Headmaster Sings To Prep School Marketers - AMCIS

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Headmaster Sings To Prep School Marketers

Be yourself, the Head of award-winning Cottesmore School sang to 145 delegates at a marketing seminar for Prep School staff.

Guitar in hand, Tom Rogerson was the epitome of ‘show don’t tell’ as he opened the AMCIS-IAPS Prep School Marketing Seminar with a self-penned song written specially for the event. His song is a plea for school marketers to “fall in love with” their school and find their own point of difference. He sang:

“You do you
You do you and I’ll do me – it’s all that we’ve got,
you’ll come to see

Just make sure
You do you and I’ll do me – it’s all that we came with
And all that we’ll leave

“If you try to be someone else, we’ll never find the spark.
Nothing comes of nothing, and you’ll always miss the mark.
Learn to love the way you are, you’re the only one you’ve got
Stop thinking about all the things you’re not.”

                        Chorus and Verse 1 of You Do You © Tom Rogerson

Rogerson – who records quirky videos of himself racing through Cottesmore School grounds and jumping in the lake to celebrate the end of term – exorted delegates to “search for and find the you-ness” when marketing their prep schools. He said:

“Fall in love with your school. Not everyone wants to jump in a lake. Some people are good at maths – they should use that [in their marketing] instead. Magnify your assets. You have your own beautiful assets, make the most of them. The words when you go to a school website are all sounding a bit samey – for example, ‘We educate the whole child’ – don’t ‘tell’ people – show them through your marketing and keep showing them.”

Rogerson pointed out marketers should “…never underestimate people’s disinterest. We live in a funny little echo chamber where we believe ourselves to be the centre of the universe, but you should always assume people don’t know what or who you are. If you stop talking, posting and story writing, people will think that you don’t exist. Keep on going and triple-down on your efforts – there is no other way.”

To demonstrate his point, he asked how many people in the audience were aware that Cottesmore has an AI chatbot on its senior leadership team; the initiative gained extensive UK and international coverage in 2023. Less than ten of the 140+ audience raised their hand.

Tom Rogerson ended by reminding school marketers to find the joy in school life and to not be afraid to embrace fun. He said:
“I’m very keen on juxtaposition so at Cottesmore we do a lot of AI but we’re also a very traditional school; I’m a great fan of the art of ‘and’ – you can be more than one thing. So, in the morning you can have fun with your social media marketing and in the afternoon, you can be serious in a meeting with the Head. Find the way to do this in your own setting.”

Tom Rogerson ended his mid-morning presentation with a rendition of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ during which he – successfully – invited delegates to get up on their feet and dance. 

Commenting, AMCIS ceo Tory Gillingham said:

“We were delighted to join forces once again with IAPS to deliver this highly popular seminar for prep schools, and to have secured Tom Rogerson to bring his own inimitable style to what really was a unique opening address that made a great point and had people up on their feet dancing at 10.30 in the morning.”

Other topics at the seminar included

  • A branding case study on how St Michael’s Prep School delivered a new award-winning prospectus (Director of Admissions & Marketing Jane Thornton & Marketing & Media Manager Taz Usher).
  • A look at the implications of the current political landscape (Sarah Cunnane, ISC).
  • Dr Andy Kemp, Principal of the National Mathematics and Science College, took a granular look at how AI tools can help school marketers do more in less time to promote their school and help shepherd parents through the admissions journey.
  • How to champion your place in the fast moving and competitive early years market (Carolyn Reed & Katie Cardona, Reed Brand Communications).
  • Trends and actionable insights to help you optimise your Prep School’s digital presence (Kerwyn Salmons, 15th Media).

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