Integrated Marketing for Richfield Public Schools
Despite a long history and a strong sense of community, Richfield Public Schools had never engaged in a districtwide branding process. Each school had its own mascot and a rather complex district logo looked dated and tried to communicate too much. For a district often referred to by realtors as “an up and coming community for young families,” the district brand needed to inspire confidence. Richfield Public Schools engaged CEL as their school district marketing agency to lead the rebranding process and integrated marketing communications.
NSPRA Golden Achievement Award
Stakeholder engagement is key to CEL’s branding process. Originally contracted as a partner, CEL was to facilitate four meetings with key stakeholder groups and design a new logo and brand assets to unify the schools, define brand promises and key messages, and leave the district with a brand style guide and suggested roll-out plan. Mid-project, when the district’s communications director transitioned, the project-scope expanded to include more than a dozen community meetings, online feedback tools and webinars to engage stakeholders. Richfield also turned to CEL to fill interim communications needs for the district.
Focused on enriching and accelerating learning, Richfield’s brand promises communicate high expectations for students, staff, parents, and community members. In Richfield Public Schools, you will find real community – rich in diversity and relationships; personalized learning; rich opportunities; and innovation in action. A custom-designed Richfield logo and brand assets communicate a modern and inclusive community. The brand roll-out included storytelling; an Op-Ed in the local paper; a brand guide; digital assets shared widely through the district’s Google Suite; updated website, social media and stationery; an online apparel store; and a welcome back video, which quickly became the district’s most shared social media post.
"From facilitating listening sessions and engaging different perspectives from our community, CEL made it happen. They helped us to develop priorities and roll-out the extensive list of brand items in a strategic way."
– STEVEN UNOWSKY, SUPERINTENDENT
Website Design & Content Migration
Website Content Management System powered by Finalsite
Richfield Public Schools is a multilingual, progressive community that attracts young families. The district needed a mobile-first website that would support storytelling and be easy to maintain in multiple languages. Sharing content from the district site across multiple school sites was critically important for their one-person communication office.
CEL led the district through a website redesign and content migration. Our six-step MissionIgnition™ process engaged a variety of stakeholders in setting project goals, content assessment, site mapping and design feedback. When the global pandemic hit mid-project, the CEL team worked behind the scenes to keep things moving, migrate content and launch the site on time.
- Mobile-first design.
- Shared content — from news items to policies and handbooks, the site is designed with a create once, publish everywhere mentality.
- School district marketing focus for all content.
- The entire site is multilingual and easily changes the content to one of three languages that are translated authentically (i.e. not Google Translate).
- The Academics page is aligned with integration communication goals, promoting high expectations for academic achievement for all students.
- Advanced search, Find it Fast icons, and the main menu open together to encourage the use of the search functionality to easily locate relevant content.
- A vibrant, photo-filled enrollment page walks school shoppers through their information-gathering experience.
- Micropermissions allow school content managers access to only the areas they need to change.
- The athletic/activities area is fully integrated with the athletic conference scheduling system, so updates are automated and school staff update content in only one location.
- As its school marketing agency, CEL knows the importance of an online style guide to protect the brand, while easily sharing assets with internal and external partners and vendors.
- ADA compliance and search engine optimization are built into every page of the site which now has clear brand authority.
Interim Communications Director
When the district’s communications director resigned in April, CEL, a school marketing agency, stepped in to create an emotional connection to the brand and to support the district through the busy summer months. Completing the branding project was followed by a brand roll-out plan, summer publications, social media, and media relations. CEL also consulted on the recruitment and selection process to hire a new (Rockstar) communications director.
- Brand Style Guide and Brand Toolkit for all district employees and vendors.
- More than 336 logo files available for employee and vendor use (e.g. horizontal and stacked lock-ups; .eps, .jpg, .png files; one-color, two-color, four-color and reversed).
- Website news items, stakeholders announcements of the new brand assets and promises.
- Partnering with Captivate Media, CEL scripted a brand roll-out video (see next) with engaged students and families.
- Updated and maintained all social media accounts.
- Branded apparel and welcome back swag for all staff.
- Sample athletic team mock-ups, design files and online spirit-wear store.
- Design and copywriting for City-School District Calendar, district newsletter, business cards, district name tags
- Google Suite and Office templates for letterhead, slide decks, and message cards
- Collaborated with architects for interior and exterior environmental signage for architects and facilities projects.
- Created and implemented a strategic social media campaign for back to school.
- Digital assets: banner templates, social media frames, email headers and signatures.
- Letter to the editor, news release, trade show tablecloths, outreach to youth associations and community groups.
- Updated external review sites, local media, state high school league, third party technology systems.
- Homecoming t-shirt and signage designs with the new school mascot.