Learning Curve

Changing perceptions of online education

K12 Inc. is a provider of free full-time online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school. By providing flexible at-home education options, K12 gives families an alternative to the traditional “brick and mortar” schooling experience. In 2011, K12 sought to increase public awareness of virtual education, bring online education into the mainstream and promote its offerings in the local communities it serves. BG was engaged to execute simultaneous localized media relations campaigns on behalf of K12-affiliated online charter schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. In 2013, the scope expanded to include Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas, as well as three private online schools, and in 2014 we added Minnesota and Wisconsin to our roster.

Client

K12



Awards
  • 2015 PR News Agency Elite: Media Relations
  • 2014 PRSA Ladle for Media Relations (For Profit)
  • 2012 PRSA Pepperpot for Media Relations

An Evolving Media Landscape

After successful campaigns in 2011 and 2012, the media landscape evolved. More competitors emerged, the idea of virtual education became more commonplace, state politics came into play and media began approaching the topic with increased scrutiny. Where before we had success discussing the concept of online education, reporters were now better informed. At the same time, the stories of students who thrived in an online learning environment had largely gone unshared. For student-athletes traveling around the country, actresses spending their days on set and students who simply need to learn at their own speed, virtual learning often played a crucial role. Our job was to get those stories told.

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Spotlighting Success

Through a combination of unique student and teacher profiles, parent testimonials, timely story angles around relevant awareness and advocacy initiatives, thought leadership from heads of schools, regional events and school milestones, BG secures ongoing editorial coverage that boosts awareness of each K12 state program, increases positive sentiment about online education and mitigates any critical press. Every year our resulting media coverage significantly exceeds expectations, averaging nearly 100 placements annually. By focusing on hyperlocal outlets, coverage remains balanced among all states and includes student/teacher profiles as well as feature articles advocating online education.

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