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BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning



BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning

Eric Sheninger, Trish Rubin

ISBN: 978-1-119-24457-8 March 2017 Jossey-Bass 320 Pages


Praise for BrandED

"A great resource for educators who want to strengthen their connections with students, teachers, parents, and the wider community. These two innovative leaders don't just capture how to tell the story of a school—they show how to create it."
—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

"Every day in every one of your schools, great things happen. How does your community know? Schools that are Future Ready boldly engage their community to build relationships and empower both students and families. Powerful yet practical, BrandED is the perfect resource to help your school share its story with the world."
—Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation, Future Ready Schools

"Eric and Trish demystify what it means to brand one's school by providing eight compelling conversations that not only lead to a deeper understanding of branding, but provide relevant ways for school leaders to frame their work… . In the vast sea of information in which we currently reside, using the BrandED Leadership methods described in this book will help school leaders reach their audiences in ways that create trusting relationships and loyalty."
—Dwight Carter, Principal, New Albany High School

"Disruption is the new normal. And the great disruptors of our time are shaping the culture itself in innovative ways. Eric and Trish's book BrandED sends a very compelling message to school leaders that developing and executing a smart, innovative brand strategy can disrupt the best practices' conventions of the existing school system. Like great disruptive brands from Apple to Uber, educators now have the ability to get the community engaged and immersed in the school's brand equity—and BrandED provides the roadmap for getting there."
—Scott Kerr, Executive Director of Strategy and Insights, Time Inc.

A brand is built around three key elements: image, promise, and result. The power of a brand to communicate all three elements is undeniable, and in today's digitally connected, social society, schools and school districts have a lot to gain by developing and promoting their own brand identities. BrandED is the groundbreaking guidebook for educators who want to enhance communication with students, parents, and stakeholders to create a transparent record of value.

You know great achievements happen at your school. Unfortunately, many of those stories stop at the school doors. This hands-on guide from two rising stars in the education field, Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin, empowers educators at all levels to take control of how the mission, values, and vision of their schools is communicated. An engaging collection of transformative conversations lead you to discover the opportunities and benefits of designing a brand for your school and sustaining a BrandED community to evangelize it. Even if you have no marketing experience, the easy-to-use framework takes you step by step through the nuances of spreading good news about your school and building relationships around those actions. Timesaving, practical advice prepares you to begin innovating at your school right away, and convenient tips and reflections at the end of each chapter make it easy to integrate the BrandED mindset and practices into your everyday routine. Become a driving force behind your school getting the recognition it deserves by:

  • Branding yourself as your school's storyteller-in-chief and amplifier through a variety of traditional and digital tools and platforms
  • Improving relationships with key stakeholders, developing strategic partnerships, and attracting more resources and opportunities
  • Fostering a positive culture extending and influencing beyond the school grounds

BrandED is your one-stop resource for designing and sustaining your individual brand as a leader and the brand of your school or district. Join the conversation on Twitter using #brandEDU.

About the Authors xv

Introduction: Our BrandED Short Story 1

Eric’s Path 1

Trish’s Path 4

“The Brandality Modality” 6

Welcome to the BrandED Conversation 9

Conversation 1: From Brand to BrandED 11

Part One: In Brand We Trust 12

Part Two: BrandED Matters to Today’s School Leaders 33

Part Three: BrandED Unifies a School Improvement Plan 42

Conversation 1 Tips 58

Conversation 1 Reflections 59

Conversation 2: In the Zone for BrandED Innovation 61

Part One: The Psychology of BrandED Innovation 63

Part Two: Tools to Inspire BrandED Innovation 79

Part Three: BrandED Reputation Management 89

Conversation 2 Tips 93

Conversation 2 Reflections 94

Conversation 3: Developing a BrandED Leadership Presence 97

Part One: A “Personal Professional” BrandED You 98

Part Two: Be the BrandED Storyteller-in-Chief 113

Part Three: The BrandED Leader as “Edupreneur” 132

Conversation 3 Tips 136

Conversation 3 Reflections 137

Conversation 4: Developing Your BrandED Strategic Plan 139

Part One: The BrandED Drivers 140

Part Two: Your BrandED Strategic Plan 160

Part Three: BrandED Stakeholder Relationship Management 161

Conversation 4 Tips 165

Conversation 4 Reflections 165

Conversation 5: Sustaining BrandED Innovation 167

Part One: Invest in BrandED Leadership 168

Part Two: The Trend-Setting Stance of a BrandED leader 175

Part Three: The BrandED Competitive Advantage 180

Conversation 5 Tips 192

Conversation 5 Reflections 192

Conversation 6: Communicating With BrandED Leadership Tools 193

Part One: The BrandED Payoff of Distributed Leadership 194

Part Two: Press, Networking, Digital Presence, and Thought Leadership 197

Part Three: The Law of BrandED Attraction 210

Conversation 6 Tips 215

Conversation 6 Reflections 216

Conversation 7: Keeping Up With the Digital Joneses 217

Part One: Disruptive Digital Behavior That Innovates Schools 218

Part Two: BrandED Partners in a Digital World 225

Part Three: Connecting With Parents on the Digital Playground 230

Conversation 7 Tips 232

Conversation 7 Reflections 233

Conversation 8: Return on Investment in the BrandED School Community 235

Part One: Be the BrandED Relationship Steward 236

Part Two: Local to Global BrandED Investment 240

Part Three: Sustain a BrandED Community Through Return on Relationship 245

Conversation 8 Tips 250

Conversation 8 Reflections 250

Appendix A: Developing a Mission Statement 253

Appendix B: Crafting Positioning Statements 255

Appendix C: Stewardship Model of BrandED Development 256

Appendix D: Suggested BrandED Digital Tools 258

Appendix E: Media Advisory Template 262

Appendix F: A BrandED Leadership Timeline 264

Appendix G: Online Marketing and Brand Resources for Educator BrandED Adaptation 267

Glossary 269

References 275

Acknowledgments 285

Index 287