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.
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.
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.
- New York Times
- Huffington Post
- NPR Photo of the Day
- WSJ Photo of the Day
- In the Capital
- USA Today
- Think Progress
- PBS News Hour
- MTV Power of 12
- Take Part