Charter Schools: Messaging Campaign for Government Officials and Lawmakers

Client: National Alliance of Public Charter Schools

Awards: 2015 Silver Telly Award Winner in the category of Online Video:Documentary

Challenge

NAPCS (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools) felt that there was a lot of positive media around urban charter schools in New York City, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, but almost zero media coverage of successful rural charter schools. The Alliance approached Green Buzz Agency with the concept of producing a public relations documentary about four thriving rural charter schools all over the country. With a large portion of the budget going towards the crew traveling to four remote regions of the country, GBA was tasked with producing a video on a smaller budget, without sacrificing quality.

Strategy

The target audience for the video was members of state legislatures where it was illegal to set up a charter school (i.e. Vermont), or states where one couldn’t transition a private school into a charter school (i.e. California). GBA and NAPCS worked to find the best schools whose students and teachers could exemplify the passion and spirit needed to evoke an emotional response from legislators.

To obtain great documentary content, the GBA team carefully crafted a series of questions used in interviews with a variety of stakeholders (students, teachers, principals, parents). NAPCS and the schools themselves chose these participants for their ability to speak passionately about the cause. Green Buzz Agency also coordinated travel and shooting for the project. For example, GBA hired four different camera operators for each location. Working with a new team each day was challenging, but GBA’s producer and director of photography prepared heavily beforehand. Each new crew member was always up to date and ready to shoot.

Once in post­-production, the team dug through hours of footage. Editors searched for that emotional soundbite or slow­ motion shot, that parent embracing a child, that passionate statement about the impact the charter school has had on the community. The video then came together, showcasing exactly what NAPCS wanted to say.

Results

The public relations documentary was the recipient of the 2015 Silver Telly Award in the category of Online Video: Documentary, and received coverage from local media outlets.

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