Last year there was a lot of discussion among members of CTA’s Communications Committee about the need for a positive, value-based message to counter all the attacks on unions and public educators, says committee chair Katie Young, a member of the Modesto Teachers Association. “The guidance that came from those great conversations helped create this year’s back-to-school campaign.”
Building on that input as well as marketing research, CTA has launched a back-to-school campaign that is designed to remind people of the value of public education and how everyone has an obligation to make sure neighborhood schools are the best that they can be.
The stars in the ads are all educators — and one parent — most of whom were “discovered” in the Communications Track at this year’s Summer Institute, says CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “We felt it was important to put members on the front line of this campaign.”
This effort is “aimed at showing our educators and what they do, using their voices and also continuing to remind people of the importance and value of public education,” says CTA Associate Executive Director Rebecca Zoglman. “We did a play on words, using the phrase: ‘Let’s all get back to schools.’ While it coincides with the new school year, we are really using the term to mean, ‘As Californians, let's get back to focusing on and investing in public education.’”
The ads, which show how protecting teachers’ jobs now helps students land good jobs in the future and how all students deserve the chance for a well-rounded education, are a reminder of why California must rebuild schools after years of funding cuts.
“A brighter future for California starts right here in classrooms like mine,” says a teacher in one 30-second television ad.
“I believe in quality schools and colleges that prepare our kids for good-paying jobs,” another teacher says into the camera. Schools are where “dreams of innovations that could change the world become real,” adds another educator.
A school bus driver declares, “I believe strong public schools and colleges make our communities even stronger.”
“Join us,” says Vogel, concluding the spot in unison with several teachers: “Let’s all get back to schools.”
Radio ads are running for three weeks on 91 stations statewide in English and Spanish, as well as on several Asian-language stations. Print ads were created in nine languages and will run in more than 55 newspapers, including Native American and other ethnic publications. The Web ads will run on targeted news, family/parent and teacher-focused websites.
The three 30-second television ads, which were timed to avoid getting lost in the clutter of big retailer advertising over the Labor Day weekend, started after the holiday and will run for three weeks. Outdoor advertising includes billboards in Humboldt County, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Victorville and San Diego, as well as ads on mass transit shelters in San Francisco.
To see or hear all the campaign’s components and get additional resources to encourage family involvement, visit www.cta.org/backtoschool2011.