Building Your School and Personal Brand (1)

Building Your School and Personal Brand

Today Trish Rubin @trishrubin teaches us the basics of building your school and personal brand. Enter the book giveaway to win a copy of the book, BrandED, that she co-authored with Eric Sheninger.

Building Your School and Personal Brand (1)


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In today's show, Trish Rubin discusses what you need to know about school and personal branding:

  • Defining brand as it relates to education
  • The risks of brand myopia in schools
  • The reason we need to change how we communicate
  • The aspects of building a brand
  • Individual teacher brand

I hope you enjoy this episode with Trish Rubin!

Want to hear another episode on digital schools and learning? Listen to Eric Sheninger talk about digital pedagogy that actually improves learning.

Selected Links from this Episode

Enter the book giveaway contest

BrandED Giveaway Contest

Full Bio As Submitted

Trish RubinTrish Rubin

Trish Rubin is an lifetime educator and a “second act” entrepreneur who consults education and business organizations in improved brand communication. She teaches Marketing and Brand Management at CUNY/Baruch College in NYC and consults in K-16 educational professional development and across business, agencies and nonprofit organizations.

With Eric Sheninger, she has co-authored the first complete guide to using brand/marketing as tools for empowering schools in a digital/ social media age.

Transcript for this episode

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[Recording starts 0:00:00]

I just want to give a shout out to three people who’ve left reviews on my podcast. Trace the Ace, Kay Lamar and this last one the name sounds funny but it’s the Upset User in L.A – I was kind of worried when I saw the name but actually they gave me a nice review and a five stars and I really do appreciate it.

When you guys leave a review on the show it not only encourages me but it helps other people find the show on iTunes. So I just appreciate that. Also, remember a new feature I added for you a couple of weeks ago that a lot of you are using, now you can easily go to the show notes by typing in for this how. So you just put the “e” in front. And so that will be and that will take you just to this show and the show notes. Remember, it takes five or six hours for me to get those links up after this show goes live. But I appreciate that you guys are liking that feature and thanks for the suggestion.

Building your school and personal brand, this is Episode 79.

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every week day you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

VICKI:   Happy Thought Leader Thursday, today we’re talking to Trish Rubin @trishrubin , co-author of BrandEd. Tell your story, build relationships and empower learning. Now, Trish, as you talk about branding a school, you actually mentioned something, I think it’s really important called brand myopia. What is brand myopia and why I schools guilt of this?

TRISH:         Vicki, thanks so much for having me on first of all. With BrandEd, we’ve really looked at how we could present this concept in a way that would be respectful for educators.


                    And the word brand myopia does comes from business but it just talks about this sort of narrow vision of one way to get a message across.

We know today as teachers, we know with educators that the world is full of channels for us to tell our story and we have to be advocates for ourselves. So to be brand myopic is not what we want, we want to be brand amplifiers.

VICKI:          Okay. So what is an example? Because, you know, some schools say, “Oh, we always send the newsletter in June.” So you’re saying write always and try some new channels, what are you saying?

TRISH:         Yes. Well, even if you look at a website, most schools say, well, I have a mission statement – but you can take those mission statements and there is nothing you need or different about mission statements for schools, they’re almost cookie cutter. What BrandEd tells people is that you don’t think of brand, you don’t think of your message in school as something that you’re just putting out to the community. You first have to know what your community is, you want to know what they’re looking for in an experience of a school community which is new. Here, we think of schools as a place of experience. So you need to make that website and you need to learn how to convey the message to the community that you are in engagement with them, that you know who they are and that you have to actually close that visual message as well with a lot of engaging visual product.

So you have to engage with what we’re doing, I ideas of communicating and talking, even through visuals, through podcasts and things like that that that could actually be part of your school website and get the community engaged.


VICKI:          We get so much engagement at my school on our Facebook page in all that we’re doing. And it’s just so important for adults to see their kids happy. You also mentioned something about proof points of image, promise and results. What do you mean by that?

TRISH:         Most brands – and again, I’ll go back. I’m an educationalist, I am an educator but I have experience in the business brand community. And I’ve built brands for businesses and associations. And brand image is what the public sees, it’s what gets their attention, right? It’s something that disrupts you. The best brand image I think I can feel for women is [“Tiffany’s”], and you don’t even have to see a name, all you see is a color and you know that brand.

And so a brand image is something that just sparks you, makes you understand the entity that you’re dealing with, gets you excited and makes you feel comfortable. So a school may have a mascot, it may have a motto but these are called brand identifiers, they’re not really what creates connection to people. And that comes from a promise and a promise is made in a very deep way with an exchange. Anything that we do in our daily lives – even the brands we touch, they make a promise to us that they’re going to deliver value.

Lots of us are big Starbucks people, I am really a Dunkin’ Donuts person but some people choose Starbucks not because of the coffee, because that brand promises that they will give you beautiful experience, feeling of community.


                    And so lots of promise they make every time you go in there, excellent, excellent experience and service. And so schools can make those promises too and have to learn how to work with the community to know what that promise should be. We’re not just sitting in rooms as I did when I was in education. Writing mission statements and trying to think of what we were about, really trying to understand what we’re promising to people and we do it so well every day, we just have to get out and tell people about it.

And the idea of results means what can we see from our work in that way? What relationships can we bring to ourselves? What other brands, what other communities, what other resources, a personal brand of the person in your community who’s looking for a way to give back to a big brand. A big [roper] brand. A brand like [Denny’s] that I’m hoping to actually do some – you work with branding to schools, they have an education foundation.

So you can go from the smallest, smallest engagement to a big engagement, it doesn’t matter. You just have to engage and your image just got to be clear and you’ve got to make a promise that you can live by and then you’ve got to tap the results of building relationships in order to really take advantage of what a community  of brand is.

VICKI:          Yes, you know, schools have brands and principals have brands and teachers have brands. I mean, there’s just so many aspects to this and we are going to do a giveaway of the branded book so I do hope everybody would check the show notes. But Trish, as we finish up, let’s say a principal is listening to you, a teacher is listening to you and they’re saying, “Okay, I don’t really think that my school understands brand.” Besides picking up this book, where do they start of trying to understand, what is the brand of our school?


TRISH:         I think the best way to do it is to just sit and have a very open conversation with people who are interested in the topic of the brand and bring those interested people – and it should include kids. It could be a 10-year-old sitting at the table or a 15-year-old. These children understand brand better than we do, they’re really brand-natives, they’ve grown up with the idea of what brands are.

And what we’d all do together is just say what you just said, what do we think brand is? My definition and the most simple way if someone is hearing this and that position to start, brand is an idea that unifies. And that’s what a school needs. I needs that very powerful beacon to unify them. Not just the logo, not just the mascot but a deeper dive into what the school provides, that’s different, that’s benefitting.

And So I would have those first conversations about what we all understand brand today because we engage with brands every single day and we expect from brands he best. And that’s what parents want the school when they’re sending children to it, they expect the best – and we give our best every single day. What we need to do is to get that word out.

VICKI:          So teachers, we have a lot to kind of get out arms around. And I would just encourage you. You might feel like your school doesn’t get brand but you understand brand, learn about brand and understand it for yourself because your classroom does have a brand. People know, oh, I want to be in so and so’s class because they are blank.

TRISH:         Exactly.

VICKI:          What is that blank going to be? What do people say about you? The book is BrandEd: Tell your story, build relationships and empower learning by Trish Rubin and Eric Sheninger. And we’ll be doing a giveaway so check those show notes and think about your brand.


On June 16th we’ll finish up Season 1 of the 10 Minute Teacher. So celebrate, we’ve partnered with one of my favorite robots for teaching coding, Dash and Dot form Wonder Workshop. Go to and enter to win your very own Wonder pack from Wonder workshop and to learn more about how you can use Dash and Dot to teach programming to kids, aged, kindergarten and up.

Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at Never stop learning.


[End of Audio 0:10:43]


[Transcription created by Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email]



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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Peter Birney May 18, 2017 - 12:38 pm

Hi Vicki and Trish,
This is a timely topic for our school. I would love to win the book so that my Superintendent could read it. Thank you both for all that you do to advance learning.

Heather May 18, 2017 - 10:36 pm

Looking forward to branding our instructional coaching program:) Thanks for the information – looking forward to reading “BrandED”!

Curtis May 19, 2017 - 12:52 pm

This is one focus we have started looking at for our school. A lack of true identity and the moral and school spirit that should accompany it. I look forward to reading your book.

Derrick Bright May 21, 2017 - 11:58 pm

Interesting thoughts on helping schools utilize social media in a more effective way. Love the podcast, Vicki.


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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere