It’s an exciting time in the word of education. Monumental shifts are happening in the ways we instruct, engage and assess students. Educators across the country are recalibrating their processes and standards to best prepare students for a modern, bold workplace.
For educational organizations, communications are critical during this transition. New curricula, assessment, standards, digital instruction are being implemented—how to best inform multiple audience segments at once of all that is happening? Community, parents, students, staff, donors, board and stakeholder decision-makers and more. Moreover, how to demonstrate progress? How to prepare audiences for what’s to come?
In short: it’s a lot for busy educators to manage at once—in an often-sensitive climate. Audiences are passionate and—when uninformed—are quick to draw some erroneous conclusions. Skeptics find their voices quickly.
These are the exact challenges we helped ameliorate with a Maryland K-12 public school district (we are respecting our client’s confidentiality here). The district suffered a perception issue in the community. The district and its body of schools had been head-down for years, diligently working to reach and inspire children with great results. Daily successes were happening in the halls of each building—students of all learning types and backgrounds were being reached in personalized ways. CTE was flourishing. ELL was rising to meet a swelling body of non-English speaking young students. Rigor was enforced with a strong balance of compassion. And much more.
Here’s the catch: no one knew. County Council and the community—namely those taxpayers not immediately tied to the school district—were quick to assume that the school budgets were not being put to good use. That funds should be cut. That schools were ineffective with their efforts.
Through a collaborative brand discovery effort—these very strengths and values were surfaced. Fresh Tonic worked to understand first-hand the true essence and philosophy of the organization, then brought it to life in a brand position and messaging. The websites were rebranded—working closely with the district communications team—and a communications strategy was formed to find new ways to promote the district’s thought leadership, showcase the daily successes and accomplishments on each campus, and to promote their commitment to the community through public relations.
The results have been remarkable. Website traffic has skyrocketed. Social media has become a useful vehicle for connecting with students and parents. Segmented, audience-focused newsletters enjoy huge followings. Budgets have been secured and the district is enjoying new successes.
Interested? Let’s connect.