The Sage Hill School has created an infographic as a marketing piece showing many of the different stats about the school’s history and performance. The Sage Hill Difference has been used as a printed handout, a 7-foot retractable banner, a PDF available for download and the JPG image file online. The design is used to educate and inform prospective families, parents, students and the general public.
I asked Torrey Olins, the Director of Communications and Marketing at Sage Hill, some questions about designing and using the infographic as a marketing tool:
Cool Infographics: What software applications were used to help analyze the data and create the design?
Torrey Olins: The piece was created using InDesign. The data was collected and analyzed through a combination of resources from Sage Hill School and our advertising firm, O’leary and Partners (www.adagency.com) The piece did not require any software for analysis of data.
Cool Infographics: Who designed the infographic?
Torrey Olins: The design of the infographic was a collaboration between myself O’leary and Partners. About six months ago, I came up with the idea of creating an infographic for the school’s marketing efforts in our fall 2012 admission season, and in fact, sent my account manager and her assistant links to coolinfographics.com for inspiration. We were unable to find any other high school that had created an infographic for marketing, so we ended up using elements from a variety of different sources. For example, the school history portion of the infographic was inspired by an infographic created to celebrate the history of a small city.
Because O’leary and Partners has been creating print and digital media for Sage Hill School for several years, they were able to apply our design look and feel (color palate, fonts, etc.) to this piece so that it integrates nicely with our other school communications, while also going in an entirely new direction. I did not want this piece to look like a “one off” and I was pleased that O’leary accomplished my goal of creating an infographic that maintains continuity with our brand.
Cool Infographics: Would you describe the different formats you published the infographic?
Torrey Olins: The infographic was published as an 8.5” x 25” folded print piece that we hand out to prospective students and parents at high school fairs, our Admission Open House and other campus events. We also have a jpg and pdf copy of the infographic on our website (www.sagehillschool.org) and have published it on our Facebook (www.facebook.com/sagehillschool) and Pinterest accounts (www.pinterest.com/sagehillschool). We also reproduced the infographic on two large (7’x3’) retractable banners that we can bring to off campus events or use around campus (we currently have one in our lobby for visitors to see while they are waiting for appointments.)
Cool Infographics: How has the use of the infographic and social media impacted your marketing and recruiting process?
Torrey Olins: Sage Hill School is Orange County, California’s premier independent, coed, nonsectarian high school. The school was founded in 2000 and currently enrolls 466 students in grades 9-12. Because Sage Hill School is located in a community that does not have as long of a history with independent schools as with the public school system, it is important for us to highlight the differentiators that make Sage Hill School the finest college preparatory option in our area. The infographic is an effective way to communicate the value of a Sage Hill education to the parent who is deciding whether to send a child to public school or pay tuition for Sage Hill School.
The infographic format met my needs for a fresh approach to demonstrate the achievements and differentiators of Sage Hill School to prospective families, as well as reinforcing the value of the school for our currently enrolled families. We are very excited that Sage Hill School is one of (or possibly the first) high schools to utilize the infographic format for marketing in the 2012-2013 admission season!
The recruiting season for independent schools typically begins in October and will last until admission decisions are announced and families sign contracts in the spring. Thus, it is quite early in the process and unfortunately, it is too soon for us to speak to increases in inquiries/ applications as a result of the infographic or other social media efforts.
Cool Infographics: What has been the reaction and feedback to the infographic?
Torrey Olins: Let’s face it, facts and stats about schools can be extremely dry. For families who are considering a variety of different high school options, numbers and figures tend to run together. Thus far, both current and prospective families have indicated that the information in the infographic is presented in a way that is interesting, fun and memorable.
As a school in our second decade, Sage Hill has established a reputation for innovation in our educational program; this year we are pleased to educate families about Sage Hill School through the use of an innovative communication tool. We are also excited that this piece has put Sage Hill School’s name out in the broader community as an institution that is eager to embrace new media, both inside and beyond the classroom. I have been contacted by a number of other independent schools who are interested in using this format for their marketing as well.
Thanks to Torrey for taking the time to share their process and reaction to using the infographic!