There is a perennial problem which plagues school marketing departments. Here’s the scenario. The school has just won a local hockey competition. Everyone is delighted and the Head wants the result up on the website asap. But you don’t have any photos – the member of staff in charge of hockey took some photos but they are too large to email. So she is going to put them on a USB stick. You ask for them at break time – ‘I’ll put it in your pigeon hole’ is the answer and… by the time you actually get the USB stick the story is becoming somewhat stale.
So we have launched an app called Pressburst Capture which changes this. Available as a free download from the App Store, it can be installed onto any school-owned Apple device – an iPad, an iPod Touch or an iPhone – and whilst you have to pay for Pressburst, the app is free.
Any member of staff can take a series of photos using the built-in camera and then use the app to upload them, along with a very brief description of what took place. Once the user is happy with their story – however rough – they can upload it.
Once uploaded, the story then appears in the Pressburst system as a draft story for the marketing team to use – you simply polish it up and publish it to your website, to our various channels or turn it into a press release. No more chasing USB sticks. And you don’t even have to type your text – using voice recognition, the app can turn the spoken word into text.
And the possibilities are endless. As well as any kind of sporting activity, what about a Ten Tors expedition? Why not let the pupils record their progress using an iPod touch and securely upload the content for the marketing team to use.
Visits abroad or in the UK – staff can take photos and upload directly into Pressburst for the marketing staff to use. No more re-uploading content – no more emailing photos. It’s all in one place and, crucially, the person using the app cannot publish – they can only submit the story and photos for editing by the marketing staff. The marketing team remain fully in control but have successfully delegated content collection down to whoever you are happy to trust with a school device.
But it doesn’t end there. We know that current parents, especially in the early years, want to know what’s happening in the classroom. Their child comes home and they ask them what they did at school that day – ‘I can’t remember’ is usually the answer! Parents want to go beyond the odd email newsletter home – they want a real insight into the life of their children at school, especially in the younger years. And as the child gets older, and is involved in competitive sport, or drama or other activities, they want to see them achieving, getting involved and being happy at school.
Before releasing Pressburst Capture, we worked with a school in London – St Benedict’s in Ealing – looking at how they could use the app to capture what is taking place in a lesson. Staff at St Benedict’s have found it to be really easy to use and it’s enabled them to give a real insight into what’s happening in class. The stories, once approved by the marketing team, are then published to the parents’ area of their website – in their case, a secure area in their FireFly system.
But you can of course publish the stories anywhere – to any website, portal or system which parents have access to by using Pressburst. Depending on the content, this should be behind a login so you can restrict access to the parents of a particular year group – but it is also very easy to repurpose the content and use it for email newsletters or any other form of communication.
Pressburst Capture is a free download from the App Store and you can install it on as many devices as you wish – it is particularly suited to use on an iPod touch or iPad. Schools need a subscription to Pressburst and also need to be on our new Pro plan. This is £480 per annum – or £40 per month. It has all the features of the normal (what we now call Essential) plan of Pressburst but offers integration with the app as well as the ability to publish internal stories – ones which you don’t share with other channels and just publish to your own website.
If you are an Attain advertiser, there’s even more good news. Annual print advertisers in Attain can use Pressburst Capture, on the Pro plan subscription, free-of-charge. It’s part of our way of saying thank you for supporting Attain.