We love stories and people, so we thought it would be really interesting to start featuring some of our most favorite people in a monthly Spotlight column. We regularly feature clients, Pinstripe Marketing employees, partners, and community members who have touched our lives in some way.
This Spotlight is on Rachel Barrett, Director of Marketing and Communications at Shorecrest Preparatory School. Rachel is not just a wonderful client, she is a really great person too. Now you can meet her for yourself.
Director of Marketing and Communication
Shorecrest Preparatory School
St. Petersburg, FL
Years in this position: 1.5
Years in this industry: 10
What is the first marketing project you remember?
I was charged with planning a ladies tea for a group of alumni at Savannah Country Day School where I worked in the Development Office. When I asked about the budget for the event my boss told me, “Spend what you need.” $5,000 later I had the finest rented china, tablecloths, and gourmet cookies for a group of about 25 women. It was a charming event, but cost about 10x what we’d budgeted. I learned that, while autonomy is something I value and appreciate, sometimes you must give – and get – specific instructions before charging ahead!
What do you like most about marketing?
The sheer variety! In my role I get to write, design, code, analyze data, study psychology, take risks, lead, follow, work independently, collaborate, etc. And the field is always evolving – there is always something new to learn.
What challenges does your industry face?
In education, there’s the struggle of balancing best practices based on the latest brain research of child development versus what parents experienced as students just a generation ago. Sometimes parents expect school to be the same experience for their children as it was for them, though the world is an entirely different place. Educators also face the pressure of our data-driven society. Things like test scores and one-dimensional student assessments can compete against goals that are difficult to measure like a child’s social-emotional health, resilience, understanding over memorization, etc. For me, working at a place like Shorecrest with such an incredible group of teachers, I think our faculty and administration do an exemplary job of balancing those demands, which in turn gives our marketing team the tools we need to communicate effectively with our current and prospective families.
What marketing resources do you recommend?
Seth Godin is my marketing crush; my favorite of his books is All Marketers are Liars. I also am a huge fan of Hubspot’s blog and training materials. Staying connected with peers and fellow marketers on LinkedIn and Twitter is also a great way to see what other professionals are discussing and sharing.
If you could give one piece of advice to Tampa Bay companies, what would it be?
Partner with a school. It could be through a service project mentoring at-risk students, through sponsoring a department or team that aligns with your company’s mission, providing guest experts for a class discussion, there are so many ways that businesses and schools can form mutually beneficial relationships. The more our communities invest in education, the stronger our area is for recruiting employees with families, the stronger our future workforce, the list goes on.
What are your hobbies?
I love to run and bike. Almost as much as I love to eat and drink. I’m also really trying to get into gardening, but I seem to kill everything I attempt to cultivate.
Last book you read?
The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff.
Thank you, Rachel, for taking the time out of your schedule to answer a few questions to give our readers some insight into the life of a preparatory school marketing director! We can’t wait to see what you do next.
If you’d like to be featured in the Pinstripe Spotlight, just let us know!