How to brand your language or literacy program

February 25, 2010

Branding is one activity that falls under the larger umbrella of marketing. It’s important to have an overall marketing strategy. Branding is a hot topic though and lots of people ask me about it. So today I wanted to focus briefly just on branding for language schools and literacy programs. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Be clear about what programs you’re offering. If you focus on programs for adults, then be purposeful and decisive about it. Do not try to be all things to all people. Focus all your efforts on programs that fit within your niche. Find trusted colleagues who offer complementary programs so you can refer prospects to them who don’t fit in your niche. So if your specialty is a program for those 18-50 and you get an inquiry from someone looking for a youth program, have somewhere to refer them. That’s just good professional courtesy. Then, send them on their way and stay focussed on your niche. Being clear about who you are and what you do is the first step to marketing yourself successfully. From there, you can focus more on other activities, including branding.

Use your logo widely – If you have a logo, use it on all your marketing materials – not just the website or the brochures. Make sure it is on your business cards, your letterhead and any promotional materials you produce. People associate the logo with your activities , your style and your philosophy. Your logo is a visual, often pictorial image that represents who your organization is and what you do. This idea is very powerful for language and literacy programs where words may be a barrier to your clients! You don’t words on your logo. You can have them, but you don’t need them. Your logo becomes an imprint on the memory of those who see it. Use it widely and people will get to know your program better.

Be clear and consistent -You want to deliver the same message to your prospects with all of your marketing materials. It is important to keep the logo consistent over time and also to use it consistently.  In my experience, programs that have one logo that they use on every piece of paper that leaves their office and every web page are usually very successful. This is because they are sending a message that they are reliable, trustworthy and that they’re here to stay.

Here are a few of my favorite online articles for branding. They’re directed towards business people and entrepreneurs, and what they have to say is also good for educational leaders who are responsible for promoting their programs within their communities or to the world.

Fundamentals of branding
http://www.brandchannel.com/features_effect.asp?pf_id=183

Approaches to branding
http://www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorials/managing-products/approaches-to-branding/

How to position a company, product, service or brand
http://www.adcracker.com/position/

and a good articles on the failure of some marketing campaigns (and the resulting failure of the associated products and services):

Product and brand failures: a marketing perspective
http://articles.mplans.com/product-and-brand-failures-a-marketing-perspective/

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


Formal, non-formal and informal learning: The case of literacy and language learning in Canada

February 16, 2010

This new research report is freely available in e-format (.pdf).

Executive Summary

This research report investigates the links between formal, non-formal and informal learning and the differences between them. In particular, the report aims to link these notions of learning to literacy and essential skills, as well as the learning of second and other languages in Canada.

Philosophical underpinnings of this research are:

  • There is value in learning of all kinds.
  • Learning is a lifelong endeavour.
  • An interdisciplinary approach is valuable.

Notions of formal, non-formal and informal learning may be briefly outlined as:

Formal learning – This type of learning is intentional, organized and structured. Formal learning opportunities are usually arranged by institutions. Often this type of learning is guided by a curriculum or other type of formal program.
Non-formal learning – This type of learning may or may not be intentional or arranged by an institution, but is usually organized in some way, even if it is loosely organized. There are no formal credits granted in non-formal learning situations.
Informal learning – This type of learning is never organized. Rather than being guided by a rigid curriculum, it is often thought of experiential and spontaneous.

- (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development / Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Economiques (OECD), n.d.; Werquin, 2007)

Examples are given for literacy and essential skills, as well as second and other languages for each of the categories mentioned above.

Finally, the examples of systems developed value different types of learning using asset-based approaches are given. The tools developed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada are explored for the case of literacy. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages developed by the Council of Europe is considered for second and other languages.

Copies of the report may be accessed through:

National Adult Literacy Database (Canada)

http://library.nald.ca/research/item/8549

or

European Association of Education for Adults (Helsinki, Finland)

http://www.eaea.org/news.php?aid=17397&k=2088&%20d=2010-02

or

National Library of Canada – Online Archives Collection (Canada)

http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/003/008/099/003008-disclaimer.html?orig=/100/200/300/eaton_intl_consulting/formal_non/Literacy_languages_and_types_of_learning.pdf

or

The Encyclopedia of Informal Education

http://www.infed.org/archives/e-texts/eaton_formal_nonformal_informal_learning.htm

or

Global Literacy Foundation

http://globalliteracy.org/Eaton

or

Centre for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) (United States)

http://www.cal.org/CALWebDB/ESLResourceDB/ (Resource #0274)

New! August, 2010 – Check out the companion report: Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning in the Sciences.

Related posts:

Formal, non-formal and informal education: What Are the Differences?

Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning: A podcast

Breathtaking Impact of Volunteers’ Contribution to Non-formal and Informal Literacy Education in Alberta

Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning in the Sciences

The many faces of non-formal learning

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Here’s a link for sharing:

Formal, non-formal and informal learning: The case of literacy and language learning in Canada http://wp.me/pNAh3-C

If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


Literacy and Essential Skills (video)

February 12, 2010

Here’s a new video that I just posted on Literacy and Essential Skills, as defined by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada:

Related posts

Canada’s 9 Literacy and Essential Skills http://wp.me/pNAh3-qi

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Like this post? Share or Tweet it: Literacy and Essential Skills (video) http://wp.me/pNAh3-y

If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me atsarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


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