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Q: We are thinking of doing a five minute video to promote the school – stills, action sequences, voiceover (at least for the introduction and closure) with the opportunity to translate this with subtitles for the various overseas markets we recruit in.

We have a house ‘style’ and colours that would need replicating so that the video would look like our website work.

What ideas could you suggest?

Any idea of a ball-park figure for what this would cost?

Head Master
UK Public School

A: Promotional video for schools falls in a category all of its own, particularly a public school whose sales and profits depend on fairly wealthy parents making a substantial financial commitment to their child’s education, year on year.

The message has to be transmitted on a number of levels. Think of it as a multi-layered message.

On the obvious level, the school needs to show its facilities, such as the science labs, the sports fields, games, the music room and orchestra, and the classrooms for the various years catered for from nursery, pre-school, junior and senior schools, plus sixth form college, as well as ability-impaired and dyslexics, or attention deficit disorder children.

But a tour of facilities is not the reason why a parent would select a school.

It needs something more remarkable.

And this will come from the teaching staff and the children themselves.

Have a look at video samples on our Promotional Video for Schools page

It would be great to set up a dialogue, filmed on video, between the teachers and the pupils, all commenting on various aspects of the school and its community, while visibly demonstrating the quality of life they experience. Filming teacher-student opinions count for a lot.

At this level it’s possible to touch the hearts of parents, and make them feel the school is the “right place” for their child.

Topics for discussion can be almost anything, but quality of life, opinions on teachers, attitudes to achievement, attitudes to other pupils (bullying vs caring etc), all make lively discussion topics.

Extending this idea of levels further, there’s an academic achievement level that has to be shown.

Parents want to know where the school ranks, how many GCSE Grade A and C passes it gets, and so on.

And what prizes have the school won, eg maths challenges, poetry competitions, sports events, etc?

And last but not least, there are all the extracurricular and child development activities to consider.

With so much potential content, it would be easier to produce to make a 30 minute documentary than an 8 minute promotional video.

This is where professional script & shoot planning comes in.

The professional pre-production process will allow you to map out all your options in detail in advance, then whittle them down to must-have “winner content” that will help build a remarkable video message, compared to simply nice-to-know information that will be better served as part of the website or brochure text, or specific PR publications.

This is because the video is about winning the hearts and minds of web site visitors, and not necessarily describing every level of excellence the school achieves or aspires to.

Last but not least, the whole marketing video production needs editing, post producing, titling and packaging in the school’s corporate style.

Hopefully the above reply contains enough initial pointers for any head master planning a promotional video for a public school.

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