While the core media relations program centers on local and regional audiences, BG saw an opportunity to insert Shipley into the national dialogue around the pressing issue of youth concussions. In a groundbreaking move, Shipley banned heading in their Middle School soccer program—a decision that would position them as a national leader in the effort to reduce head injuries and put the school at the forefront of a global movement to enhance the safety and health of young athletes. By leveraging this timely announcement, BG secured coverage for Shipley in top-tier print, radio, online and broadcast outlets.
This announcement not only propelled Shipley onto the global stage, it also paved the way for national consumer and industry reporters proactively calling upon the school to provide expert comments for news stories. Shipley has been featured in dozens of top-tier media including NBC Nightly News, Fortune Magazine, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Parents Magazine, Yahoo! Sports, About.com and Sports Illustrated. The combined efforts of the integrated communications and admissions teams resulted in record admission for the 2014-2015 academic year.
With Shipley’s new brand in place, BG’s public relations team was tasked with bringing this re-energized messaging strategy to life through storytelling, as a means of increasing awareness of Shipley in the Greater Philadelphia area, filling the pipeline with qualified prospective students and parents, and increasing overall student yield.
Through a program focused on media relations, thought leadership, and community outreach, Shipley enjoys a consistent stream of positive coverage in local, regional, and national media. As a result, we’re placing stories directly in the hands of the school’s target audiences—stories that are rife with Shipley’s key brand messages, highlight the breadth of experience and expertise of Shipley’s leadership team, and demonstrate the school’s the value proposition.
A deeply rooted love of learning starts at a very early age. That’s why getting prospective parents on board with the Shipley Method is perhaps most important at the Lower School level. To make Shipley’s message memorable, we turned it into a story about a map and the journey towards readiness. We used colorful cut paper illustrations and copy that was both engaging and credentialing to take parents through the strong educational foundation their children could receive. And we took it one step further by including an interactive activity map for students, meant to engage and inspire them at all Lower School age levels.
The Shipley School is situated in one of the most competitive archipelagos of selective private schools in the nation. Shipley in particular suffered from a reputation as being the “softer,” “artsier” school. Ironically, these very qualities—the freedom to explore, creativity in all pursuits, backed by classical rigor—led to the kind of deeply rooted education preferred by selective universities and employers. Our job was to embed this essence in a brand that assured parents as powerfully as it inspired their kids.