Here is the second part of our series on “How to raise brand awareness in Asia” . In the first part, we gave highlighted some characteristics of education in Asia. In this new article, we will discover PR and marketing tactics for western schools and universities to create buzz, build a brand and a customer base in China and in South East Asia in general.
Nowadays, schools and institutions are able to reach the global audience through websites, blogs and social media. For China market in particular, western schools can take the advantage of some unique trends in the Chinese social media. Create the campus buzz through any social media account and update the public with all the happenings related to your students. No matter it is arts festival, sports day, school production, guest lectures, overseas study trip, students’ community work or award winning achievements, buzz them out loud and selectively follow up with detailed stories on your website. Fill the message with videos, students’ images, works and reflections so the public can get a sneak peak of the students’ experience from the students’ eyes.
Education TV program
Besides the new media, educational fairs, TV programs introducing western institutions are common practices to target Asian audience. If the school has a campus in Asia, school open house, promotional talks, or even fund raising project or school carnivals are some of the great events to invite the public in.
Strategy: Student-centered Messaging
Although the setting and philosophy of western education are perceived to be different in front of Asian audience, ultimately education is all about bringing the best for the child, which is a universal belief and goal for all parents and schools from any culture, any background. Thus, communicating from the students’ perspective can bridge the gap between the east and west. Students are the center of teaching and learning and they are everything the parents care for. As a result, adopting the student-centered messaging will enable marketers to communicate directly and more effectively to the Asian parents. Here are some illustrations and examples of student-centered messaging:
Communication with Asian students
1.Design student-focused school corporate materials
Instead of flashing the school logo, motto or images of the school compound and facilities, try to enlarge students’ image and put them at the center of school webpage, brochure, flyers, posters or any school corporate materials. By creating the student-centered visual impact, it immediately invites your reader to get an insight view of the students’ life in the school, thus generate interests to every aspect their learning experience. Here are some examples of student-centered school website design:
Schools might have to communicate certain information from the perspective of school management, for instance, the school history, milestones, new strategies, policies or directions. However, for parents to choose a school or young adult to pick their future institution, the top concern is how the education can value add to their learning and growth in the near future. Student-centered messaging can communicate the process of empowerment from the students’ point of view. Consequently, corporate messages can be minimize to 20% or 30% for school promotion. Same principle applied when producing a student-centered school corporate video or school promotional video. Let the school video be a platform for the students to express their learning and experience. Here are some examples of student-centered school corporate videos:
2.Let the students be your best spoke person when drafting press release:
Always include the students’ view by highlighting their participation, experience, feelings and thoughts when drafting a press release. They are the best spoke persons since everything in school works around them. What skills do they learn from driving a project? How does the experience change their perceptions? What do they see beyond the win and lose after receiving awards and prizes? What are their roles in the school events, and how does the experience change their life in any way? Let them be your spoke person because everything in school is for the students and about the students.