Spreading news of achievements and activities enjoyed by students across a multi-academy Trust is an easy and effective way to raise the profile of a Trust and its member schools. Incorporating simple technologies into the process of doing so reduces the burden on staff, avoids additional costs and brings many benefits that cannot be garnered by other forms of communication.

The Collegiate Trust now has six schools in its remit: two secondaries and four primaries. Smarter Reach was asked to build new websites for the central Trust and the four primaries, setting the scene for a Trust-wide digital communications strategy. Here’s out it works:-

  • Each Academy publishes their own news stories to their own website
  • The Central Trust websites uses RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology to pull those news stories directly into a page on the Trust site

One upload; multiple exposures.

In time, the Trust plans to further the use of RSS with email newsletters that automatically pull in new content. These can be at the level of each individual academy (e.g. one regular email newsletter pulls in stories only from a particular school); at key stage level (e.g. a newsletter that only pulls in Sixth Form news); or Trust-wide (e.g. a newsletter that pulls in all news from across the Trust). RSS newsletters have the added benefit of allowing the tracking of stories that spark interest in the audience. 3rd party email platforms such as MailChimp can produce detailed reports of clicks and reader traffic. This can then guide the communications strategy in the direction of ensuring that precious resource is put only to publishing news that is likely to be of interest.

But digital communication efficiency doesn’t stop here. There are a multitude of other options that can be employed. For example, as each news item is published to a website, it can automatically be sent to an academy’s Twitter feed or Facebook page. The Trust’s Twitter can be then be set to automatically retweet, again massively reducing the resource tied up in running a social media channel.

If you’re interested in reviewing the digital communications strategy of your school or Multi Academy Trust, do get in touch. We’d be delighted to talk it through with you.