Former Headmaster Bert Hudnall liked to tell parents “if you can only send your child to North Cross School for four years, give us the first four.” That statement speaks volumes about the importance of early childhood education and the foundation it establishes for life-long learning. I've also found that when parents witness firsthand the rapid development of their children in a supportive independent school setting, they are more likely to appreciate the value of continuing that development well beyond the first four years. We are launching a new marketing campaign with the theme “More Happens Here” to increase awareness of the many great things taking place in our classrooms and on our campus every day, and to communicate the value of a North Cross education. Let me explain the rationale behind our approach and our plan as we move forward.
Our Development and Admission offices have spent the last few months putting together a marketing campaign to communicate this difference to the Roanoke Valley. They spent time with our lower school faculty in small focus groups to learn more about what makes each grade special, discussed our overall strengths and challenges, researched quantitative data, developed messaging, and put a media plan together that would maximize our budget.
The marketing group found that the most common thread in the classroom is that our teachers and students do more each year. To that end, they developed a theme of “More Happens Here” to utilize in our lower school and school-wide marketing efforts. The theme reinforces the reality of what we offer in our classrooms, in the arts, and on the athletic field. This message will be supported by a combination of banner messages like “Achieve more” to communicate our competitive academics; “Explore more” for our world language and Global Studies programming; “Compete more” to highlight our 29 athletic teams in 13 sports, “Create more” for our arts offerings; and “Communicate more” to explain our strong progression of research, writing, and presentation projects that take students from the Dinosaur program in first grade to making a polished DeHart Project presentation as a senior.
Over the coming weeks you will see our “More Happens Here” message in a variety of local media. While many of these placements will be directed to potential lower school families, we have included a number of placements that address the entire North Cross experience. We have placed ads on Facebook; on roanoke.com; on the preview screens at the Grandin Theatre; in publications like the South Roanoke Circle and Growing Up in the Valley; we will include broadcast on WVTF, our local NPR affiliate; and will be sending a direct mail campaign (in photo) to 2,500 targeted households in the Roanoke Valley. The communications are designed to drive the audience to a page on our website that uses a mix of info-graphics, photos, and text to communicate some of the details that support our “More Happens Here” message. While the overall message appears to be broad, having the specifics on our website allows us to update frequently and easily as we gather more information to communicate in our marketing efforts.
We are excited to have a comprehensive campaign that communicates what makes a North Cross School education the best option for many students in the Roanoke Valley. I hope you will take the time to visit our “More Happens Here” page atwww.northcross.org/more and help us share the message with families in the Roanoke Valley who are interested in a school where more happens every day.