Editorial: Branding only works when there’s something of value to promoteThe River Falls School District’s attempt to market itself to the community and outside world with a new decorative logo that includes uplifting words and phrases will very likely succeed.
The River Falls School District’s attempt to market itself to the community and outside world with a new decorative logo that includes uplifting words and phrases will very likely succeed.
But it will succeed only to the degree that the school district retains its reputation for far-reaching educational excellence. There’s abundant evidence to support that with:
--Standardized and ACT test scores that year after year lead the way in this part of western Wisconsin in core subjects of reading, English, math, science and social studies.
--Reaching out for student perspectives by adding an advisory student member — for the 2012-13 year, high school senior Maura Watson — to join the decision-making school board and give input.
--Creating a pilot program (STEP) that invites senior citizens to help cover school building needs and, at the same time, allows them to earn property tax credits for doing so.
--Establishing a lifelong learning component through a Community Education program that draws hundreds of adults (and kids) with a seasonal rotation of classes ranging from cooking, sewing, knitting, mechanics, computers, fitness, drawing, dance, estate planning, swimming, nature walking, environmental camps and more.
--Extracurriculars and sports, like the high school forensics team that captured the excellence in speaking award during state competition in Madison; the five-in-a-row state champion Marching Band Wildcats; the just-named conference champion high school boys golf team. Even more impressive in sports are repeated occasions that teams garner praise and awards for sportsmanship. The most recent example is the gymnastics team, which has won many state titles for its athleticism but also won both the Big Rivers Conference (BRC) and Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Sportsmanship awards for the 2011-12 winter season.
--Citizens who, despite a bad recession and two levy referendums, agreed in the end to shell out $19 million more in property taxes — not to build a fancy new school — but to opt for pragmatism and fix up and modernize the energy efficiencies, air quality, accessibility and security at existing school buildings.
Need we go on? A school district like River Falls with this much to showcase is a marketable dream. Put that in your logo!
The Journal’s online poll question this week asked: How do you view the school district’s marketing initiative to brand itself using key words like “potential,” “personalized learning” and “inspire everyone” on a new logo?
Early results show:
--Hello, Can anyone say new-age, feel-good, warm-n-fuzzy advertising pablum that everyone ignores?: 52.9%
--Don’t know, don’t care: 29.4%
--Smart, splashy way to establish a dynamic identity and keep drawing new students and young families to River Falls, 17.6%
Add your voice by going to www.riverfallsjournal.com