Case study
Saving hours in admin work and being mobile-first: why 3 schools upgraded their school newsletter
Saving hours in admin work and being mobile-first: why 3 schools upgraded their school newsletter

SkoolBag eNewsletter is the latest addition to SkoolBag’s All-in-One communication platform. It’s included with every SkoolBag subscription.

Since launching last year, hundreds of schools have upgraded their school to SkoolBag eNewsletter.

We recently caught up with three schools who were keen to share the challenges they were looking to solve by making the switch.

Marist Sisters’ College, Woolwich: Bringing newsletter production in-house & reducing turn-around times

20141104-Woolwich_11_04_2014_025.jpg Justin Hodges, Leader of Governance & Communication

How often do you send out your school newsletter?

Once per fortnight, on Fridays.

How many people are involved in developing & publishing your school newsletter?

Three people are involved in the development. It’s myself and Cassie and Sam, our Receptionists. Many more people contribute content, some issues it can be 15 authors.

What’s the objective of your newsletter? Why is it important to your school?

Our newsletter is an essential part of building a sense of community and connecting our parents to school activities. It’s also an important platform for our Principal and Leadership Team to engage with parents.

How were you creating your school newsletter previously?

We used to use an external service that would develop our newsletter for us. The process took several days and could be quite cumbersome with several rounds of revisions. After submitting our finalised content, we would often have to wait 6-8 hours for the final version, which created some challenges with deadlines.

What challenges were you looking to solve by implementing SkoolBag?

As well as looking to reduce the time required for external publishing, we were keen to ensure we had a mobile accessible format and could get reporting on how many parents were viewing content.

There’s also a strong appeal to having one platform to manage all our communications.

How does SkoolBag eNewsletter helps solve these problems? Have you seen any results or had any feedback?

We don’t need to worry about formatting for different screen sizes - it’s mobile ready from the moment we publish our content, which is important for our community.

We can also do everything in house now, so we’re expecting to see some big savings in the time taken to publish each edition.

It’s great that the newsletter builder is contained within SkoolBag’s intuitive interface. We can publish updates and they appear in parents’ SkoolBag feed, which is already established as our key parent communication channel.

It’s early days, but we’ve already seen an immediate increase in viewership, so we are hoping that this trend continues. SkoolBag have been making a real effort to understand how we’re getting on with implementing and were available to help us make the switch.

Check out Marist Sisters’ College’s Newsletter

Arahoe School, Auckland: Improving Accessibility for Diverse Communities

Blair Tuke copy.jpg Jude Millington, Communications Officer

How often do you send out your school newsletter?

Once a week - every Wednesday.

How many people are involved in developing & publishing your school newsletter?

Just me - although we have 21 staff contributors.

What’s the objective of your newsletter? Why is it important to your school?

Our weekly newsletter is used to inform the parent community of all events and activities coming up in the week ahead - in one reliable document. It is important because a community survey conducted late 2017 identified a significant problem for parents in their ability to access consistent and reliable information about future events.

What challenges were you looking to overcome by using SkoolBag eNewsletter?

We were previously using graphic design software to create a PDF. We wanted a mobile responsive format that was better than PDF for viewing text heavy documents on handheld devices.

It was also important to able to easily edit after publishing. Before if we had any errors, we couldn’t fix them immediately. We would need to need to amend the native file, export to PDF and re-send, which was not ideal.

How has SkoolBag helped solve these challenges? Have you seen any results or had any feedback?

In our school communication survey we conducted late last year, 80.6% of respondents said SkoolBag eNewsletter “works for me”.

We’re not sure whether this is due to the mobile responsive format or the improved organisation of content, but hopefully it’s both aspects.

I’ve also receive feedback directly from parents. One parent mentioned that she “loves these btw”.

A few staff members have praised the Google Translation Integration feature (and asked me to promote this feature in every issue) due to our ethnic diversity and the international student programme which brings in students from Korea and China.

Check out Arahoe School’s Newsletter

Beacon Hill Public School, NSW: Saving hours of admin work per week

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 3.00.49 pm.png Louise Scope, Admin Manager & Karen Harris, Admin Staff

How often do you send out your school newsletter?

We send several newsletters to different year groups each week!

How many people are involved in developing & publishing your school newsletter?

KH: I pull everything together and around 10 people contribute content.

What’s the objective of your newsletter? Why is it important to your school?

KH: Our school newsletter is an important way of connecting our community to what’s happening at school. It’s used to communicate important events and updates to parents. We also send out important documents and share results from sporting or community events.

What challenges were you looking to overcome by using SkoolBag eNewsletter?

LS: At my previous school, we used an external publishing service, which could be a bit complicated. We would often have to go back to them to make changes and there would be a delay in getting a response. We’d always prefer to have one platform to manage all our communications which is why it’s great that SkoolBag launched their eNewsletter as we’re big users of the app.

KH: I often used to have to stay late formatting a Word document which was pretty tricky. It’s great to have few formatting options and know that it will look good!

How has SkoolBag helped solve these challenges? Have you seen any results or had any feedback?

KH: Every week I just copy the template and add the content.

It’s saved me about 4-5 hours per newsletter! I don’t need to worry about moving things around and resizing images.

The support is also really responsive if I get stuck with anything, I get a response instantly

LS: It’s great having one platform for everything, I did the online training session and it was really easy to get started.

Check out Beacon Hill Public School’s Newsletter

Over to you

Are you ready to make the move? SkoolBag eNewsletter won’t cost you anything, it’s a free tool for schools.

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