Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brand Me! Counseling PR

I always enjoy going to conferences where I leave with a head swarming with ideas, tips, and suggestions. One conference that always leaves me exhilarated is the Tennessee School Counselor and Administration Leadership Institute. One breakout session this year really got me excited! During the session the speaker suggested branding yourself so that your program is more recognizable. I loved the idea and if you know me you know I am obsessed with the new pup in my life, Brooklyn, so the "theme" for my "brand" was easy- dogs!

So I have spent my summer dreaming of ways to brand myself. Hopefully whenever someone see's paw prints and adorable dogs they will think "Hey, I bet this has something to do with Ms. Filtness!"

 Here is what I have so far:
Vistaprint is a great way to personalize your items and they frequently do sales. Right now they have six items for free, just pay shipping and handling. One of those items is a tote bag, great for carrying my supplies as I visit classrooms. 

I also just paid shipping for these super cute post-it notes.

I also got the idea to rename my PR documents, such as my newsletter, which is now "Brooklyn Barks News" after my beloved Brooklyn. "Brooklyn Bytes" will be a page on my website where I can share Internet/Technology safety tips for students and their parents, Brooklyn Bites will be healthy eating/nutrition tips, and I have renamed my FAQ page to "Kibble and Bits." I also enjoy watching the Westminster Dog Show every year, so I got the idea of using the "blue ribbon" with my students. I created a page for Blue Ribbon Books and Blue Ribbon Resources, which share with my stakeholders books and resources that I have found which provide great information on a variety of topics.

I also decided to tie in the "blue ribbon" idea with my character education. Each month I will ask teachers no nominate students that demonstrated each character word (i.e. courage, honesty) and I will show off those students on my "Top Dog" bulletin boards, which will of course have this frame from the Parent Teacher Store:

Colorful Paw Prints Straight Border Trim, 35" x 3"
I can't stress the importance of collaboration. I am fortunate enough to meet daily with my special area teachers to engage in our PLC (Professional Learning Community). I love my special area team, I can't brag on them enough and what an invaluable resource they each are. This year our INCREDIBLE art teacher did a blue dog lesson and the students created their own blue dogs. I batted my eyes and smiled and got the best end of the year gift of all about 10 blue dog paintings.

This one is hanging in my living room and the rest are waiting to be framed and hung up at school. My plan is to frame some to hang in my office and in our conference room, where I host my parent workshops, and use the rest on my bulletin boards. You know why this is my favorite part- it's student made. The students will get to show off their art work and I can use the pictures to decorate. It's a win-win.

One blog I can't get enough off and love to see pop up in my Google Reader is Savvy School Counselor.
Since "branding" has been on my mind all summer, I was so excited to see Vanessa's entry on counseling PR. She is a great blogger, so it was no surprise when she came up with a list of ways to in enhance a counselor's PR. I don't think you can ever advocate enough for yourself or your position, because we are often overlooked and forgotten, so Vanessa's PR tips were great. She reminded me that I need a new paw covered brochure, so I've got to work on that soon.  It also encouraged me to get these at Vistaprint.

 New business cards to give to parents and hand out at conferences, new note pad, and the last picture is a brand new magnet I can hang outside or inside my office.

Here is my new dream list of fun stuff I want to buy. I am going to save my pennies and hopefully add these items to my  doggie collection:

Loyalty Card- I often get students that wander out of class to visit me or that ask to see me every time they see me in the hall. I have often  made an agreement to see them once a week, then once a month, until they taper off and don't beg to be in my office everyday. I thought these cards would be a cute way to do this. I could check them off when they see me and they know how many visits that month they have left. I could also use these for students who struggle with blurting out or ask thousands of questions. Each time the student asks a question or blurts the teacher can check off a box and the student knows they only have so many blurts or questions left that day/week, etc. This will also be a good way to advocate my role helping teacher's with behavior management.

More letterhead that would be adorable to use.

Thank you cards! I love these cards and between parent helpers, PTA assistance, Student Council, and Career Day I sent hundreds of thank you cards in a year. This way they will remember me and my program when they look at the dog bowl cards.
Custom Promotional Dog Paw Stress BallStress balls! I work at a school for high-achievers, so I can't run enough stress groups. I thought these paw print stress balls from Inkhead would be great for the students who participate in my "Chill Pill" or "Cool Beans" small groups.

Can you tell how excited I am about my new "brand?" Share all of your doggie ideas!

So,  what do you do to set your program apart and to advocate your role in your school?


  1. Great ideas, Laura! I like the idea of using the loyalty card to document the number of visits for a student. Cute "brand!" Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog. I really appreciate it! I'm so glad you've enjoyed Savvy School Counselor. I'll be adding your blog to my Google reader as well! Thanks again!


  2. Check this out:
    Scroll down to the "Pawsitively Perfect" collection - it's a FREE download! :)

  3. These are fantastic ideas. I would like to use the loyalty card with my students - the image isn't loading. Would you be able to share you example with me? Thanks so much!

    1. I would love to share how I have used them. Chelsea feel free to e-mail me at and I'll email you pictures. I am also going to make a new entry right now so hopefully the images will upload.

  4. Love the ideas!!! Loyalty cards and stress balls are great ideas and I really like how you have personalized them!