The Northwest School, an independent day and boarding school located in Seattle, reached out to Team Soapbox for support with their annual student admissions communications. In previous years, The Northwest School had filmed short video interviews with current students as a resource for prospective students and their families to understand the school’s education model and unique community.
For a new round of videos, in the run-up to new student admissions, Northwest wanted to hone in on aspects of their school community, academics and values that could be more clearly communicated through student stories. Our job was to utilize the organization’s brand and style guide to improve the visual presentation of their student voices in a suite of new videos, and match students’ enthusiasms with the school’s key messages for prospective families.
Team Soapbox worked closely with the Northwest communications team to identify the issues that would be most important to new students and families considering applying for admissions. We worked together to outline the school’s areas of strengths, and examples of where their unique approach to secondary education really stood out (for example, the Northwest Environment program that paired students across grade levels to maintain school buildings, building care for their shared community).
Based on this initial message development work, the school identified potential students for video interviews. Team Soapbox then connected directly with each student and their parents, through preparatory Q&A sessions, to uncover what each student was most passionate about, and prep individualized interview questions designed to match student enthusiasms with key message points.
On the days of filming, this prep work really paid off during the interview process. Team Soapbox was able to construct and art direct background sets (on site at the school) for each interview, to subtly reinforce the student and the school’s areas of interest, and strength. Children were less nervous on camera, because they’d had a chance to think and prepare before filming. And useful video soundbites were easier to capture, because student stories had already been matched with school’s areas of excellence.
Team Soapbox edited and prepared a final suite of student video vignettes, incorporating existing b-roll that the school had filmed of classes, events and athletics alongside interview footage. The final videos created a diverse, energetic and compelling portrait of The Northwest School’s academic community. Northwest students appeared as the confident and impressive young people they are, and the school’s range of academics, extracurriculars and values really shone through in each vignette. The videos were embedded on The Northwest School website during admissions season and feedback from faculty and parents has been very positive. Team Soapbox was re-hired by the school to produce and develop a new video in Fall 2017, in support of a fundraising campaign.