Media Relations & Outreach
The key to a great story is knowing not just what to say but how to say it and who to say it to. And no one knows that better than Larson Communications. We’ve helped position the national movement for better educational opportunities, crafted compelling milestone announcements and put both national and regional spotlights on the leading individuals and schools in improving our nation’s education system.
We’ve worked tenaciously to correct misconceptions about major players in the movement, give supporters a unifying rallying cry, and highlight the amazing success stories that captivate and inspire people. See some of our best stories:
At the end of 2014, Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit organization whose members are secretaries of education and superintendents committed to helping far more children succeed nationwide, broadened their membership from just chief state school officers to include big city superintendent chiefs as well. Its bipartisan members had some of the strongest track records in the country of improving education outcomes for all students and implementing innovative policy solutions, but many potential members were not aware that the organization was now also representing city superintendents.
Magnolia Public Schools has distinguished itself over the past 13 years as a high-quality network of public charter schools that has developed a critical academic pathway for students throughout California. However, negative perceptions about its operations were adversely affecting the Magnolia brand and jeopardizing school reauthorizations. Magnolia hired respected education reform leader and turnaround expert Dr. Caprice Young to take the helm as CEO and address their organizational needs. Magnolia turned to Larson Communications during this critical transition to help rebuild trust with authorizers, families and teachers by strategically communicating to stakeholders that through this new leadership, the Magnolia system would be strong, stable and accountable.
After 15 years, MentorNet had paired more than 32,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) student protégés with professional mentors in related fields – not to mention a 92% successful graduation rate for those in the program – but was still a relatively unknown organization. Under new leadership and with initial funding to support the development of an upgraded social media platform, the national nonprofit needed to gain visibility to attract more mentors as well as additional funders to scale their successful community.
To drive nationwide attention, Larson Communications positioned the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools as the leading voice of the charter school movement framed around the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference.
For the first time, a coalition of four leading charter school organizations, through support from the U.S. Department of Education, developed a broad consensus around national charter school quality and accountability.
Partnering through the Building Charter School Quality (BCSQ) project, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, CREDO at Stanford University, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers worked toward the goal of getting new charter quality standards recognized by the broader education system and general public.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is suffering from low student achievement in many of its schools, coupled with a high dropout rate. Despite this, many charter schools are succeeding well beyond previous expectations. Members of the school board, in the midst of heavy political opposition, proposed a resolution allowing charter school organizations to submit proposals to turn around LAUSD’s low performers and operate several new campuses.
While hundreds of new charter schools have been established in California, offering improved learning opportunities in a manner that was unimaginable a decade ago, not all charter schools have been able to rise to the challenge that the greater movement is taking on. The California Charter Schools Association wanted to introduce a new plan to hold underperformers accountable, while not sacrificing the gains that the broader movement had made.