The one constant in the education market, is change. Policy and practices are always evolving, and changes in the federal government bring into focus the key issues in our educational landscape. As FY18 budget appropriations take shape, it’s time to make a positive impact on allocations by advocating for what truly matters through your own marketing in education.
In part one of our “Dollars and Sense” series, we provided quick takeaways from the “Policy and a Chaser” ISTE event, which was hosted by CB&A and the Winter Group. As a part of our discussion of the future of education policy, we urged ed tech vendors to promote advocacy among their employees and customers.
As your team moves forward, you will need to strike a balance between internal and external advocacy initiatives. Here are some guidelines to promote advocacy across your audiences.
Incorporate advocacy in marketing in education initiatives
By using marketing channels to explore issues you care about, your company is making a positive difference for education, and building a reputation as an organization that’s dedicated to improving learning for all students.
External messaging for advocacy initiatives can be as simple as sharing policy updates on Facebook and Twitter channels. Tell your audience how they can find the appropriate legislator to contact about an education issue. It’s also beneficial to draft a suggested text or phone script to use when contacting lawmakers.
For a more in-depth advocacy campaign, send timely email messages to encourage recipients to support education at the state and federal level. Additionally, timely policy alerts can spur organic audience growth as more education leaders sign up for your newsletter.
Initiate your own advocacy program
Your internal advocacy efforts can involve staff-wide alerts about important policy discussions. If you begin to share alerts, craft your messages to follow company guidelines regarding appropriate political action.
For a more robust advocacy program, follow the lead of industry leaders such as CoSN and create an event to promote involvement. Proceeds from a dinner or luncheon fundraiser could support education programs. Other events might include an informational webinar or symposium that provides context for contemporary education policy, and how attendees can make a difference in today’s political climate.
Investigate existing advocacy opportunities
Your company can help advance policies that support the improvement of education by supporting advocacy efforts of an established trade association. This can involve your entire organization, or individuals on your leadership team.
There are myriad options to consider. Here’s a shortlist of organizations that are fighting the good fight.
- ASCD: Expand your advocacy influence in Title II funding through ASCD’s initiatives.
- CoSN: Join the Advocacy Network, attend the annual advocacy dinner and auction, or donate to its efforts to improve education technology.
- iNACOL: Review the association’s policy resources for personalized learning.
- ISTE: Join the advocacy network, or take advantage of ISTE’s robust toolkit for supporting digital education.
- ETIN of SIIA: Review the advocacy resources for education technology in a wider range of public policies.
- SETDA: Advocate for equity of access, digital content, interoperability and digital learning using this group’s resources.
If you would like to augment this list, or learn more about state-specific, or subject-specific organizations, please reach out.
Your first step in advocacy does need not to be a big one. Begin by staying informed and speaking up about the issues that matter. To get more tips on keeping up-to-date with education policy news, stay tuned for the next installment of our “Dollars and Sense” series.
For more ideas on organizations and strategies to facilitate advocacy efforts within your marketing in education, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.