Founded in 1991, French International School of Philadelphia offers a bilingual education to children from pre-K (age three) through eighth grade. The economic downturn of 2008 impacted the operation of most private schools in the United States with lasting effects. In fact, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, enrollment has fallen at an annualized rate of 1.1 percent nationwide during the past five years.
This pressure exposed an opportunity for French International School to better market itself to the right audiences — those families with students already enrolled in the school and the target populations most likely to consider sending their children to a private school that offers a bilingual education in English and French.
The school retained Furia Rubel to review its marketing efforts, conduct competitive and stakeholder research and surveys, identify opportunities for retention and acquisition, set benchmarks, and recommend strategies and tactics for retention and acquisition.
This strategic marketing plan incorporated direct outreach to target audiences, including internal audiences, to aid in raising the retention rate, and external audiences to increase the number of new students admitted to the school. The plan recommended tactics that increased the school’s visibility within the community and, especially, online. Just as websites and email were necessary additions to traditional means of communication before the 1990s, new technologies and innovative marketing and public relations tactics were necessary for the French International School of Philadelphia to prosper.
Just some of the tactics recommended and implemented by Furia Rubel were an updated bilingual logo; the use of a recognizable and search engine-optimized URL, www.frenchschoolphila.org; the use of a more defined tagline: “Beyond Bilingual, Beyond Borders”; the implementation of a more robust media relations campaign using in-house resources; and the design and implementation of a strong, audience-centric, search engine-optimized and content-managed website. In addition, Furia Rubel assisted with the strategy and planning of the school’s 25th Anniversary Beyond Borders Gala, which was a huge success. Among the 350 attendees were Michel Charbonnier, consul general of France in Washington, D.C.; Michael Scullin, honorary consul of France in Philadelphia and Wilmington; and Kathleen Kotchick, head of the French International School of Philadelphia.
Complete rebrand by Furia Rubel.