Student Recruitment Publications Packages: North Shore Country Day School - Bronze Award

2008 Circle of Excellence Awards Program
Category 30. Student Recruitment Publications Packages
North Shore Country Day School
Recruitment Publications
Bronze Award

Tura Cottingham
Director of Marketing & Communications
Marketing & Communications
310 Green Bay Road
Winnetka, IL 60093


Tura Cottingham writer, editor and art director
The Grillo Group designer
Tony Armour photographer
Art Jessen Photographer

North Shore Country Day School Admissions Publications

Components of the program submitted:
  • Lower School Viewbook
  • Middle School Viewbook
  • Upper School Viewbook
  • Upper School Prospectus
  • Acorn
a. Objectives:

The objectives of the publications program at North Shore are to:

  • Highlight the strengths of the school that set us apart from our competition
  • Give prospective families a realistic “look” at the school before they set foot on campus
  • Motivate prospective families to call for more information, and hopefully schedule a visit
  • Increase applications
Mission Statement

North Shore Country Day School is a JK-12 community rooted in tradition that challenges each member to develop a passion for active, life-long learning and respect for others. Committed to academic excellence, the partnership of students, faculty, parents and alumni fosters intellectually curious, independent and critical thinkers. We embrace diversity, knowing we are enriched by different backgrounds, voices and talents. The full participation of each student in academics, athletics, arts and activities is a core value. We develop self-confident, ethical citizens of the world who embody our motto, “Live and Serve.”

b. Audience:

The audience for the pieces submitted is prospective families. The Upper School book was written to appeal to prospective students as much as parents, knowing that in most families the student plays a big role in making the decision on which school he or she wants to attend.

The Middle School and Lower School pieces were written so that if a parent wanted to share the viewbook with their child, the book would appeal to them. For example, the Lower School book is oversized and reminiscent of a picture book format with large photos.

Each viewbook is accompanied with a prospectus containing all detailed information regarding curriculum, activities, grading system, school life, facts-at-a-glance, tuition and financing options, and an application.

The Acorn is a magazine published three times each year. Each issue contains a feature story on a particular program, unique characteristic, special event (such as commencement) or aspect of the curriculum. Additional stories may include profiles written on faculty or staff related to the feature story. The issue also contains a review of recent events held on campus; development features reporting on, or encouraging people to participate in, annual giving or other fundraising programs; and alumni events and personal news. The feature story is written to appeal to a wide audience - from current parents and prospective parents to alumni and grandparents. By profiling the school’s strengths and activities, it helps to educate prospective families about the school and build admissions interest.

In addition, we distributed the new materials to all current parents knowing that they are our best ambassadors. It was also our hope that these new materials would give current parents a sense of pride in their school.

c. Quantity

Lower School Viewbook - 3,500
Middle School Viewbook - 2,500
Upper School Viewbook - 5,000
Upper School Prospectus - 2,500
Acorn - 6,000

d. Costs

Lower School Viewbook

Design - 10,191
Photography - 2,150
Printing - 10,516
Total production - $22,857
Unit Cost - $6.53

Middle School Viewbook

Design - 10,304

Photography - 2,150

Printing - 8,532

Total production - $20,986

Unit Cost - $8.39

Upper School Viewbook

Design - 10,800

Photography - 2,150

Printing - 10,263

Total production - $23,213

Unit Cost - $4.64

Upper School Prospectus

Design - 2,305

Printing - 2,758

Total production - $5,063

Unit Cost - $2.02


Design - 3,036

Printing - 9,875

Total production - $12,911

Unit Cost - $2.15

Note: Our viewbooks costs are amortized over a three year period so that the total cost is not absorbed in one year. The other publications are produced annually. We expect to realize savings in the next several years on design and even photography, since the format will remain the same and only the text will be updated. The photography for the Acorn is done in-house. In addition, each viewbook is accompanied by an annually produced prospectus.

e. Results

The reaction to these materials and additional items incorporating the new identity and publication’s look and format has been stronger than we anticipated with record attendance at open houses and an increase in qualified applicants.

Since the new materials have been issued, applications have increased, the percentage of inquiries submitting applications increased, the percentage of families accepting our offer of admittance increased and the total school enrollment increased to our highest enrollment in the school’s history.

In addition, it seems to have stirred a real pride in the school from our parents. While they were not the target audience, it is has been a nice bonus. They in turn have asked for extra copies of the brochures to share with friends or neighbors they think might be interested in the school.