College Board: Don’t Forget Ed Campaign

College Dropout Awareness Display

In an effort to elevate its profile among public, political, and educational influencers, College Board hired SS+K to create a platform for educational advocacy targeted toward the 2012 election.  We launched “Don’t Forget Ed”, a national campaign to elevate the topic of education in the presidential campaign.  The summer-long grassroots movement empowered students, educators, parents, administrators, and more to join together to demand the presidential candidates make education a priority.

 Terrestrial Events

We kicked off the campaign with a striking installation of 857 empty school desks– the number of students who drop out of school every hour of every school day (pictured above)–  on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..  On the day of the event we introduced the hashtag #DontForgetEd, which would be our unifying statement across all social media platforms.

The installation drew national attention to the plight of education in America, attracting news coverage on CNN, the NY Times, and more.  We turned photos of the installation into collateral for our new social properties, and spread a making-of video of the installation online.

Action-Oriented Communities

We focused on building passionate communities of supporters that didn’t just want to follow along with the campaign, but rather would want to actively participate in it.  We built a desktop and mobile website that guided people through a few simple steps they could take to help spread Don’t Forget Ed.

We established outposts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to bring advocates together, supply them with shareable assets like infographics and DIY kits, and inspire them to act.

We partnered with action oriented communities that had already amassed a large collection of activists.  We launched an official petition on Change.org, and a “share your story” hub on BroadCause that delivered everyone’s personal statements directly to the presidented candidates via Twitter.

The Social Media Rally

On August 15th we activated our passionate community for a social media rally.  We activated all of our paid, earned and owned media touch points, and enlisted partner organizations, to ignite everyone’s voices shouting #DontForgetEd at once.

The rally was anchored by an alarming installation on Wall Street, $1.5 Billion dollars at the foot of the stock exchange (representing the economy’s loss due to High School drop outs).  We included video screens that live streamed the nation’s Twitter posts and challenged onlookers to join in.

The rally attracted participation from everyone from New York City Mayor Bloomberg to model Christie Brinkley.

On the Road

To extend the campaign, we took Don’t Forget on the road.  We introduced our social campaign strategy at the 140edu social media & education conference.  We sent street teams to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, to college campuses and concerts.

All of our efforts lead to millions of people learning the dire state of education in our nation, and rallied tens of thousands to lend their voice to the mission.  Education became a hot topic in the media leading up to the election, and was even discussed in the presidential debates.

Case study:

Additional images:

Screens of DontForgetEd.org desktop and mobile website

Screens of DontForgetEd.org desktop and mobile website

Don't Forget Ed Buzzfeed Campaign Page

Don’t Forget Ed Buzzfeed Campaign Page

Don't Forget Ed Pinterest Page of Shareable Infographics

Don’t Forget Ed Pinterest Page of Shareable Infographics

Don't Forget Ed BroadCause Share Your Story Page

Don’t Forget Ed BroadCause Share Your Story Page

Social activity during the August 15th Rally

Social activity during the August 15th Rally

Don't Forget Ed $1.5 Billion Social Call-to-Action

Don’t Forget Ed $1.5 Billion Social Call-to-Action

User shared photo from social media rally

User shared photo from social media rally

Media Coverage

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About kskobac

Loving nyc, food, travel, web, tech

One comment

  1. The statistic about 1% increase in graduation rate yielding 1.5 billion in GDP annually is staggering. I noticed in the republic debate this year education, save common core, was not a topic. I am thinking that if we can tie this to something politicians care about (terrorism, national security, national debt) we might be more successful in creating an enduring message.

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