Tabor Academy Wins International School Marketing Award
Tabor won a 2021 Gold InspirED School Marketers Brilliance Award this week for its Admitted Student Welcome project in the only international competition that recognizes excellence in private and independent school marketing and communications. The Brilliance Awards are sponsored by InspirED School Marketers, a website that provides “brilliant ideas and brain food” for private school administrators around the globe.
The entries were judged by a volunteer panel of 68 marketing experts from around the world, who are professionals in private schools or businesses that specialize in school marketing. The entries were scored on creativity, persuasiveness, design, copy, photography, and overall appeal.
The Admitted Student Welcome project, entitled Taborflix, is a website with a complementary admissions acceptance package that was shared with students who were accepted to attend Tabor Academy. The Welcome project was launched in Spring of 2021. According to one of the judges, “Now this is how you enroll a student! What a clever riff on ‘Netflix,’ and an invitation into the lived experiences of students and faculty at Tabor through an original TV series. A true peek into the culture, lifestyle, and community of this boarding school. Brilliant.”
The project was a joint effort from Tabor’s Strategic Marketing & Communications (SMAC) and Admissions teams, with support from YodelPop, a digital marketing firm who works with nonprofits. “The concept and direction came from our teams at Tabor,” explains Stacy Jagodowski, Director of SMAC, “and YodelPop helped us bring it to life.”
Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to have a typical Revisit Day Event, which typically has families coming back to campus in person, the two teams worked together to brainstorm a Plan B. “Families needed to see the campus, experience our programs, meet our people, and do it all remotely,” shares Jagodowski.
“Throughout the pandemic, screen time has been inordinately high among teens. We wanted to offer something that could add some value while still meeting them where they are,” says Laura Burgess, Director of Admissions Marketing.
“Fortunately, we already had a robust library of videos to use, in addition to a new internet TV Series called First Mates that was filmed specifically for our newly accepted students. So, developing a purposeful video ‘streaming’ experience made sense, and as such, Taborflix was born,” explains Jagodowski.
Burgess, who directed First Mates, explains the motivation for the videos, saying “I wanted to emphasize the friendships and relationships at Tabor and hit on some of the most frequent questions that we get throughout the admissions process. I hoped that it would be fun to watch and help prospective students feel comfortable thinking about coming to campus, as for many of them, arriving at Tabor in the fall would be their first time. It was inspired by a month-long Instagram TV series that I looked forward to each week, and I wanted to offer something similar to our admitted students.”
According to one of the judges, “The video series did an incredible job capturing what admitted students are most directly interested in shortly after being admitted - food, friends, campus involvements/activities - and showcased the school in an authentic and vibrant way.”
According to Burgess, “We envisioned that the entire package, both Taborflix and the boxed gifts we sent, would be something that would bring families together and provide enjoyment as they watched together and began to think ahead to the next steps. We hoped it would give families an opportunity to discuss the key themes and important questions together as they made their choice.”
“When it comes to Admissions and Enrollment efforts, our goal is always to create the best possible materials for our prospective students and their families to help them learn about and get to know Tabor,” adds Jagodowski. “It’s even more exciting to see our hard work receive this kind of recognition, earning top honors with a Gold Award. I’m really proud of our teams for their hard work, creativity, and dedication.”