Mission to Albany
Teach Advocacy Network, the nonpartisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union, advocates to secure millions of dollars in government funding for non-public schools, including yeshivas and day schools. Their expansive network operates in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland and California. Thanks to their efforts, 450 day schools and yeshivas receive vital government funding.
While New York state’s nonpublic school students comprise about 16% of the state’s student population, they receive less than 2% of the state’s education funding. The consequences of such are twofold: the cost of tuition for parents is crippling, and schools too often cannot afford to provide the services their students deserve.
Teach Advocacy works to secure these much-needed funds for schools through its continued advocacy work. That’s why, on Tuesday, March 13th, the Teach Advocacy Network held a Mission to Albany. Hundreds of students, parents, and supporters headed to Albany to spend the day meeting with state legislators and advocating for increased government funding for nonpublic schools.
With the Mission to Albany’s marketing campaign, we set out to accomplish two things:
- To maximize the impact of the Mission to Albany
- To raise communal awareness of the Mission as well as of the broader impact of its work.
As such, we created a comprehensive, multichannel marketing campaign that would accomplish each goal. Using aggressive social media promotion, press releases, ad campaigns, postcard mailing, and more, we generated tremendous buzz surrounding the Mission. To further broadcast our message, we drafted messaging to be sent as a “rabbi’s kit” to community members, urging their involvement.
The message communicated was clear and consistent: If we want to be heard, we need to raise our voices. Through consistent messaging and branding, our marketing materials tapped into our community’s unanimous need for tuition reform and communicated the urgent need for communal involvement.
All this preparation led up to the big day itself – Tuesday, March 13th. We created event signage, and informational booklets and folders for the participants of the Mission. We also launched the new #VoicesOfSTEM video series which demonstrates the profound impact of STEM education. The key was creating a positive experience for all members of the Mission – students, parents, and legislators alike – and providing the correct materials to make the day run smoothly was critical.
We also harnessed the power of “influencer marketing” by collaborating with social media influencer Kosher Guru. The Kosher Guru is not only a man with a formidable social media following; he is a parent of a nonpublic school student and truly understood our message. He participated in the Mission and provided coverage in real time through his social media channels.
Post-Mission, we coordinated media coverage to ensure that the voices raised in Albany reverberated nationwide. And indeed they did, via coverage in the Hamodia, Yated, Mishpacha Magazine, and more.
The Mission to Albany was a resounding success. Hundreds joined the efforts in Albany (including 15 busloads of students from 20 different schools!), meeting with legislators and making their voices heard. Whereas before our nonpublic school students were names on papers and statistics in documents, our legislators now knew them as inquisitive, empowered, and passionate advocates of education. Additionally, the Mission achieved national recognition and underscored the importance of taking action to support nonpublic school education.
Mission to Albany 2018
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