Marketing is a vital activity for all Schools of English nowadays. Digital marketing is very much the dominant force, tied in to social media, but is there still room for some more traditional, or should we say less conventional, ideas? While Glasgow, Edinburgh and Hamilton Schools of English are very much up to speed with social and digital media, we have embarked on a new adventure with the adoption of a little Scottish friend, or more specifically a mascot.
The idea came when Andrew Lennox, the School President (pictured above with the new mascot), was flying to an English UK event. At Edinburgh airport he saw the usual Scottish souvenirs, designed for tourists to take home as a reminder of Scotland. In amongst the usual stuff was a little figure, dressed in bright red tartan, wearing a feather bonnet and clutching a set of Scottish bagpipes. While some recoil in horror at such stereotyping of a nation, there is no doubt that for many people across the globe – those who have not heard of all the amazing inventions the Scots have brought to the world (the television, the telephone, the rubber tyre, the steam engine, antibiotics, etc. – the most common image that they have of our country is the kilted Scotsman playing his pipes! So what better to represent our Schools?
Inspired, Andrew bought the wee fellow and took him to the conference, where he was delighted to find that ‘Jock’, as he called him then, was a big hit with the delegates. So much so that we then sent a mailer round all our agents and students, asking them to come up with a new name for our mascot. We were amazed to get entries from across the world – from Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy (lots), Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and, of course, Scotland and the rest of the UK!
The majority plumped for the name ‘Scottie’, and how appropriate that our new mascot should be named after his country. This was only a few months ago and since then Scottie has been working very hard, meeting our students in the Schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow and accompanying Andrew on his trips to events in Budapest, Rouen and Russia. Lots of agents have been photographed with him and he’s going to be even more involved in our marketing in the future! So yes, by all means go digital, but don’t neglect more traditional marketing as well!