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Getting at the Heart Marketing & Communications Retreat
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When: 5/8/2017
Where: Bon Secours Retreat Center
1525 Marriottsville Road
Marriottsville, Maryland  21104
United States

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THE AIMS Marketing and Communications Committee has put together a day of expert advice, hands-on workshops and sharing sessions designed to help member schools get to the heart of their schools' message. We'll start the day with a game-based brand-clarity activity and then learn from keynote speakers Liza Fisher Norman and Rob Norman, creators of InspirED and the School Marketers Brilliance Awards. In the afternoon, we will offer a variety of breakouts as well as some round-table discussions.

Agenda (View a printable flyer for the event here)

8:30-9:30am    Hot Breakfast and Check In
9:30-10:00:      Brand-Clarity Scattegories with Lisa Bond, The Cambridge School   
10:00-12:00:    What Schools Can Learn from Brilliance Awards Winners with Liza Fisher Norman and Rob Norman,
                          InspireEd, including a look at AIMS school sites in comparison 
12:00-1:00:       Hot Lunch         
1:00-2:00           Breakouts--Choices below

Best Practices in Digital Engagement for Schools
With Rob DiMartino, Finalsite
Looking for “digital engagement” with your school’s community through the life cycle of their digital journey? Use the latest in web trends from responsive design to make it mobile-friendly, emphasize inspiration over information in landing pages, and provide valuable content for all constituents to drive engagement. Where appropriate, school leaders should also leverage their personal followings to benefit institutional goals in admissions and advancement. Join Rob DiMartino, a founding member of Finalsite, for this information-driven session on digital engagement for schools.


Appreciative Inquiry: Your Roadmap to Branding and Mission Alignment
With Jill Goodman, The GreenMount School

Admissions tells the story of your school; teachers generate energy; parents see engaged children; and students experience it all. But, are you doing, experiencing, and sharing the same story? Any disconnect can create a PR disaster. We sought answers from an outside consultant, but the quote was budget-busting. The solution that worked for our small school: Appreciative Inquiry.

We researched the practice widely and made a plan. Using individual interviews and focus groups, 70% of the school community was interviewed. What we found was affirming, interesting, and in some cases, disturbing. The findings led to programmatic changes and have informed all aspects of our marketing and branding, from internal communications to social media to print.

We offer a low-cost solution that will bring your school’s greatest strengths and most pressing opportunities into brilliant clarity, so you can find the best way forward.

2:00-3:00pm      Breakouts--Choices below

Managing Projects
with Tina Balfour, Change Management Consultant
This presentation will review best practices in managing projects, common pitfalls to avoid, and useful tools to help with project planning and execution.


Strategies for Using Social Media to Recruit and Retain Students
with Trevor Waddington, Green Acres School
What are the different platforms? What is and is not working for YOU? What is your platform personality? How do you gauge social media success? What is on the horizon? We’ll look at all of these questions and share answers together.

3:00-4:00:         Roundtables: Social Media Crisis, Internal Web sites and Brand Clarity, New Event Ideas, Creating Style Guidelines, Data collection for Marketing                             Professionals, Decision Making Trees


The tranquil and refreshing retreat center is located at 1525 Marriottsville Road, in Marriottsville, Maryland. You can view photos of the grounds, including the labyrinth, pool and trails here: You can learn more about our keynote speakers here:


Cost: $125 per AIMS Member
Registration Deadline April 27th, 2017 (No Refunds after this date)
$175 NonAIMS Member

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