The Northwest School

Recruitment Videos

Video Production

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The Situation

The Northwest School, an independent day and boarding school located in Seattle, reached out to Team Soapbox for support with their annual student admissions communications.  In previous years, The Northwest School had filmed short video interviews with current students as a resource for prospective students and their families to understand the school’s education model and unique community.

For a new round of videos, in the run-up to new student admissions, Northwest wanted to hone in on aspects of their school community, academics and values that could be more clearly communicated through student stories. Our job was to utilize the organization’s brand and style guide to improve the visual presentation of their student voices in a suite of new videos, and match students’ enthusiasms with the school’s key messages for prospective families.

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The Approach

Team Soapbox worked closely with the Northwest communications team to identify the issues that would be most important to new students and families considering applying for admissions.  We worked together to outline the school’s areas of strengths, and examples of where their unique approach to secondary education really stood out (for example, the Northwest Environment program that paired students across grade levels to maintain school buildings, building care for their shared community). 

Based on this initial message development work, the school identified potential students for video interviews. Team Soapbox then connected directly with each student and their parents, through preparatory Q&A sessions, to uncover what each student was most passionate about, and prep individualized interview questions designed to match student enthusiasms with key message points.

On the days of filming, this prep work really paid off during the interview process. Team Soapbox was able to construct and art direct background sets (on site at the school) for each interview, to subtly reinforce the student and the school’s areas of interest, and strength. Children were less nervous on camera, because they’d had a chance to think and prepare before filming.  And useful video soundbites were easier to capture, because student stories had already been matched with school’s areas of excellence.

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The Results

Team Soapbox edited and prepared a final suite of student video vignettes, incorporating existing b-roll that the school had filmed of classes, events and athletics alongside interview footage.  The final videos created a diverse, energetic and compelling portrait of The Northwest School’s academic community. Northwest students appeared as the confident and impressive young people they are, and the school’s range of academics, extracurriculars and values really shone through in each vignette.  The videos were embedded on The Northwest School website during admissions season and feedback from faculty and parents has been very positive.  Team Soapbox was re-hired by the school to produce and develop a new video in Fall 2017, in support of a fundraising campaign.

MomsRising

Building Blocks
of Early Learning Event

Message Development | Media Relations | Events

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The Situation

MomsRising mobilizes Washington families to ensure the state legislature makes critical investments in early learning programs, a fundamental part of our education system and our children's academic development. So  why not put smiles on legislator’s faces at the same time? Team Soapbox was enlisted to develop a media and event strategy during Washington State’s legislative sessions to remind legislators not to cut early learning and care for our children when balancing the budget in Olympia.

The Approach

The theme of the event was Building Blocks of Early Learning and we made sure we captured the fun, whimsical but serious side of MomsRising but also conveyed the seriousness of the importance of high-quality early learning and affordable child care. Fitting the theme of the event, we orchestrated the creation of large two-foot tall alphabet blocks that spelled out key words and phrases related to early learning and managed the logistics for an event occurring on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Critical to the event was securing legislative and education leaders. Working in collaboration with MomsRising, Team Soapbox helped managed outreach and invitations to legislative and national leaders, securing: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, House Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT),  Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD), Representative George Miller (D-CA), Representative Jared Polis (D-CO, and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

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The Results

National, local and social media was an integral part of the event. To ensure maximum coverage, Team Soapbox wrote and released the press release for the event and did one-on-one media relations outreach to national and local outlets. As a result, photographers and journalists from UPI, NBC, The Hill, Washington Examiner, Politico, AP Photo and PBS attended - stories and photos were published s in Politico, The Hill and UPI.

Team Soapbox also ran point on social media, developing #BuildKidsUp which was used by legislators, legislative staff and the news media. Live tweeting and event photos were posted to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram the day of the event, resulting in more than 200 posts, a reach of 1.1 million, and over 2.1 million impressions. Specifically, Representative Nancy Pelosi’s tweet about the event was retweeted more than 100 times.

Seattle Department of Transportation

Play Like a Parking Pro

Creative Campaign Development |
Video Production | Design

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The Situation

Parking. Just about everyone deals with it and talks about it. Team Soapbox was hired by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to educate drivers about planned changes to on-street parking hours and rates in select neighborhoods around Seattle. Our challenge was to get drivers to pay attention before they get a parking ticket because they weren’t expecting the changes.
 

The Approach

SDOT charged Team Soapbox with developing a well-rounded and targeted public education campaign. Team Soapbox led the team that developed the visual concept and brand, messaging and tagline and created a multi-layered campaign that included a large advertising buy, production of a video that ran as a television ad and lives on the SDOT website,  as well as community outreach and grassroots marketing.

Playing off the notion that Seattleites like to be in the know, we created a theme related to knowing the rules of a game with a Monopoly-like graphic. Soapbox created three different graphics to be used in different areas of the city that would be seeing different changes, directing people to the SDOT parking website for more information about the changes.

Additionally, to raise awareness of the parking changes, Soapbox coordinated and managed the placement of ads with more than 20 major print, radio television and ethnic media outlets in Seattle. We dispatched street team members to farmers' markets and the International District to hand out postcard describing the changes. We also distributed postcards to retail locations in all of the areas where hours and rates would be changing.

The Results

Team Soapbox evaluated the success of the ads based on impressions, reach, and other metrics. We analyzed feedback received at community events and during street outreach, and feedback from retail locations. Additionally, SDOT received few complaints about the parking changes, which was an indication that people were getting the message and understanding the changes ahead of time

Valley Cities Behavioral Health

Valley Cities Behavioral Health “Living With” Campaign

Message Development | Creative Campaign Development | Design

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The Situation

Mental illness, chemical use, and homelessness are pressing topics for our community. Valley Cities, the largest provider of behavioral health services in South King County, came to Team Soapbox with an ambitious challenge. Their goal was to change the conversation about mental health and substance abuse from one of fear, discrimination and stigma to one of compassion, understanding and support, and to show there are solutions that make a difference in communities and people’s lives. They also wanted to position Valley Cities as a strategic organization with the expertise and experience to make an impact on individuals’ lives and in the region.

Team Soapbox was tasked with developing a communications plan to target people in the Puget Sound area who may have negative perceptions of individuals dealing with mental illness and substance use but are receptive to reason. A secondary audience was King County officials and state legislators who can influence public opinion and support future funding needs.

The Approach

We started with a research and discovery process which included conducting a media audit to understand what messages were showing up consistently in coverage and what stories were not being told. This informed our media and marketing strategy to include stories of hope and resiliency (to counteract the fear and misunderstanding and negative portrayals of people with mental illness and substance use).

Message development was next, as it was critical not only to have simple language available to describe Valley Cities' services, but also to educate the community as to how bad the epidemic really is (and in turn, what Valley Cities’ role is in addressing the problem). This was followed by story gathering and interviewing individuals who received services from Valley Cities. We used these stories later for media pitches.

We developed an overarching communications plan to address the main goals of the campaign, as well as site-specific plans to support the opening of new facilities across King County with tailored, location-based outreach. We introduced positive messages about mental illness and what possibilities exist with treatment by placing ads in targeted media outlets in Valley Cities’ core South King County markets. We ran print and online ads in the Waterland Blog, Renton Reporter, Auburn Reporter, and Kent Reporter as well as Facebook.

The Results

Team Soapbox elevated the awareness of Valley Cities’ expertise as a leader in providing behavioral health services in South King County. In the first six months of engagement, we placed eight media stories in outlets including the Auburn Reporter, Federal Way Mirror, Kent Reporter, Puget Sound Business Journal, Waterland Blog and KUOW.

We developed a set of key messages on the issues of chemical use and mental health as well as language specific to the work of Valley Cities. As a result, language is becoming more consistent through all communications vehicles, and a more clear and intentional story of the issues is being told

The 10-week paid media campaign received 1,733,646 impressions, generated online discussion about the issues, and Facebook likes increased by 26%. April was also the busiest month for new clients (and we like to think that’s no coincidence given our marketing during that time frame).

Community Health Network of Washington

Community Health Network of Washington  

Media Relations

The Situation

Washington State community health centers rely on funding from the capital budget to finance projects that impact community health. In 2017, the capital budget was delayed (as of this post, it still has not passed). Budget dollars in the capital budget was earmarked for funding to build and expand dental clinics across the state. The Community Health Network of Washington (CHNW) reached out to Team Soapbox to develop an earned media strategy to influence key legislators in passing the capital budget.  

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Our Approach

At the outset, we launched into message development to develop consistent and compelling language about this issue. These messages would ultimately be woven into media pitches and stories, as well as shared with local spokespeople at community health centers across the state in order to tell a shared story of the statewide delay local impact.

Working with our client, we identified the legislative districts that included key legislators that had influence over pushing the capital budget forward. Then we identified the media outlets in these districts we wanted to pitch, and strategized on the type of coverage we wanted to pursue - op-ed if there was a vocal local leader and the paper hadn’t run an op-ed on the issue, or feature story if there was an opportunity for photos and further detail on the clinic project. Then we began our outreach to reporters at our targeted outlets who have covered state budget or healthcare stories in the past. When we got a bite, we facilitated the interview between the outlet and the local community health center client, developed talking points, and liaised between our contact and the reporter.

Results

Communications efforts successfully engaged health centers to ensure that legislators heard the message about the importance of passing the state capital budget.We also made great strides in illustrating the benefit community health centers have on low-income populations. Stories were placed in The Seattle Times, the Federal Way Mirror, Ellensburg Record, Capitol Hill Times and segments ran on KOMO radio and KING-TV.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

#TeachWA | Teacher Recruitment Campaign

Creative Campaign Development | Message Development | Video production

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The Situation

Washington State schools are woefully understaffed. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction hired Team Soapbox to develop and implement a marketing and communications campaign to recruit individuals to become K-12 teachers. With a focus on three distinct audiences - individuals earning a teaching degree, individuals with a teaching degree but no longer using it, and individuals seeking a new career - we went to work to determine how to communicate and encourage these people to consider a career in teaching in Washington state.

The project included developing audience specific messaging, a campaign name, logo and brand identity, development and design of collateral materials, video production, social media management, recruitment fair materials, and website copy -- all of which was done in a short timeline of just five months.

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OUR APPROACH

The work started with an intense period of research to fully understand what motivates individuals to choose the teaching profession. We reviewed existing campaigns (both nationally and within other states and districts) and conducted more than 30 stakeholder interviews with existing teachers, students in teacher preparation programs, college of education deans, school administrators and parents. This provided insight into the driving factors that cause people to consider a career in teaching and remain in the teaching profession. Furthermore, this research phase allowed us to identify core messages for each stakeholder group: young millennials considering a teaching degree, individuals with a teaching certificate but not currently using it, and individuals considering a career change.

We developed a tagline “For the Love of…" which allowed for personal and authentic testimonial statements from real teachers to highlight the many reasons why someone would want to move to Washington State to teach (for example: "For the Love of Exploration", "For the Love of Aha Moments", "For the Love of The Future", etc.).

We determined the campaign name ("Teach WA"), designed the logo, and created the design and copy of several print materials for job recruitment fairs (this included banners, brochures, folder, branded give-away items, and a style guide for website and print materials). We designed and coordinated the printing and delivery of all materials.

In three short weeks, we interviewed over 25 teachers and secured 13 teachers for filming. We coordinated three filming dates and locations across Washington state - Seattle, Olympia and Kennewick, WA.  In collaboration with our subcontractor, Remedy Pictures, Team Soapbox provided direction through the filming of the teachers and oversaw the editing and post-production elements of the video. What resulted was four videos that emphasized the "For the Love of" campaign brand and were used to highlight the benefits of a teaching career in Washington State at job fairs, on social media, and on the Teach WA website.  

In conjunction with the video production, we launched a social media presence for the campaign on Facebook and Instagram — strategically selecting these platforms due to a desire to target the millennial generation. Team Soapbox developed an editorial calendar for each social platform, both creating and posting content regularly on the sites to reinforce the campaign brand and share information about how individuals can pursue a teaching career.

To drive traffic to the social pages, we launched ad campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram, pushing the message that job openings for the 2017-2018 academic year are available.

 
 

RESULTS

Team Soapbox’s strong project management resulted in successful project completion and creation of all deliverables within the rapid five month timeline.

While it is too soon yet to determine the impact the campaign has had on recruiting new teachers into the Washington state teaching corps, we can share that the campaign generated a strong social media presence and left an impactful impression with job fair candidates at many Colleges of Education.

Specifically, two weeks of our initial three month paid advertising campaign on social media resulted in the Teach Washington Facebook page generated over 1,000 likes and Instagram has had over 10,000 post engagements. And, at the end of our engagement on this campaign, there were more than 3,000 Facebook followers.