Our Kids
Glen Herbert - Editor

Glen Herbert
Editor/Writer, Our Kids Media

December, 2021

“The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” The poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce said that many decades ago, but it feels particularly apt this year. I think we too often think of New Year’s Day as a blank slate, as a starting over. Pierce saw it as a good time to think of what opportunity means, to reflect on what we’d like to see happen in the months ahead—a rededication to some of the things we’ve already been doing.

For me, I’m looking forward to doing more of the feature review videos. I’ve been writing feature reviews for the past four years or so, which I love doing. But when the review videos were suggested—me, on screen, talking about my experience with a school—I didn’t see it as, um, an opportunity. But I was proven wrong. We brought in a videographer, two video editors, and the videos … well, I’m kind of chuffed about them. (You can see them on the review hub. All the ones in that top row that have a “video included” button have one. We’ll be adding more in the coming months, including some that have already been filmed.)

Sometimes, as with those reviews, the opportunity that they represent is seen most clearly in retrospect. They’re videos, but they are also more than that. They take what we do into a new category. The User Reviews are an even better example of that. The initial idea—let’s get some parents and students to write about their experience—was simple enough. Now, with more than 450+ detailed reviews from students, parents, and alumni, the review hub is the nation's biggest archive of it’s kind in Canada. Actually, it’s the only archive of its kind in Canada. And it’s impact and importance grows with each new parent, student, or alum that posts there. In the months ahead, we’ll be redesigning the profiles and the review hub. It will be easier to navigate, more pleasing to the eye. But it will bring forward what this really is: an amazing, one-of-a-kind resource.

For a detailed description of the project, as well as strategies for building your archive, see the User Review Toolkit by clicking here.

Or, go right to the questionnaire, which you can share with your parent, student, and alumni community, by clicking here.

So, no, you don’t need a challenge, but I’ll make one anyway. If each of our members added five new reviews to their User Reviews that would be an addition of hundreds of new reviews to the archive. We’ll then promote it in new and creative ways, calling it out for what it is: an amazing, one-of-a-kind resource.

In other news ...

Remember to answer your brand identity questions

In Q1 of 2022, we’ll launch a new section near the top of your school profile that conveys who you are and who you’re not as a school. It serves as an unifying brand statement that families internalize as they continue to research your school.

What do you need to do?

  1. Log into your Our Kids control panel and answer 6 questions about your brand.
  2. Think critically about, and discuss with your team if needed, the best answers to these questions.
  3. Don’t try to be all things to all families. It’s a natural instinct for us marketers: we want to avoid turning potential families away. But it’s a common mistake in marketing—a failure to differentiate and position our product.
  4. If you’re stuck, we provide tips below each question that will help guide you.

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