Our guest for this episode is Andrew T. Weller, Director of Admissions for Avenues: The World School in Manhattan which was recently featured in the HBO documentary Class Divide. We dig into the concept of institution-wide branding, the benefits it brings to enrollment and development, how roles of enrollment and development are more similar than they are different, and how school leadership still struggles with investing in areas of the school such as marketing that don’t look like they serve students.
Andrew has a wealth of experience in promoting his school’s brand to prospective families and donors. Prior to Avenues, Andrew was Executive Director of Advancement at Ridley College in Canada and Director of Admissions at Chestnut Hill Academy. He has also worked at Cheshire Academy and Marymount University. Andrew is a board member of the East Bay School for Boys, served on the inaugural Admissions Leadership Council of the Enrollment Management Association (formerly SSATB), and served four years on the planning committee of the TABS/NAIS Global Symposium. Andrew has B.S. from Alfred University (NY), M.S. from Marymount University (VA), and an Ed.D.from the University of Pennsylvania.
"Admissions is the gateway to fundraising."
"The stakes are so much higher than they used to be. The pressure on MarCom to defend price tags is huge."
"Admissions and development people are talking about the same brand and same product — just to different means."
"The work of admissions and development is similar for about 90% of what we’re doing. It’s about creating that compelling story, differentiating yourself from the competition, it’s about target marketing, it’s about relationship building, it’s about communications."
"We can no longer assume that when a family walks through the door and enrolls their child that they’re there for the long haul. We constantly need to be re-recuiting them and reminding them why they’re there and why this is worth the tuition they’re paying."
"It’s hard for leaders to make the connection between strong brands into strong schools and strong schools that support students. People don’t see how putting resources into marketing and communications serves students."
What You’ll Learn
- What’s the difference between enrollment and development marketing.
- Why it’s important for the admissions and development offices to work together.
- How admissions and development can serve each other when traveling for the school.
- Why you can’t have an international fundraising or admissions plan. You have to have country-specific plans.
- How a strong leader can help people understand that strong brands equal strong schools — and strong schools serve students well.
- What schools with limited resources need first for successful marketing.
- What leadership’s role is in developing a strong school brand.
- What to do if you can’t afford more staff.
- What Andrew would look for in hiring a Director of MarCom.
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