Awards
Independent School Tabloids and Newsletters: Noble and Greenough School - Bronze Award

2008 Circle of Excellence Awards Program
Category 19b. Independent School Tabloids and Newsletters
Noble and Greenough School
Ten Campus Drive
Bronze Award
Contact:

Joyce Eldridge
Director of Communications and Media Relations
Office of Communications
10 Campus Drive
Dedham MA 02026
arielle_greenleaf@nobles.edu
(781) 320-7267

Contributors

Joyce Eldridge Director of Communications and Media Relations
Julie Guptill Assistant Director of Communications
Arielle Greenleaf Communications Specialist
David Gerratt Designer

Objectives of Newsletter (Ten Campus Drive):

Not many schools have established new print publications in the past few years, but the Office of Communication convinced the Assistant Head for External Affairs and the Head of School a couple of years ago, to do just that. At that point in time, parents were complaining that insufficient information came to them regarding the daily routines of their children. They thirsted to know everything from how the most legendary teachers in the school conducted their classes, to what happens on the way to school each morning when a carpool leaves the driveway. Some wanted more detail on the progress of the current capital campaign, particularly on the status of buildings being erected. Others wanted to know how diversity initiatives were faring. Ten Campus Drive, an 8-12 page newspaper, was proposed as a mean of serving as that proverbial "fly on the wall."

Staffing:

A Communications Office of three (Director, Assistant Director, Communications Specialist) spends approximately two weeks, three times a year, working together in brainstorming, assigning, writing, ordering photos, copy editing, consulting with a designer and the like.

Frequency:

Three times a year

Average No. of Pages:

8-12

Circulation:

1,200

Total Annual Budget:

$6,300 (excluding postage)

Average Cost Per Issue:

$1.75

Goals:

Like any ambitious publication, particularly one that must prove itself quickly, Ten Campus Drive has more than a single goal. The primary goal is to quell parents' anxiety about what goes on after they leave their children at the school's doorstep. An in-depth look into class retreats, some of which take students away from their homes for the first time, was one such initiative. This is not the type of material that graduates would pay much attention to, but parents wrote us many times after the October 2007 issue of TCD arrived saying, effectively: "My son shared little with me and when I asked him what he had done for three days, his answer was ‘Nothing.' " The same holds true for Nobles ritualistic morning Assembly and its annual "Magic Bus" field trip, cloaked in more secrecy than parents would like (see October 2007 Ten Campus Drive).

One of several secondary goals of TCD is to give Nobles a face for its diversity. This was the mandate given the Communications Office seven years ago. One of the most effective and subtle ways to do this is, simply, to use candid pictures that show a natural commingling on- and off-campus. In the same October issue, we highlighted new programs to allow new students of color to adjust more readily and quickly, along with profiles of students from Cambridge, 75 percent of whom are students "of color."

An equally important secondary goal is to keep the balance among the academic, artistic and athletic facets of Nobles. Another mandate laid down when the Office of Communications was established is to downplay the school's dominant "jock school" image in order to elevate the newly ascendant arts environment, which now allows us to compete successfully for students talented in the visual and performing arts (N.B. our recent completion of a $23 million Arts Center that includes a new theatre, art studio, several small music studios, a museum and various practice rooms attests to this).

Yet another secondary goal is to further the activities of the Office of Development without being subsumed by a Development mentality. The features on a Nobles parent running the Pan Mass Challenge (to help a Nobles administrator and her partner who had been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness), and another in the February 2007 TCD on Nobles' Marathon Fund are both subtle nods to Development.

Response and/or Results:

Nobles is currently three-quarters of the way through a Communications Audit, the report for which is due in mid-March. We look forward to analyzing and adopting some of its findings. Preliminary, verbal feedback tells us that graduates and parents are now two of the most satisfied audiences when it comes to communication from the school. Parents are definitely a "Johnny-come-lately" to this group.

 

Samples: