We recently created a promotional video for a local school and in doing research before hand, I discovered that very few schools have a promo video. When our daughter was going into kindergarten we were grasping for any kind of information to make the right choice for our kiddo. Video is the quickest most effective way for schools to get their message out to prospective families. Parents want to see a video, hear it and feel it without spending a month touring schools.

How can you get your school seen by families looking for their perfect school? You could hire Story Lab Studios, of course! Or you can make a short 30 second to one minute video using your HD camera phone, then place the video on YouTube and on your school’s website. Just a quick introduction that shows off your campus, teachers, students and tells what makes you different from other schools.

Here’s how to give them what they want:

Step 1: Outline what you would most like to share with new families and highlight what makes your school special. Maybe you have a unique arts program or use high end technology or specialize in foreign languages. Maybe your school has small classes, giving a smaller student to teacher ratio. You know what “IT” is and “IT” is what people want to know.

Step 2: Write a simple narrative script (2 or 3 paragraphs) conveying the essence of your school. Use expressive words like Proud, Outstanding, ,Efficiency, Compassion, Synergy, Trusted, etc. You probably have literature on your website or school brochures to refer to for ideas. (if you do not want to write a narrative, you can always use text over the video to highlight your schools attributes).

Step 3: Create a “shot list” to capture everything that is in your narrative (if possible) and more. If you say “one on one mentoring” in your narrative, get a shot of that for the video. If you say “Students have personal Chrome Books” show a child on his or her Chrome Book. Your shot list should contain approx. 20+ planned shots, don’t forget to get the teachers, classrooms and campus. You will need around 60+ different shots and angles to choose from in editing, don’t worry you will probably have more by the days end.

Step 4: Coordinate a date for shooting with teachers and staff. You will likely be shooting throughout the entire school day to get everything you need. Make a schedule to get everything on your list. NOTE: most schools ask for a photo release for all students at the beginning of the year, make sure your school has done this and find out if there are any students who can not be on video.

Step 5: Roll Camera! Be sure to get close ups and wide shots. It is always more interesting to have movement, whether it is the camera that is moving or, if your camera is stationary, what you are shooting is moving. Also, remember to have fun with it, make people forget they are on camera!

Step 6: Editing and voice over. It seems obvious but when editing – go with the best! Choose pretty shots, smiling faces, good color, plenty of light, things in focus, etc. If you choose to go with a narrative script you can do voice over yourself or hire a professional on line for a nominal fee.

Creating your own promotional video for your school will take some effort but the results will be highly beneficial and everyone will love seeing it!

Now seriously, go make a video or hire someone to make it for you! There is a school out there for every family, and hundreds of families for every school. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could find each other?

Sachs Marketing explainer video