are managed within the departmental budget
The PR and Marketing Specialist will develop, manage and oversee the School’s external relations. They will work quickly to build knowledge of the School and work strategically to maximise the School brand and profile focusing on external audiences, with a particular emphasis on prospective parents and pupils. This is a new appointment to lend capacity and additional focus to this growing, dynamic aspect of School life.
- Lead on media liaison and press relations in conjunction with the Head and Assistant Head, Communications.
- Build relationships with key publications/journalists/education editors.
- Press office handling – act as first port of call for all media enquiries. Organise photo calls, working with the School Designer.
- Proactively identify media opportunities to support and promote the work of Highgate School.
- Develop and maintain a distribution list, ensuring local and sometimes national media are updated.
- Be responsible for the writing and editing of press releases and feature articles, attracting media interest in School initiatives/events.
- Liaise with members of the Strategy Management Committee and offer byelines from Senior staff.
- Prepare ‘Results Day’ and ‘Open Day’ press plans to secure maximum coverage.
- Monitor daily educational news for coverage and issues of interest to the School
- Develop approaches to ensure that Highgate School reacts effectively to emerging news and key external developments, involving other stakeholders as appropriate.
- Spot story opportunities – proactive and reactive – and work to insert Highgate’s messages and impact into the news.
- Analyse press coverage of the School, maintain a digital archive of press cuttings.
- Advise on PR strategy in times of crisis and reputational risk management, working with the School’s appointed public relations agency where appropriate.
- If necessary, prepare statements, Q&As and briefings for the Head and the Strategy Management Committee.
- Support the Head and Strategy Management Committee with issues which might result in adverse media coverage to minimise their impact.
- Work closely with our Head, Adam Pettitt to develop his ‘voice’ and ensure that the work of the Head and the Communications team are in alignment.
- Encourage other Senior staff to blog and tweet about education to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise.
- Advise the Head on themes for his popular Head’s Blog and support where necessary.
- Organise media training for relevant Senior team members.
- Undertake/commission market and competitor research and analysis.
- Become an expert on our target market including demographics, lifestyle, geography and attitudes.
- Working with the Head of Admissions, analyse and evaluate key admissions data
- Use the above data sets to inform the work of the Communications team in order to facilitate effective marketing activities.
- Keep abreast of matters relating to education in general and the independent sector
- Work with colleagues across the School who organise key events to ensure that Highgate delivers effective, professionally co-ordinated, high profile events eg. Prize-giving, Conferences.
- Oversee the marketing input at all key School events, ensuring that opportunities are created to effectively communicate the School’s messages.
- Maximise opportunities to get across messages when we have direct contact with staff, students and parents
- Ensure that all events are “on brand” and that marketing materials are available and in use.
- Act as an ambassador at key public events and activities
- Support Senior staff to become more effective and impactful spokespeople at School events.
- Promote good practice across the whole School in all aspects of PR, supporting and encouraging colleagues.
- Develop effective cross-departmental working with the Admissions team that will deliver Highgate’s Communications and Admissions objectives.
- Attend the weekly Admissions meetings to build knowledge of the admissions process.
- Feedback information gained from market research and website analytics to the Admissions team.
- Work with the Admissions team to ensure that they are enacting the School Communications Plan and are “on brand” and “on message” in all of their work.
- Plan the advertising strategy for Open Days to ensure the widest possible coverage, working to budget.
- Lead on the writing and production of all Admissions-related marketing materials and collateral, both print and digital.
- Plan the “customer journey” for prospective parents, consider all the touchpoints, and everything we send out to prospective parents and design it as “a package” which is refined and developed to maximize the consistency of brand and experience.
- Plan and lead a marketing campaign to specifically target bursary applications.
- Represent the School at educational exhibitions and other recruitment events as agreed with the Head of Admissions.
- Prepare PowerPoint presentations for senior staff to use at recruitment events and conferences
- Provide input into the design of new marketing campaigns, using knowledge gained from market research.
- Work with the Graphic Designer to request the preparation of artwork or photography, writing a clear and detailed project brief for her/him to follow.
- Plan, deliver and evaluate our advertising and other promotional strategies in the press, magazines and relevant directories.
- Plan the School’s tactical advertising and advertorials and produce feature advertorial articles about the School. Negotiate with providers to ensure that we get value for money.
- Work with the Website and Digital Content Manager to track the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns.
- Identify new trends in digital marketing, evaluate new technologies and ensure that Highgate is at the forefront of industry developments, particularly developments in mobile marketing
Publications & Competition entries
- Manage the entry of School information into all external directories e.g. Good Schools Guide, including planning and organising journalist visits
- Pro-actively look for opportunities to enter Highgate staff, pupils and the School into national and international competitions and awards.
- Work with senior colleagues to collect evidence and write competition entries, spending appropriate time and attention on these to maximise the opportunity for successful outcomes.
- Take advantage of PR opportunities which develop from success in awards or competitions.
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