Achieving balance

The drumbeat is getting a bit louder with every school research project we undertake: Don’t forget to tout achievements other than athletics.

We hear it from districts, where the academics are clearly more of the story than what takes place on the field of competition, and also from districts that have cases full of trophies. Patrons want to know that their schools are succeeding with students who have varied interests and abilities.

One way to check your district on this issue is to ask each school to do an audit of what they promoted during the 2011-2012 school year. This “promotion” can be via voicemail, e-mail, and even the morning announcements. How many times (roughly) was the message about a sports team accomplishment versus anything else (not counting fundraising pitches)? If it looks out of balance to you, it probably is.

A great way to bring things back in line is to find opportunities to promote typically lower profile clubs and activities. News about projects undertaken, programs being started and groups being organized are just as valuable to building your “well-rounded” brand story, as are championships being won.