In Washington’s February 8 election, the Strategies 360 team helped 14 school districts approve 23 measures, for a total of $5 billion in local levy and bond funding for about 200,000 Washington state students. We are honored to continue our partnerships with school districts to communicate the facts about levies and bonds and successfully pass these funding measures.
We are proud of these successes on behalf of students and schools. This was a challenging election cycle with January school closures, a lack of in-person election community meetings and a generally disengaged electorate. To address these challenges, Strategies 360 worked with districts over the past year on public opinion research, strategy, messaging, communications planning, video, graphic design and digital marketing. We are so glad to be able to provide support to school district leadership, who are dedicated to providing quality education to their students – especially when they have so many things on their plates during this difficult time.
So, what did we learn?
2022 election trends for school districts:
- Digital marketing works: Every school district we worked with in the February 8 election used paid online digital media ads to help inform their community about the need for the levies or bonds. These ads included Google search ads, social media ads, online display ads and YouTube video ads. Ads on streaming services and on mobile apps performed really well, with more people watching videos and seeing our ads on their phone versus a computer. Also, we were quick to add additional key search words to our search ads based on voter pamphlet information or misinformation from the opposition, helping guide people looking for facts to the district websites.
- Consistent messaging and branding helps build awareness. Whether it was creating a logo to help brand the levy or bond, or just using the same color palette or the same engaging photo, consistent branding of the school funding effort was key. People are busy, scrolling and scanning. But having the same look and feel visually in our materials helped make those messages pop. Using research and ongoing monitoring of trending public conversations, we were able to craft the consistent messages that were tailored to resonate best with each unique district audience.
- Use social media and video to tell the stories of funding needs. Keep the detailed tax rate information on the website and use social media and video to tell the stories about why the district is asking for funding, showcasing gaps, the need for technology, building repairs, nurses, and more. Those are the posts that got the most likes and shares. Use Facebook/Instagram stories to engage viewers too.
Thank you to our school district partners for continuing to work with us on these critical measures! Want to learn more about our work? Visit www.strategies360.com/education or email us at EdTeam@strategies360.com