October 20, 2016 / Marketing

Wheeler adviser loving the benefits of Walsworth’s PEP

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

Kathleen Kosal is busy. She is in the middle of her second year as the yearbook adviser at Wheeler High School in Valparaiso, Indiana, where yearbook has moved from a club to a class, with a larger staff. There’s a lot going on.

Which is why Kosal loves Walsworth’s Parent Email Program (PEP).

“We have a really tight-knit community within our district,” said Kosal. “For parents to get reminders about the yearbook and see emails about yearbook is really important.”

Before Kosal took over the yearbook program at Wheeler last year, the school primarily promoted yearbook sales through an expensive home mailing program provided by its previous publisher.

However, after switching to Walsworth a year ago, Kosal began promoting book sales to parents via email. But it began as a manual, labor-intensive endeavor.

“I kind of did all the parent emails myself, cutting and pasting right out of Excel,” said Kosal. “Then part of the way through the year, (Walsworth) introduced PEP. It was such a weight off me.”

Where Kosal had to previously worry about duplicate emails and bounce-backs to an account she was managing in Gmail, now that’s all handled automatically by Walsworth. And, the PEP emails sent by Walsworth have a richer look and design than anything Kosal was able to do in Gmail.

Kosal said with this being only her second year as adviser, and the school’s first full year using PEP, it’s still a little too early to document how much of a boost to book sales PEP has provided. But there was no question, according to Kosal, that using PEP has freed up more time to work with her new staff on improving the quality of the Wheeler book.

“Most (advisers) are full-time teachers with a lot on our plates as is,” said Kosal. “To have one less thing to worry about considering the environment we work in and everything we have to get done, that’s invaluable.”

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Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is the Marketing Automation Supervisor for Walsworth. He's been a writer, editor and web content specialist for Walsworth for the past 15+ years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.