WESTBURY SCHOOL DISTRICT
At ZE Creative Communications we use the word “comprehensive” quite a bit. It’s not a mantra, necessarily, but it’s certainly a word to which we aspire. Take public school district clients, for example. Given the wide-ranging complexities of any public school district—competing methodologies; the diversity of people, locations and economic situations; and the sheer size—a simple communications strategy just isn’t going to cut it. No, an effective communications plan for a public school district must be multifaceted and far-reaching, it must take advantage of all devices in the public relations tool box. It must be, in other words, comprehensive.
- Established an advocacy group to fight for fair and equitable foundation aid from New York State.
- Created anthem videos—three-to-four minute video billboards, giving viewers a unique and inclusive look into the people and places that comprise a district.
Our work with the Westbury School District exemplifies this philosophy. While certain clients prefer to emphasize one particular communications strategy, the work ZECC has carried out with the Westbury School District over the years has included crisis communication, press releases, newsletters, video projects, website design, press conferences, marketing materials, public advocacy, editorializing and more. The Westbury School District is a district that understands the importance of communication and is willing to try new and emerging methods of reaching out and connecting with constituencies. This open-mindedness on the part of the school district has enabled ZECC to undertake exciting and varied communications projects.
Like we do with any client, ZECC employs traditional communications methods as part of its overall communications plan with the Westbury School District. Press releases, media advisories, newsletters, statements, crisis communication—these are the bread and butter of any integrated strategy, and it’s certainly no different with the Westbury School District. Let’s take a closer look, then, at some of the more distinctive projects undertaken by ZECC on behalf of the Westbury School District over the years.
ZECC was instrumental in helping the Westbury School District—along with other minority-majority districts on Long Island and in New York—establish an advocacy group to fight for fair and equitable foundation aid from New York State. Recognizing that state aid legally promised to minority-majority school districts was not being dispersed, the Westbury School District, along with partner districts, founded a coalition for what they deserved. ZECC organized a meeting of principal board of education members and superintendents to launch the coalition. ZECC began an aggressive media campaign, using traditional media to spread the word and garner public support as well as district newsletters to speak to the Westbury community directly. Additionally, ZECC organized and staged an ambitious press conference on the steps of the Nassau County Courthouse, bringing together teachers, educators and administrators from Westbury and other school districts for a powerful and visually striking statement.
Short, easily digested and sharable videos have, in only a few years, gone from side projects augmenting traditional efforts to the shining centerpieces of large communications plans. ZECC has long recognized this, and it has a willing and excited partner in the Westbury School Districts. Over the course of several weeks in 2019, ZECC team of videographers, photographers, and content managers visited every school in the Westbury School District to interview students, teachers and principals. We asked them all variations of the same basic question: “What makes the Westbury School District so great?” It was part of a process to create what we call anthem videos—three to four minute video billboards, giving viewers a unique and inclusive look into the people and places that comprise a district. These videos, story-boarded and edited by our video team, speak to community members in the modes to which people are now accustomed. Anthem videos are easily shared online through social media, email marketing and district websites. They help a district to put its best foot forward, and let viewers know that a district is willing to embrace new technology and media to engage with constituents. In addition to creating anthem videos, ZECC has embarked on an ambitious video series, highlighting a new topic each video. Topics can include bond referendum updates, school budget information and special events.