Case Studies

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K12, Inc.

Services:
Media Relations, Marketing, Communications Planning, Community Outreach, Media and Speaker Training, Message Development

Giving Families an Educational Choice


Situation
Full-time online public school is helping thousands of students who need a more flexible, individualized approach. Yet many families have never heard of it or haven’t considered online education as a choice in public schools.

When K12 Inc, one of the largest providers of online education curriculums, brought Insight Schools into their family of schools, they asked Team Soapbox to develop a hyper-local approach to media relations for all K12 Western region schools in California, Idaho Nevada, Oregon and Washington. (Team Soapbox had worked with Insight since their launch in 2006).

A decade after online schools became an option, a greater diversity of families are choosing virtual education. K12’s challenge is to help families understand how online education works and the benefits of the K12 program and to help them determine if it’s the right option for them.

Strategy
In the years of working with K12, we strategized closely with individual schools in each state to ensure meaningful coverage of K12’s schools and its messages, by:
  • Leveraging education based, timely news hooks such as back to school for larger category stories;

  • Reactive media focusing coverage where there is strongest media opportunity;

  • Ongoing targeting of media markets and outlets that have not reported on the online education model;

  • Hyper-local earned media outreach in target markets to traditional and online media;

  • Cultivating unique, inspiring and locally-relevant family and student stories;

  • Tapping into the passion and expertise of teachers and administrators as spokespersons and storytellers for the schools and advocates for the online learning model.


Results
  • More than 350 placements in blogs, newspapers, television and radio across small and large markets in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada, sharing glimpses as well as in-depth explanations the advantages and benefits of an online education.

  • In January 2013, Soapbox placed a front page feature in the San Jose Mercury News with three accompanying articles which ran across Bay Area News Group networks, including the Oakland Tribune and The Contra Costa Times as well as the 20+ print subsidiaries and online versions. In total, the articles in print and online reached audiences of more than 8 million.

  • Stories placed repeated K12’s key messages, including how online schools offer families an education choice; that students who attend school full-time, online engage in a variety of socialization opportunities—school-sponsored and extra-curricular; and K12’s approach to individualized learning for each child.

  • Soapbox works to leverage placed stories through K12 and individual schools, the families featured, local education-focused blogs and other networks, increasing the reach of the stories.