Schools lease minibuses in order to get their students from one place to another – that goes without saying.
But it is sometimes easy to forget that the minibus will always be available to play a second part in the school’s life – that of publicity.
The most obvious element in this is the fact that it is possible to put the school’s name and logo on the sides of the bus. If the bus looks clean, modern and smart (as of course it will if you lease a minibus) then whenever and wherever the bus is seen in your neighbourhood, it is an advert for the school.
Quite simply it says, “this school has a quality minibus”. (It says “quality” because many people equate quality with cleanliness. They shouldn’t do, but they do).
However that is only the start. Having got your minibus on the road, the next thing you should ensure you do is have a picture of it (with students in it, waving out of the windows) and put that in the prospectus.
On your website there is the opportunity to have several pictures of the minibus in use.
What these pictures say is, “This school is adventurous. This school has activities beyond the classroom. This school lays on extra-curricula activities.” Of course it is just a picture of a minibus with students in it, but still it does carry all these messages.
If the picture clearly shows the bus with the school’s crest and name on the side, so much the better.
Next, in both the printed prospectus and on the website you can put further information concerning the use of the bus, the clubs and lessons that benefit from it, and so forth.
All of this differentiates your school not just from the school that doesn’t have a minibus, but from the schools that have a minibus but don’t make much out of the fact.
In short, all you have to do is four things.
- Keep the bus clean, so when it is seen out and about it is a credit to your school.
- Put the logo and name on the bus, so everyone can recognise the school from the bus.
- Take pictures of the bus with students looking cheerful.
- Use the pictures on your web site and in the prospectus
And then, having done all that, you move on to the next stage, which involves having the bus parked in a prominent position on open days and parents evenings, so it can be seen, send press releases to the local paper each time the bus is used for a particular special activity, and mention the bus when prospective parents are being shown round the school.
In short, your bus becomes a primary marketing tool for the school.