Education Marketing Strategy

A Special Education Publisher Contest – Case Study

By June 10, 2012January 13th, 2020No Comments

The Situation: When our client, a leading provider of instruction materials for students with special needs, sponsored a contest to honor special education teachers and their students, CB&A leveraged the opportunity to promote the contest to achieve nationwide recognition and spark participation.

Our client partnered with a family fun park designed for students with special needs, and an online community for teachers. Together they sponsored a nationwide contest for special education teachers and their students. Teachers had the opportunity to nominate one student, and his or her family, for a chance to win a free trip to the family fun park.

In addition, the five teachers who garnered the most votes won free educational products from the publisher. A panel of judges reviewed the top 10 nominees who received the most votes, and selected the grand prize winner and five runners-up.

Given the vast participation and support the contest received, the client provided extra resources to send the two top runners-up in addition to the grand prize winner to the family fun park, and awarded education product materials to the teachers who nominated these students as well.

Contest Results

The successful campaign enhanced visibility, garnered extensive media coverage, and positioned the publisher as a premier provider of instructional materials for students with special needs.

To build awareness around the event, CB&A worked closely with the client to create a campaign that would inspire teachers to nominate students for the contest, and spread the word about the client and the family fun park.

These tactics led to a significant increase in nominations for the contest. PR tactics included three news announcement distributions, media relations counsel, social media outreach, customer relations advisory, and coverage result measurement and evaluation.

As soon as the finalists were announced, CB&A reached out to targeted local media. When the winners were selected, CB&A contacted select local media outlets in Abilene, Texas; Stuart, Fla.; and Hermosa Beach, Calif.; to share the news.

Campaign Visibility

Some campaign outcomes:

  • Nearly 250 teachers nominated a student, and his or her family, for a chance to win a free trip to the family fun park designed for students with special needs.
  • The nominations were posted in the online community for teachers and received more than 56,000 votes over a three-week period.
  • The five grand-prize winners compiled more than 4,000 votes combined, and the nearly 300 entries generated upwards of 7,000 votes overall.
  • The campaign’s PR outreach generated more than 50 articles, with a combined outreach of over 2.7 million impressions.
  • The contest was covered in publications and media outlets such as:


  • Thanks to the extensive coverage in the education trade media and consumer media in New York, our client was positioned as a premier online teaching and learning solution for one-to-one computing classrooms.
  • The contest led to increased awareness of the client, and its instructional materials, among the media, educators, potential customers, and key supporters of the organization.
  • Thanks to the promotion and extensive media coverage, the client achieved their measurable goals for the contest:
    • The campaign successfully introduced the contest to the education market, special education administrators, educators and thought leaders.
    • The campaign heightened awareness of the contest through distribution of news releases and pitches to trade and consumer editors, reporters, bloggers, and VIPs.
    • The campaign increased nominations and online votes for the contest by garnering coverage in media outlets and through social media efforts.