How is ABI Bringing Its Expertise to Aid the DFW School District in Retaining Students?

As the United States begins to open up again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one area of life that was significantly changed over the last year was education, and more specifically, how we educate our children. As technology suddenly turned living rooms into classrooms and parents had to become educators as well as caregivers, school districts were being forced to be innovative in the ways that they connected with their students.

Because communication became more electronically focused, the nuance of being able to conduct business face-to-face went away for a long period of time, which meant proper, focused communication strategies were now more important than ever. School districts needed to place a premium on minimizing misinformation and maintaining transparency, all while managing to keep students, and their parents, engaged and informed. But how were they supposed to shoulder all of that responsibility? The answer is simple: you don’t go it alone, and instead reach out to a marketing company that you know and trust, such as ABI.

The Dallas ISD is a fantastic example of what happens when a school district and a marketing company work together to tackle a common challenge. With education being an especially competitive landscape at the moment, Dallas ISD was dealing with students opting to enroll in local private or charter schools instead of their local arts or STEM programs, which in many cases, parents were not aware of in the first place. So how did Dallas ISD and ABI manage to combat that lack of awareness?

By implementing a marketing approach that focuses on a psychographic as well as a demographic approach. But what does that actually mean in practical terms? It means meeting people where they are and trying to appeal to them through shared values instead of statistics alone. When you know how to understand your audience, empathize with their situation, and engage creatively to involve them, you can better connect with them as human beings – and that is what makes all the difference.

In this case, that meant being extremely strategic in our marketing strategy. We did such things as:

· Producing Pandora radio spots that were delivered only to African-American parents who lived in the relevant zip codes

· Creating radio spots for both Spanish and English speaking audiences, and airing them in the neighborhoods where those families lived

· Having our movie theater ads run during times of the day when parents were most likely to see them

While this certainly wasn’t our whole strategy, it does demonstrate the out-of-the-box thinking that has helped to make ABI so successful over many years. And when we finished the campaign, these figures reflected just how successful the endeavor was:

· Unique Visitors: 16,000

· Page Views: 50,000

· New Student Applications: 20,000

As this story goes to show, when the community and local business partner together, anything is truly possible when everyone involved undertakes the project out of love and a sense of community. And though we can’t speculate as to what next year’s school year will look like just yet, no matter what happens, ABI will continue to support the DFW community however it can.

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