Content Marketing Workshop with Sarah Mead and Tim Schwartz

Wednesday 1:00-4:15 | The Providence Art Club

From Best Fit Candidate to Your Biggest Advocate: How to Use Content Marketing to Convert Prospects, Energize your Core Families, Dominate Search Results, and Shift Your School's Trajectory Forever.

Say goodbye to the "we've always done it this way" mentality and say hello to the future of independent school marketing.

During this interactive workshop we'll take a deep dive into the fundamentals of inbound marketing, learn how to create awesome content that will fuel your website, and help Google see you as an authority.

You'll walk away from this workshop with a solid understanding of how to create and leverage content to attract best fit families to your school's website, and nurture them through the admissions process until they become your biggest advocates.

We'll take you on a tour of effective content in action, share our own tips for uncovering hidden value and turning your school into a publishing powerhouse, explore marketing metrics that matter most for your organization, and help you discover ways to get strategic buy-in from leadership.

Sarah Mead
Director of Communications
Whitby School, Greenwich, Connecticut

Sarah's mind is a stirring pot of thoughts and ideas on content marketing, blogging, photography, videography, storytelling, social media, and website optimization. Working at Whitby has inspired her to reeducate the world about education, and to spread the passion, wisdom and expertise of the school’s talented faculty and staff.

Tim Schwartz
Director of Innovation
Whitby School, Greenwich, Connecticut

Tim is always on the look out for opportunities with the potential to unleash creativity, transformteaching and learning, optimize school operations, improve organizational culture and streamline administrative processes. He likes exploring and challenging big ideas as well as implementing and evangelizing technological solutions. Tim enjoys writing and presenting about digital citizenship, technology, education, content marketing and the Maker Movement. He has high-standards because he knows that with the right inspiration and support, everyone can be better. And he wants you to know that he is not the droid you are looking for.

Brand Positioning: How to Create a Strong Brand Strategy.

Thursday 9:00 am – 11:00 am | The Providence Art Club

Let’s be honest. We all know that there is more to your school’s brand than your logo and style guide. It is how you position your school in the minds of your school community, outside community, and prospective families. Explore the challenges and opportunities; along with a 7-step plan that begins to strategically position your school to succeed in an over-populated market of independent schools. You will return to campus knowing what you can do right now and what it will take to build a competitive school brand. Be prepared to think differently, interact with your colleagues, and most importantly be courageous and honest with how you feel about your school.

Jim Healey
Owner, Chief Brand Officer, and Photographer
Peapod Design

Peapod Design: Brand Strategy & Creative Consulting for the Education Industry.

Peapod Design was founded 20 years ago by Karen and Jim Healey, two Rhode Island School of Design graduates who envisioned putting one-of-a-kind imaginative solutions in the service of colleges, universities, and independent schools.

We have worked with over 350 schools, and have earned the reputation for fresh ideas, award-winning designs, and compelling storytelling. As a full-service firm, we also have the know-how and experience to provide big-picture strategic thinking and a variety of specialized services to schools, including: brand development, market research, print publications, websites, advertising, photography, to name a few.

Your brand is intangible but knowable, and it can be the greatest tool and resource you have to achieve your marketing and communications goals. At Peapod Design, it is our goal to know your school, your competitors, your situation, and your strengths, and showcase yourselves to your internal and external audiences, achieving the results you are looking to accomplish.

Perfecting Your Pixar Pitch

Thursday 11:15 am – 12:15 pm | The Providence Art Club

Can you sum up your brand in one sentence? In three words…in one? In order to inspire our target audiences to take action, we need to clearly state who we are, what we do, and why we matter. In this session, using the Pixar Pitch method, we’ll boil your institutions’s story down to its essentials so you can develop an effective pitch or tagline. The rhyming pitch, the one-word pitch, the question pitch? Which is right for your school? Find out in this hands-on workshop.

Tracey Palmer
Palmer Communications

Tracey Palmer is an award-winning marketing and development communications professional with 20 years of experience. She’s helped all types of nonprofits and educational organizations tell their stories, raise more money, boost their brands, connect with their constituents, and inspire their communities. Before founding Palmer Communications, Tracey was senior university writer and magazine editor for Suffolk University in Boston; director of publications, public relations and advertising for Curry College in Milton, MA; and marketing associate for an international academic publisher. A highly rated workshop leader and writing coach, Tracey is passionate about helping people write better. A longtime faculty member and volunteer for CASE and AFP, she regularly presents workshops and serves on conference committees. Last year, CASE awarded her the Crystal Apple for outstanding teaching. Tracey is also the founder of Chicks Who Write—a 200-member professional networking group for women writers who freelance in greater Boston. Tracey has a bachelor's degree in American literature from The George Washington University and a master's degree in communication (PR and advertising) from Suffolk University. She also studied in the U.K. at the University of East Anglia.

The Art and Science of Coordinating Recruitment and Marketing Plans

Thursday 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm | The Providence Art Club

Does your school have an integrated recruitment and marketing plan outlining measurable goals and objectives? In these challenging times for independent schools, a solid written recruitment and marketing plan is intrinsically tied to enrollment growth and success. It is a roadmap that will help bring everyone on the same page about recruitment and marketing. So why not learn how to coordinate the efforts of admissions and marketing (even if it’s only you!) We’ll include a case study of how demographic and psycho-graphic research can influence marketing messaging. Learn about various formats, individual elements, how to engage your team and stakeholders, useful timelines and ultimately, communicating to the school leadership and your colleagues. Using your school as the sample, you’ll begin to formulate the elements and leave with a template to complete. This session is for new to intermediate level experience professionals.

Aline Rossiter
Director of Enrollment Management
The Ethel Walker School, Connecticut

Aline is a seasoned admissions professional with nearly 30 years experience in strategic enrollment management for colleges and independent schools, both boarding and day. This high-energy creative thinker has organized and executed strategic vision through integrated marketing, recruitment, and retention plans. A proven project manager, Aline believes in a team approach and collaboration with multiple constituencies to raise the profile of a school and consistently increase enrollment. Currently Ms.Rossiter is serving as Director of Enrollment Management The Ethel Walker School School in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Capital Campaigns: Where to Begin and How to Brand Successfully

Thursday 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm | The Providence Art Club

Rod will use the Pike School’s record-smashing $8 million campaign as a case study in how timely and strategic branding is key to making each stage of the campaign a success. 

Rod Boyer
Director of Advancement
Pike School

Rod Boyer is currently the Director of the Office of Advancement at Pike School in Andover, MA.  In this role, he has overseen steady growth of the annual fund, set fundraising strategy, professionalized the development office, and steered a successful three-year $7.55MM comprehensive campaign targeting endowment.  Prior to his tenure at Pike, Rod was Associate Director of Development at The Roxbury Latin School, where he was responsible for alumni affairs, planned giving, and major gifts.

Rod has spent over 20 years in independent schools, beginning his career as a classroom teacher in the humanities.  He has taught Latin, English, and history variously at the middle-school, secondary school, and college levels before turning his hand to f undraising.  He has earned degrees from Dickinson College and The Ohio State University.

Branding as a Team Sport

Thursday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm | The Providence Art Club

Equally valuable to heads of school, marketing/communications directors, admission directors, and development professionals, this session explores how branding is better with the buy-in and backing of essential team members. Effective leadership, purposeful collaboration, and a shared commitment will result in better branding at your school.

Bob Whelan
Head of School
Greens Farms Academy, Westport, CT

Bob Whelan is the Head of School at Greens Farms Academy, a PreKindergarten through Grade Twelve coeducational independent school serving over 710 students in Westport, Connecticut.  Previously, Bob served as the Head of School at Lake Forest Country Day School in Lake Forest Illinois, and the Associate Head of School at Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, New York where he served an administrator, teacher, and coach.  Prior to work in independent schools, Bob was the Director of the Parents Leadership Program at Brown University.  Bob holds a Master’s Degree in Education, Policy, and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Philosophy from Brown University.

Round Table Speed Sessions:

Thursday 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm | The Providence Art Club

When the music stops. Find a session! Go to the corresponding table! Begin!
(sessions are 20 minutes each. 4 possible sessions)

Topics include:
Branding on a Budget
Creative & Successful Ad Campaigns
WordPress Websites for schools
Meet Your New Marketing Team: Teachers and Grandparents
Pathway to a Great First Impression more exciting sessions will be announced

Full Engagement for Full Impact

Friday 9:30 am – 10:30 am | The Providence Art Club

This session will cover how to effectively create a comprehensive engagement plan that targets prospective students and families, donors, current students and families, faculty and staff, and community partners. Learn how to define mission-oriented and brand-strategic goals and to execute efficiently for big outcomes. Discover ways to stretch content across multiple channels and platforms. Already have a plan in place? Learn how to take things up a notch and reach new levels of engagement on even your tried and true mediums.

Erin Pihlaja
Head of Communications
Emma Willard School, New York

Erin oversees both the school’s internal communications and external outreach. Previously to Emma, Erin’s professional experience included managing communications and constituent services for downtown Troy; working as a multi-media journalist and content editor for numerous publications and media outlets; and owning a boutique production company that specialized in commercial photo and video production. Her professional portfolio includes clients such as Vanity Fair Italy, Nylon magazine, Time Warner Cable, Dodge Caliber, and Inside Out magazine, among others. She has won several awards for video production. From social media, to newsletters, to old-fashioned letter campaigns, to up-and-coming digital video trends Erin enjoys all things marketing, messaging and communications.

Katie Coakley
Assistant Director of Communications
for News & Social Media
Emma Willard School, New York

For over a decade Katie Coakley has developed and deployed clear, informative, and engaging communications for organizations ranging from engineering search, to cutting edge software, and nonprofits. At Emma Willard School she creates and implements strategies that appeal to audiences including current students and parents, alumnae, and prospective students. This includes creating a bi-weekly newsletter for over 1,500 constituents, being “the voice” of the school on social media, and generating printed materials that inform, engage, and inspire targeted audiences to apply, reenroll, stay connected with, or give back to the school.

Crisis Communications and Emergency Management

Friday 10:30 am – 12:00 pm | The Providence Art Club

Learn how to keep your brand intact when a crisis situation arises at your school. Whether the crisis is the result of a natural disaster, legal difficulty, or human tragedy, you might not be able to stop it from happening but you can prepare for it. Learn how with tips and guidelines that all schools can benefit from.
O’Neil and Associates

O’Neill and Associates offers comprehensive public affairs services including communications strategy, messaging and public relations, as well as government relations, community relations and relationship marketing. O’Neill and Associates helps companies build brands, communicate with government officials, find new business opportunities and survive crisis situations.

In today’s crowded marketplace, O’Neill and Associates helps companies stand out by communicating their unique strengths to the audiences they care about most. We solve business challenges through superior communication. Whether it’s creating grassroots support for an issue, influencing industry opinion leaders, communicating to the press and the digital and social media universe, or marketing a product or service to potential customers, O’Neill and Associates’ full range of public affairs services help clients reach their goals.

We help our clients be prepared for crisis situations,and we help guide them through serious challenges with expert communications counsel. O’Neill and Associates’ crisis and business continuity plans ensure that every angle of a potential crisis is addressed and that everyone on your team – from the receptionist to the CEO – is prepared to respond effectively.

Jeremy J. Crockford

Cosmo Macero Jr.
Senior Vice President

Laura Wareck
Vice President
Communications Division
Designates that session will be applied to your AISAP’s CAEP certification. Brand Together Conference has partnered with the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals to help fulfill your marketing and communications modules of your Certified Admission & Enrollment Management Program. The CAEP© distinction is the standard of excellence in the profession. To learn more about eligibility and enrollment, contact Janice Crampton at AISAP at 203-421-7051 or