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Branding and Marketing Advisors to Independent Schools


Turnaround Marketing Communications' goal is to make your school known for what it wants to be known for, help your school attract the qualified students you want, motivate the donors you need, and make connections with the alumnae/i you want to reach.

Sensitive to your needs and constraints, we work diligently to deliver marketing solutions that exceed your expectations.

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Branding and Marketing Advisors to Independent Schools


Turnaround Marketing Communications' goal is to make your school known for what it wants to be known for, help your school attract the qualified students you want, motivate the donors you need, and make connections with the alumnae/i you want to reach.

Sensitive to your needs and constraints, we work diligently to deliver marketing solutions that exceed your expectations.

Turnaround Marketing Communications is an award-winning consulting firm with two decades of experience in independent school branding and marketing for over 85 institutions including K-12, K-8, 9-12, coed, single sex, boarding and day, as well as faith-based and non-sectarian schools. 

We know independent schools well, and work diligently to understand each individual school in particular. We look at every school with fresh eyes and assume nothing. Turnaround holds a mirror up to our clients, and offers creative solutions to unique challenges. Our goal is to position schools in their best possible light—showcasing their strengths, elevating their image both to internal and external audiences, and delivering results.

Get to know TMC Principals Rob Norman and Liza Fisher Norman quickly in this SchneiderB podcast. (Thanks, Brendan!)

For One Office or the Whole School

We work with Directors of Advancement, Admission, Development, and Marketing Communications. Whether partnering with one office, or working for the school as a whole, our objective is to help schools overcome challenges, reach new goals, and solidify their image. 

Experienced. Collaborative. Attentive.

Since 1991, Turnaround’s perceptiveness, knowledge of the field of independent school marketing, and character with which we do business have created enduring relationships with schools across the country and have led us to be sought-after speakers at national conferences.

Effective. Results-Driven.

Whether working on brand development, enrollment or campaign marketing, a website assessment, or any other of our varied services, Turnaround is guided by a “form follows function” philosophy. Our work is not only creative and compelling, but also effective and results-driven. 


Our Clients' Voices

The branding project paid for itself in one year. And you can quote me on that.
— Brad Rogers, Headmaster, The Gow School, South Wales, New York
I wanted to take a moment to really thank you for the work that you and your team have done for Stuart. Initial reactions to the viewbook are fantastic not only because the book is so beautiful to look at, but it really does tell the story of who we are...The Brand Development Report is an incredible document and I know it will continue to inform decisions here at the school moving forward.
— Risa Engel, Director of Communications, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton, New Jersey
I just received a call from an alumna regarding the capital campaign case statement. She told me she had been planning on leaving the school a very modest bequest, but because of the case she has increased her estate gift to $50,000.
— Doreen Rice, Director of Advancement, Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, Missouri
I just spent the past two hours pouring over the Brand Development Report. It is both comprehensive and insightful. I am very grateful. You folks clearly ‘get us.’ I need to reflect on how we will implement all this good advice this going forward.
— Edward M. Ellison, Headmaster, St. Johns Country Day School, Orange Park, FL
Turnaround has provided nothing short of exceptional insight, professionalism, creativity, and support. Your work on Ridley’s behalf will ... leave us stronger and better positioned. For that, please know that Ridley College and I are most grateful.
— Andrew T. Weller, Ed.D., Executive Director of Advancement, Ridley College, Ontario, Canada
We are very happy with the viewbook and search piece Turnaround collaborated with us to create. We were very impressed with the time Turnaround spent to get to know Newark Academy and our culture prior to putting together the pieces. Families have enjoyed the dual functionality of our view book and commented on the cleverness of the ‘flip style.’ Liza, Rob and the entire Turnaround team made the process go smoothly, were quality focused, deadline conscious and a real pleasure to work with.
— Willard L. Taylor, Jr., Director of Admission, Newark Academy, Livingston, NJ
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Services


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Services


Turnaround offers a wide range of consulting services. Feel free to contact us to determine your specific needs. Most — NOT ALL — of our relationships begin with brand development because it's the foundation upon which everything else is built. 

Marketing Research and Analysis. Through interviews, focus groups, and individually designed surveys, we uncover your constituents’ mindset and opinions along with other information needed to set goals and move ahead.

Brand Development. We help identify and frame your school’s distinguishing characteristics in a way that clarifies the school’s message, differentiates it from the competition, and makes it memorable to both internal and external audiences. Turnaround’s brand development process results in a comprehensive report that covers your school’s situational analysis, market position, unique defining characteristics, and a recommended brand position and strategy. See What You Can Expect.

Brand Rollout. We conduct a formal rollout of the brand with faculty, administration, staff, select parents and board members. When buy in is achieved, constituents are much more likely to embrace the brand. During the rollout, Turnaround explains why brand is important, the process used to determine it, what the newly developed brand is, and how it looks in practice through comps Turnaround creates as examples. The session ends with a Q&A where everyone gets a voice. If done well, the audience leaves knowing what the brand is, feeling positive about it, and knowing how to support it by telling stories of their own. 

Brand Stewardship. Once a school’s brand has been developed, we provide individualized consulting on how to manage that brand. This can include office structure, hiring qualified personnel, workflow management, adhering to brand messages and graphic identity, and managing the brand when working with outside suppliers (designers, photographers, copywriters, printers).

On-going or Project-Based Consulting. We advise schools on marketing efforts and challenges on an on-going or project-based engagement. 

Message Testing. We provide necessary research to determine if your current brand messages continue to ring true to your constituents and advise what adjusts should be made (if any).

Admissions Marketing. We take the time to learn your enrollment goals and challenges, and then create a goal-oriented marketing plan, position, and materials to achieve your desired results.

Campaign Marketing. We strategize and map out your campaign marketing for both the silent and public phases, either following your existing branding or developing a fresh approach. With your objectives in mind, we are with you for the duration of the campaign as it takes the inevitable twists and turns, advising you and your committee on how best to attract and motivate donors. 

Communications Assessment. We provide an objective and analytic evaluation of a school’s current marketing materials in order to define criteria on which to base future efforts. We also review the process and personnel involved in creating those materials and make recommendations for improving brand adhesion, efficiency, cost-containment, and turnaround time. 

Website Assessment. We develop an objective, analytic evaluation of a school’s website in order to improve brand adhesion, consistency, marketing messages, specific constituent communications, and to maximize visitor experience.

Marketing Plan. We create a blueprint for marketing your school over a year’s time, suggesting ways to integrate efforts and align personnel to accomplish effective, consistent, timely projects that achieve pre-determined goals.

Creative Oversight. After our research for your school, we work with one of our select graphic designers, writers, photographers, copywriters, interactive developers, and other creative talent to produce the quality, award-winning, results-driven pieces Turnaround is known for. We can also work with talent of your choosing (including in-house). Our goal is to manage the process smoothly for you, maximize creativity, production time, cost-effectiveness, and workflow. Our 20 years of experience as principals of a design firm will benefit your school immensely.

Faculty, Staff, and Board Workshops on Marketing. We make presentations to a targeted audience within the school community to inform and/or influence stakeholders. Frequent topics include the value of brand development and the actual rollout of a brand, a marketing campaign, or capital campaign marketing.

Presentations on Marketing for Your Organization. We create conference presentations on hot-topic issues in marketing.

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The Benefits of Turning to Turnaround


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The Benefits of Turning to Turnaround


There are many fine firms across the United States that work with academic institutions. Why would a school choose Turnaround from among them? Because Turnaround is…

Knowledgeable. We know independent schools and speak your language.

Passionate about our work. We believe that independent schools change lives.

Focused. We’re the only firm working exclusively with independent schools on marketing.

Collaborative. Your work is our work. This is a partnership.

Small by design. You deal directly with the principals.

Recommended. Independent school professionals like you have used our services and recommend us highly.

Attentive. You will be treated as if you’re the only client we have.

Professional. We pride ourselves on the character with which we do business.

Forward-thinking. We are frequent, sought-after speakers at TABS, CASE/NAIS, SSATB, and other national conferences. Our sessions are packed and audiences give us high marks.

Award-winning. Our work has earned national recognition from CASE, Educational Advertising Awards, and more.

Results-oriented. It’s pretty cool to win awards, but what matters is, “Did it do what we wanted it to do?”

 

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