Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Landon School - Gold Medal

Category 30: Student Recruitment Publications Packages
Landon School, “Landon Knows Boys”

Contact: Jean Erstling, director of communications, 6101 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817, Phone: (301) 320-1065, e-mail:

Objectives: With the completion of a new Strategic Plan, “Nine Goals for Landon,” which clearly defines who we are and what we stand for, Landon School set out to create a package of admissions materials that would reflect those values and attract new students.

As the premier nonsectarian boys’ school within the Metro DC market, Landon had long been using the theme “Landon Knows Boys” on an informal basis. For the 2006-2007 recruitment year, we wanted take advantage of this message and expand it to reflect our greatest strengths. With a well-known athletic program we also wanted to address the “jock school” image by making clear that we do value daily athletic activity, but that our academic and arts programs are second to none. Finally, the Strategic Plan makes clear that character and ethical development is the school’s most important goal, and the new admissions materials needed to reflect that commitment.

Target Audience: Landon accepts students at the elementary (Grades 3-5), middle school (Grade 6) and high school (Grade 9) levels, and materials were developed to appeal principally to the parents of those students. In a specific target project, elementary aged students received a series of postcards promoting the school’s Admissions Open House.

Creative Process/Production: The initial work on this project grew out of discussions by the school’s marketing team, which represents the headmaster, academics, admissions, development, athletics, and communications. With the headmaster’s approval and funding, that group met with outside design and editorial consultants to develop the key message points. The principal outside writer met with educators and students and conducted interviews with admissions officers, parents and alumni to develop the approach. The process was also informed by significant research done in preparation for the Strategic Plan. In addition, we worked with an alumnus who is a professional photographer for imagery.

Package: The materials submitted with this entry include the viewbook and its accompanying application and financial aid booklets (in the admissions envelope). In addition, the School Profile with our matriculation lists (also used by the college counseling and development offices) is included. It is folded to be inserted into the pocket of the viewbook or it can be used alone. The postcard is one of a series created for the Grade 3-5 Open House promotion, using the “Landon Knows…” theme. Cards were mailed at 4-day intervals in advance of the Open House.

Project Budget: As a school which admits only 100 to 110 new students each year, we needed to make a substantial financial commitment to this project. It has been nine years since the materials in use were developed and it is our hope to use the new ones for three to five years. To limit the expense where we could, we produced materials for a 3-year cycle and those expenses are reflected in these numbers. The total cost was $74,329.


Consultants: Design, Writing




Viewbook Package: Printing


(4500 for 3 years)
School Profile: Printing


(2000/1000 for Admissions)


(2500/series of 3)

Results: The materials have been well received by our entire community, not just our prospective families. From board members to faculty to visiting families, there is a strong belief that the publications clearly define Landon School as distinct from any other school. Unlike many recruitment pieces where you can simply substitute the name of another school across town and they are good to go, the “Landon Knows Boys” pieces do meet the criteria of defining our appeal – importance of character, our exceptional quality and well-roundedness, and the long-lasting brotherhood that develops among students and in their relationships with our faculty.

The 2006-07 admissions process is not complete, but results to date have been excellent: outstanding attendance at our Open House, applications from students of exceptional quality, and anecdotal feedback through Admissions that there is a clearer understanding of the benefits of the Landon experience.