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How a focused campaign made the difference in a successful program launch

February 7, 2017
Launching a new program (even a state-funded one) takes focused marketing efforts! Learn how the Willamette Promise program in Oregon used our services to develop an inspirational campaign featuring real students.

In 2014-15, the Willamette Educational Service District (WESD) launched a new program that partnered with local community colleges to help students earn low-cost college credits while in high school. The problem? WESD did not have a full-service communication department, and the program was being confused with other college credit programs already in place. They needed campaign planning and creative services to help them explain the new program and generate strong local support or it could lose its state funding before it even had a chance.

WESD contacted us to tackle the marketing problem head-on. While communications managers became experts in the program, writing copy and providing campaign timelines and marketing plans, our creative services department crafted design mockups for client sign-off and executed photoshoots. Within three months, the Willamette Promise “I’m Going” campaign was launched, featuring the real stories and photos of actual Willamette Promise kids, along with basic marketing materials for educator recruitment and community outreach.

Following the campaign, the Willamette Promise program grew to become statewide, serving 57 high schools in the 2015-16 school year. Nearly half of these schools are outside the Willamette ESD region. In this second year, we helped keep the campaign fresh, conducting new student interviews and photoshoots. 

We continued to support Willamette ESD promoting their programs until they were able to expand their own communications capacity in-house.

TOP: A representative for Willamette Promise talks to students and parents during a high school career fair surrounded by pop-up banners developed for the campaign. ABOVE: The campaign used postcards and flyers to get the word out at career fairs and other events.