St. Teresa’s Academy is a highly prestigious private Catholic high school. Over the years their attendance had never been an issue but, in 2010 their waitlist for incoming freshman was the smallest it had ever been. Just 3 girls were wait-listed. And their competitors were flush with girls waiting to get in. St. Teresa’s had an image problem that needed to be addressed quickly. They came to Muller + Company where Tasha took the lead, working directly with the client to come up with a strategy, execution plan and timeline to tackle the issue.

The first objective was to overhaul the recruitment brochure. The current style was dated and far too traditional. Previously,STA had targeted the parents, thinking they owned the decision. But ultimately, the choice is highly influenced by the students and so much of that is driven by their social groups. We needed to talk directly to 7th and 8th grade girls, and we needed to become relevant while still reinforcing the prestigious nature and the historical aspect of the school. We started with a photoshoot to grow a library of assets with a younger, hipper vibe. Then we designed a beautiful, colorful system of assets that was still regal, elegant and nostalgic. The style worked for both audiences, and the client swooned!

To stay top of mind, we followed the recruitment brochure with postcards inviting these same young women to sporting events and theatrical performances at the high school with free admission. Additionally, we decided STA needed to get in front of the girls at a much younger age, to plant the seed much earlier, which allows more time to grow a relationship. We sent a fold-out poster as a direct mail piece to girls in the 5th and 6th grade. The contents promoted summer camps for younger audiences on the STA campus and included free admission tickets to the sporting events and theatrical performances as well.

In the end, the waitlist went from 3 to over 100 within the school year. Tasha went on to work with STA as their sole designer for many years. The following year, a third booklet was added: “Countdown to Stardom,” which was a step-by-step guide on how to apply for admittance. And the waitlist continues to grow.