AMCIS, the association for school marketing and communications professionals, has announced the six winning schools in this year’s IMPACT Awards.
The IMPACT Awards celebrate the work of admissions, marketing and communications teams in AMCIS member schools by rewarding campaigns which have made a significant impact on schools and their communities.
There are six categories, and entries must demonstrate the way in which an initiative has made a measurable difference to their school.
The winners were announced at a special ceremony, hosted by Paralympic athlete and international speaker, Danny Crates. Although the IMPACT Awards themselves are now in their third year, this was the first event of its kind due to the pandemic.
AMCIS chair Oli Adams – director of communications, admissions and development at Brentwood School – said:
“AMCIS supports its members in many ways. Through the IMPACT Awards, we hope to shine a spotlight on the significant expertise that exists in admissions, marketing and communications throughout the independent school sector. This year’s entries have surpassed our expectations with some outstandingly creative and progressive initiatives.”
The 2022 AMCIS IMPACT Award winners were selected from a shortlist of five schools in each category. They are:
Scarborough College won the Admissions Initiative category for their innovative Friday’s For You (‘F4U’) initiative.
The judges said: “The admissions team at Scarborough College recognised the need to change their approach to traditional open days and their “people centred” F4U campaign is an impressive initiative to address the issue. The campaign is a great example of an admissions and marketing team working in harmony with the resulting success not only having a positive impact on pupil recruitment but on the school community as a whole.”
Tonbridge School won the Branding category for their impressive Only Connect brand which draws on the phrase made famous by their former alumnus, the novelist EM Forster.
The judges said: “With ‘Only Connect’, Tonbridge has created an exceptional brand. It neatly encapsulates a very clear and exciting identity and has also succeeded (a rare feat!) in making sense of the contrasting strengths inherent in any school’s provision.
“The execution of the creative, and the realisation of the visual identity, is of outstanding quality. The involvement of the whole school community indicates the school’s understanding of the importance of building an authentic brand, and the resulting impact, as measured by an increase in visits, demonstrates just how exciting and effective this brand is.”
Royal Hospital School won the Communications category for their RHS Made Me campaign.
The judges said: “Royal Hospital School undertook a comprehensive communications campaign which was creative, highly engaging, and used a wide range of media (such as outdoor and press advertising, significant free editorial, podcasting, events, and organic social media). Initially focusing on the diverse achievements of alumnae, their campaign to boost awareness, and ultimately applications, demonstrated both proficiency across multiple media – including significant editorial coverage in local and national titles – and an impressive impact in terms of the percentage rise in reach, viewing figures and pupil registrations. They also demonstrated an ability to engage the entire school community in the ongoing use of their campaign hashtag, #RHSmademe.”
Minerva’s Virtual Academy won the Digital category for their campaign which took the Academy from 0 to 100+ pupils in less than a year.
The judges said: “Minerva’s Virtual Academy have clearly had a very new idea, during a difficult trading year, taken a risk and seen an excellent return on investment – over 100 new pupils in less than a year. They have not only used digital marketing channels very effectively, but they have made a real impact teaching pupils digitally too. Having started from scratch and delivered such fantastic results and with a very ambitious 2023 growth model, Minerva’s Virtual Academy are deserved winners of the Digital IMPACT Award.”
The King’s School, Gloucester won the Partnership/Outreach category for their work as a partner within the Gloucester Holiday Activities and Food Programme.
The judges said: “The King’s School identified a genuine need for school holiday food and activities and supported the Gloucester Holiday Activities and Food programme, preparing and cooking thousands of meals and hosting a Christmas party for disadvantaged children including gifts donated by King’s families. This demonstrates the power of working together across schools and communities to be good neighbours, helping those in need.
“This was a multi-agency partnership with White City which brought the school’s pupils, staff and parents together with different agencies across the community to achieve something impactful and eye-catching that really made a difference.”
Ipswich Prep School won the Small Budget category for their campaign Hidden Gem – putting Ipswich Prep School on the relocation map.
The judges said: “Ipswich Prep School spent just over £300 on a campaign which delivered a 76% increase in new pupils. They achieved this by using targeted digital advertising with engaging imagery and a call to action, as well as location specific information which attracted a new set of parents. This campaign is testament to the power of digital marketing and the IMPACT that can be seen, even on the tiniest of budgets.”