SA-NT Chapter e-Newsletter December 2018 - 4 December
President’s Message

President’s Message

A Good Time to Take Stock

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on progress and practice. For some, it will be a regretful reflection – we may not have achieved much of what we aspired to. For others, 2018 was a break out year in establishing reputations, kicking goals and building teams. As you consider what kind of a year it was for you, here some African proverbs to measure your progress against.

  1. “If you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go further, go together.” At the last Educate Plus Professional Development Seminar, I was reminded that teams engage in what they co-create. It was a great reminder that no matter how good an individual contributor, team players always amplify individual efforts. As we focus on moving forward, consider whether it is speed you are after, or distance.
  2. “In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.” I cannot imagine that any of us did not have a year that included twists or turns, or unreasonable deadlines, people or objectives. Each of those crisis moments offered a choice in how to respond. Did you put your walls up or did you reach out? You see when dams overflow, there is dreadful damage, but bridges are far easier to establish and repair.
  3. “What you help a person to love can be more important than what you help them learn.” In the education sector our efforts are multiplied through students, teacher and other stakeholders. They remind us daily that they don’t care how much we know, until they know how much we care. Those sentiments apply well outside of the lecture theatres and classrooms, and it is my sincere hope that in this past year, you were able to help someone to love something.
  4. “He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk.” Vision without execution is just hallucination, and that is particularly true of leadership. Who followed you this year? Our effectiveness is not determined by our aspirations or our good intentions, but by our influence and impact.

Now think back on what kind of year it has been. In light of these powerful proverbs, did you have a better or worse year than you thought?

I wanted to wrap up thanking a number of Educate Plus members who have volunteered countless hours of their time and expertise to help build our profession. A number of chapter committee members are stepping down. We appreciate their contribution and regret the loss of their many years of institutional knowledge. Thank you Peter Trenorden, Sue Giacobbe, Carmen Bishop, Karen Schaumloffel  and Dani Hohneck.

A very special thanks also to those that continue to serve on the Chapter Committee. With all of my best wishes for the summer break – you can smell it from here.

Abhra Bhattacharjee
SA/NT Chapter President

SA/NT Chapter Committee 2019

SA/NT Chapter Committee 2019

  • President:    Abhra Bhattacharjee
  • Vice President:   
  • Secretary:    Patrick Kelly
  • Treasurer:    Rebecca Foster
  • Committee Members:
    • Ross Scymgouer
    • Janine Atkinson
    • Ana Gozalo
    • Jill Janson
    • Sandra Mestros
    • Mon Saunders
    • Sue Spry; and
    • Sophie McAdam.
Your Point of Difference is Not Enough

Your Point of Difference is Not Enough

Questions to ponder in a customer empowered world.

Pauline Triggiani recently addressed the SA-NT Educate Plus Chapter hosted by News Corp Australia at Keith Murdoch House, Adelaide. Pauline is a recognised authority and facilitator, whose passion is people, and by extension, teams and organisations.

Pauline provided-evidence based information to support her presentation and showed her expertise in enabling the audience to become engaged and to share their own experience with their peers. This professional development session was warmly received. We will take Pauline’s expertise and enthusiasm back to our own development communities. We look forward to welcoming Pauline again to the SA-NT Chapter Conference in Adelaide, 29th & 30th August 2019.

If your current Point of Difference is not enough… what else do we need?

Historically speaking we live and work in the age of the customer where empowered buyers are demanding a new level of customer involvement and service. Pauline believes what people connect to is a purpose, not a product.

That synergy of purpose and values is the point of difference. Hence, the need to develop a Customer Centric Culture in our organisation.

Differentiating our organisation through our achievements or our product is no longer enough… We must explore their point of difference from a whole new perspective.

What is this new lens… how can we make a difference?

Pauline believes that ‘being Customer Centric, creating the right customer experience, is the only real differentiator for future sustainability and performance’. Evidence shows that having this mind-set and customer culture is essential to finding that point of difference.

In the education environment there is little to differentiate one from another and allow us to stand out from our competitors. It is often difficult to spot the difference. However, being Customer Centric is a mind-set that involves seeing our organisation in a new perspective, through a new lens.

Evidence shows that If we ask the question ‘Are we Customer Centric?’, 91% of leaders and organisations will answer ‘Yes’. However, only 10% of customers (parents and students in a schools’ environment) will agree. This is a challenging insight!

Pauline’s premise reflects the ideas of Simon Sinek who maintains that successful individuals and organisation are those who ask the question Why? – When we ask the question Why are we doing this? we move into the realm of humanity with concepts such as trust, loyalty and purpose.

Pauline supports the belief that aligning your sense of purpose with your customer and creating a customer culture is the only way to differentiate yourself in a world where we have little control over challenges such technology, social media and commoditisation. In an educational setting, we can relate this to enrolments, maintaining students and families, results and outcomes and even long-term loyalty from alumni. These all related to customer satisfaction and ongoing sustainability.

According to Pauline, asking the questions ‘Why are we doing this? and What is our purpose?’ we will find ways to support each other, learn from each other and work as a creative and collaborative team. After all, it is the humanity and sense of purpose that links your organization with your customer.

So how do we do it, where do we begin?

Collaborate with your peers to build an effective team. Break out of your own silo, question your ideas and listen to others. Demonstrate curiosity and creativity to implement change and make a difference. Above all, listen to your customers and your community. Be honest and questioning about how you and your team are aligned with your strategic plan. Are you on the same page in your thinking, your language and your behaviour?

Everyone wants to do great things but remember why are you doing it and who are you doing it for. Remember that what people connect to is a purpose, not a product. That synergy of purpose and shared values with your customers will become your point of difference to sustain your organisation into the future.

We look forward to hearing from Pauline again at the SA-NT Chapter Conference, where she will provide a deep-dive workshop on the disciplines of a Customer Centric Culture that will drive future performance and growth.

Article written with Priority People Consulting’s permission by:
Suzanne Moorhead
Writer for Education and Advancement

SA/NT Chapter Conference – 29 & 30 August 2019

SA/NT Chapter Conference – 29 & 30 August 2019

Registrations are now open

Exciting news – preparations are already underway for the 2019 SA/NT Chapter Conference at Adelaide Convention Centre. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills, network internationally with people who do the same work as you and develop your career!

The organising committee are very excited about this conference and are confident that attending delegates will be provided with the most current practices in alumni relations, fundraising, admissions, advancement services, marketing and communications to complement and take their current approaches to the next level.

The topics planned for the event are the result of the insight provided by our members in a recent survey. The program will have many new and exciting speakers, as well as familiar faces in the industry who will be presenting highly relevant topics in the ever-changing advancement landscape. Stay tuned for a complete list of speakers and more details.

Book now to take advantage of the early-bird rate!

  • Dates: Thursday 29th & Friday 30th August
  • Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre
  • Investment: Early bird rate valid until April 15th 2019
    • Member Delegates (2 days):              $432 +GST
    • Member Delegates (1 day):                $259.20 +GST
    • Non-Member Delegates (2 days)      $540 +GST
    • Non- Member Delegates (1 day)       $324 +GST


Ana Gozalo
2019 SA/NT Chapter Conference Chair

Committee Member in the Spotlight – Patrick Kelly

Committee Member in the Spotlight – Patrick Kelly

Meet one of your dedicated SA/NT Committee members – Patrick Kelly. Patrick is your committee’s Secretary and is the Director of Development & Community Relations at Blackfriars Priory School.

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you call it?

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

What do you like most about Educate Plus?

Knowing that there is a network of professionals out there that have a shared understanding of the important role we play in the life of our institutions and their willingness to openly share their ideas, problems, successes and failures to assist the growth of all of us in the field.

How has Educate Plus helped you in your career development?

The knowledge gained through both formal and informal channels – professional development and networking – has allowed me to work across all pillars of Educational Advancement, starting in Marketing & Communications, moving through to Fundraising and Alumni Relations, and more recently to Business Development and leading a fully integrated Development Office.

What is the most rewarding part of your role at Blackfriars?

The fact that it is my alma mater is very special. Having worked to serve the communities of a number of schools in my career, it’s extremely rewarding to work in the school community of which I, along with my family and friends, have been a part for 35 years. Helping my community grow and strengthen from the Development Office is fantastic.

How did you first learn about Educate Plus?

Soon after my first appointment to a school-based Marketing & Communications role in 2004 I found ADAPE online and registered for Discover Development in 2005. I still have my folder and notes!

Who would you like to be for a day?

My 16-year-old self. If I knew then what I know now…

Favourite movie?

The Natural

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Family. I am very lucky to have three beautiful daughters at home, who along with my wife and extended family, keep everything in perspective.

Who has had the biggest impact on your career thus far and why?

At each stage of my progression through Advancement, I have been fortunate to have had the support of institutional leaders with management styles that aligned perfectly with where I was at that time in my career. It’s therefore very difficult to single any one of them out. The most enduring of these leaders was Rob Thomas who helped recruit me back to the world of education in 2000 when he was Deputy Principal at St Columba College, then asked me tojoin him in establishing the Australian Technical College / St Patrick’s Technical College in 2006. It was fitting that his retirement at the end of 2017 coincided with the opportunity for me to return to Blackfriars.

Favourite travel spot?

Queenstown, New Zealand, is pretty hard to beat.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I worked overnight stocktake in a large hardware store a couple of times. I counted a lot of nails, screws, washers and measured our metres and metres of shade-cloth and weed-mat!!!

What are your three most overused words/phrases?

Going forward
Am also told I use the ‘thumbs up’ emoji a lot!

Welcome Aboard New Members for 2018

Welcome Aboard New Members for 2018

Simon Cobiac Principal Blackfriars Priory School
Rachel Elgar Marketing & Communications Officer Blackfriars Priory School
Jon Harmer Community Liaison Officer Blackfriars Priory School
Angela Honner Marketing & Communications Assistant Blackfriars Priory School
Gerard Leahy Business Manager Blackfriars Priory School
Joanna Rossi Registrar Blackfriars Priory School
David Ruggiero Deputy Principal Blackfriars Priory School
Sally Cranney Foundation & Events Coordinator Christian Brothers College
Tara Errity Director of Development Good Shepherd Lutheran College
Sarah Thornton Marketing & Communications Manager King’s Baptist Grammar School
Anna Fitzpatrick Director of Staff Loreto College, Marryatville
Franca Rossetto Enrolments Manager Loreto College, Marryatville
Brittany Warren Marketing & Digital Communications Officer Loreto College, Marryatville
Shannon Pavlic Admissions Administration Officer Scotch College, Adelaide
Carol Lee Registrar St Patrick’s Technical College
Anthony Marzullo General Manager Business Development St Patrick’s Technical College
Hayley Odgers Marketing & Communications Coordinator St Patrick’s Technical College
Paul Bailey Enterprise, Development & Foundation St Philip’s College
Kim Bateman Registrar St Philip’s College
Your brand – Where do you want it to be?

Your brand – Where do you want it to be?

Troy Jones and business partner Joe Brooks from JWB & Co, a creative and marketing agency working with educational institutions Australia wide, have been speaking to Educate Plus Chapters about developments in social media and digital marketing. They outlined some fascinating advances in this area which have changed the way we can engage with our communities. Best practice in blanket marketing has evolved dramatically, print and static advertising while a key part of the mix is on the decline. Social media and cutting edge strategies in utilising the paid functionality of the digital platforms can get the right message in front of the right people with immediacy. This brings new and exciting opportunities for communication and engagement.

How do we move our brand from where we are, to where we want to be?

The world has changed. Schools and Tertiary Institutions are now seen as businesses with brands, a concept mostly unheard of just 20 years ago. Branding is critical. A brand is what others think of your product or service and in this instance your institution. It is not what the institution thinks of itself. Sometimes the brand is based on reality, but more often it is based on gross stereotypes. So with that in mind, what does your audience think of your institution? This is critical information to obtain then communicate. This takes time, constancy and consistency.

The more that people know about your institution [messages to communicate] the stronger the brand is likely to be. So the questions are how do I communicate those messages and what do I communicate. Institutions and universities need to know who they are and what they stand for. They must give their audiences a compelling reason to buy as well as to stay!

How or where?

The how is to utilise avenues or in marketing speak, touch points, where your audiences eyeballs are like: online – social media, facebook and instagram, website, email – EDM, and more traditional methods like: direct mail, prospectus, print ads, bill boards to name a few.

Listen to what your audience wants to hear, not just what you want to tell them

You may decide to keep different styles of marketing and communication to suit the different demographics within your community; your prospective parents, parents of both young and older students, new graduates or older old scholars. See what works best for your organisation and find your niche. It’s all about communication targeted to the audience.

Be unique: An attractive student on the bus stop advertisement does not necessarily define your organisation.

What to communicate?

Firstly we need to get feedback from those who know about your institution and build your story/narrative out from there… both internal and if possible external. Robustly analyse opinions. Once you have worked out what your audience thinks of you then you need to create a positioning statement or differentiating idea. A positioning statement is the territory the institution wishes to own, but it is what the institution is known for already and is always authentic, different from your competition, what your audience values and compelling! From this you develop your messaging which underpins and pays homage to the positioning/differentiating idea. Think of this messaging as a book. The positioning as your title, each chapter a different message which relates back to the title. The story you want to tell is not going to be effective if you cannot prove it and as a brand are not doing it. Walk the talk. Awareness building pushing out to your audience of the messaging or chapters must link back to the over arching positioning idea or offer.

A notion that resonated was that of ‘concept pillars’, the authentic and real values of your organisation around which your brand must revolve. These pillars may include academia, sport or music, spiritual values, a sense of social responsibility, or the importance of alumni. These then become the content around which all messages are based. You should be clearly able to differentiate your institution or tertiary institution from the ‘noise’ of your competitors, who are probable saying similar things.

Once you know your brand, and the pillars which relate to it, you have the structure for all your marketing, (including digital marketing). Talk consistently, repetitively and clearly to these pillars. Work with creative people to tell a story that matches your pillars. Use your students or alumni to engage and inspire your audience. Broaden your base, don’t just talk to the drama parents or the old scholars, provide multiple options for different segments of the community. Listen and work with what people want to hear. They will then share and spread the word through their social networks.

Knowing your brand and content pillars is a great place to be, but your marketing needs structure, planning and investment.

Many of our institutions have excellent websites. The first and most important step is getting people to your website, but how do you then link it through social media platforms to reach a much broader and targeted audience? We are all time-poor in the Advancement community, but there are ways of maximising your investment and your time to get better results. Google analytics will give us a number and a location, but who are these people and what are their values and interests? How can we know who they are? Tools are now available which were unheard of 10 years ago, but not many institutions are doing anything in this area.

How do we not get left behind, but more importantly, how do we rise to a level beyond the rest?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

You can pay to increase your visibility and thus gain traffic to your website. SEM is a way to create and edit a website so that search engines rank it higher than other competitors’ pages. When a prospective parent enters ‘best institution in Adelaide’ in their search engine, you need SEM to push your institution to the top of the page. This is essential since evidence shows that when people search online, most do not go to the second page. Most institutions are paying zero dollars on SEM, a lost opportunity. You can go to the top of the page!

Search Engine Optimisation(SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation is about getting the search engine (on your behalf) to work out which institution the viewer wants to see, and then to point to you. SEO is free and uses the process of getting traffic through other ‘organic’ or ‘editorial’ search engines. Google and the other search engines use an algorithm involving hundreds of rules to work this out. No one knows the rules and the rules change every week. Ongoing research and time is needed to keep on top of the game, and it needs to be done on a weekly basis to avoid being left behind.

SEO audits are available through external providers who can deliver detailed information from an outside point of view. This can be a valuable tool for your team, as numbers and charts will clarify their thinking and see what is needed for your institution or organisation to outshine the rest.

Paid advertising can target a specific audience at a specific location or time around the world.

Digital Advertising

Whilst print advertising, static signage, radio and television advertising is declining, digital advertising expenditure has doubled worldwide in the last two years. Yet despite this trend, 80% of institutions are currently spending nothing in this arena. Digital advertising allows marketers to reach their core audience in new ways with more precision. Paid functionality is an essential feature of digital advertising, and is a growing opportunity for institutions to grasp. This is achieved through ‘tracking pixels’. It can track what a person has been looking at on a search engine and then transfer it to another social media platform. For example, you look at a pair of shoes on an online site, then open your Facebook page…and there they are! The information is interchangeable.

You can put tracking pixels on your website, perhaps on the Early Learning Centre page, the Boarding House page or the Alumni reunions page. With those details, with the right help, you can get the right content onto their Facebook page, regardless of whether they follow you or not. You too can engage this strategy and make your dollar work more for you. This technology is just the tip of the iceberg! Another level of marketing and engagement!

It’s all about your audience.


Email addresses are the most powerful tool available to us as marketers. We all have these email lists from an Open Day, Enrolment Tour, Country Field Day or International Marketing Exhibition. Emails can be used to connect your organisation to a person’s own personal Facebook page, and to all their Facebook friends! This is called Retargeting.

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand at front of mind, even after the viewer leaves your website. You don’t know who these people are, you just know their email contact. You are then putting your information in front of them in a social media setting.

This raises an interesting question for institutions and universities, and some may challenge the ethics and privacy issues of this approach. However, what we are really saying is ‘We are following up on interest you have had in our website, so here is some information about our institution for you to consider’. Important here, is gentle, subtle messages that gather attention.. not force it.

For most websites only 2% of web traffic converts to a response on the first visit, and it takes around 8 brushes with a message to get a proactive response. Retargeting or remarketing is a great ‘follow-up’ tool and one of the approaches to get the right information in front of the right person. It can be a useful tool for managing enrolment waiting lists and keeping the message fresh.

Lookalike audiences

This is another example of paid advertising which reaches new people who are likely to be interested in your organisation since they have similar values, interests and behaviours to your current parents or alumni, those who are already familiar with, and like your brand. Facebook’s lookalike audiences tool is effective in reaching a broad, ideal target audience through identifying key similarities and predicting what sort of messages they will be most receptive to. Lookalike audiences are an amazing new way to link with future potential customers.

Again, in a time poor Advancement environment you may need professional help in putting this strategy in place.

Marketing is all about communication. What do people want?

Marketing, in whatever form, is all about communicating and engaging with your audience. The message needs to follow the content pillars and fit your brand in an authentic way. Build a number or short stories around your content pillars to address different interests. Create a framework using your students, staff, parents or alumni. Make your story short, catchy and creative with a definite and memorable ‘aha’ moment. Remember, don’t leave the punch line until the end and make your message inspiring, engaging and warm. Make it worthwhile, and the beginning of an ongoing conversion that your audience wants to return to.

Marketing has become a science. Embrace the tools available to take your organisation to the next level, a level beyond the rest.


This article is an account of the JWB & Co, Educate Plus PD sessions.
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