Celebrate Summer Reading
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Holmes Report
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Celebrate Summer Reading

Weber Shandwick Worldwide (WSW) and Shopforschool developed a PR program called “Celebrate Summer Reading” to educate parents on how to encourage their children to read more during the summer months.

Paul Holmes

Weber Shandwick Worldwide (WSW) and Shopforschool developed a PR program called “Celebrate Summer Reading” to educate parents on how to encourage their children to read more during the summer months. The program also emphasized feedback from teachers across the country on the importance of reading and its direct relation to students’ comprehension skills at the start of a new school year. In addition, the focus of the “Celebrate Summer Reading” campaign was to keep awareness of Shopforschool high during the summer, when school is out and parents and children are focused on activities other than raising money for their school. Another goal was to begin to position Shopforschool as a company committed to learning initiatives and activities, rather than as solely an online fundraising Web site.
 
OBJECTIVES
 
  • To survey teachers in the U.S. about kids’ summer reading habits in order to compile a list of tips for parents on how to encourage their children to read more during the summer months.
  • Select teachers in Shopforschool’s top markets to act as spokespeople for the Celebrate Summer Reading Survey.
  • Generate media coverage of the survey results in family/parenting publications, Internet media outlets and print and broadcast media in Shopforschool’s targeted regions.
  • Secure TV and radio interviews in select markets for spokespeople.
 
AUDIENCE
 
The target audience for “Celebrate Summer Reading” was parents of children in kindergarten through sixth grades (K-6). The main goal of the program was to interview teachers to gain insight on the importance of reading during the summer and then educate families on how to encourage children to read more while school is out in order for them to retain what they learned the year before. By posting the survey results on Shopforschool’s Web site, the company offered parents an easy way to learn about the survey, as well as support their local school by shopping online.
 
RESEARCH
 
WSW worked with research company, SWR Worldwide, to conduct a survey of 900 K-6 teachers located in the U.S. to determine kids’ summer reading habits.
 
The study had several purposes, including:
  • Finding out how many and which books K-6 teachers were going to recommend to their students for summer reading;
  • Determining returning students’ reading levels;
  • Rating different influences on children’s reading; and
  • Providing tips to parents to improve children’s reading habits.
 
PLANNING
 
  • Conduct a survey of 900 K-6 teachers to learn about kids’ summer reading habits.
  • Select three teachers to act as official spokespeople in top markets (Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas) for the Celebrate Summer Reading Survey.
  • Conduct media training sessions with spokespeople.
  • Secure TV and radio interviews in select markets for spokespeople.
  • Coordinate spokesperson interviews on morning programs and radio shows in targeted regions. 
  • Generate media coverage in family/parenting publications, Internet media outlets and print and broadcast media in Shopforschool’s targeted regions.
  • Post survey findings and recommendations on Shopforschool’s home page.
  • Track, assess and report coverage results to client. 
  
CAMPAIGN EXECUTION
 
In April 2000, WSW and Shopforschool created a PR plan and timeline for “Celebrate Summer Reading.” WSW worked with SWR Worldwide to compile a list of survey questions and interviewed 900 teachers for their insight on how to help parents encourage their kids to read more during the summer.
 
WSW selected three K-6 teachers in each of Shopforschool’s major markets (Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas) as official spokespeople for the Celebrate Summer Reading Survey. WSW media trained each teacher and drafted talking points for them to use during radio and television interviews.
 
In May 2000, a press release regarding the survey results was distributed via the national news wires. WSW pitched the survey and spokespeople to the top 50 national newspapers, local newspapers in Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas, Internet media outlets, and radio and television outlets in the aforementioned states.
 
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
 
Objective 1: To survey teachers in the U.S. about kids’ summer reading habits in order to compile a list of tips for parents on how to encourage their children to read more during the summer months.
           
WSW and SWR interviewed teachers across the country and garnered media coverage of the survey results in top tier media outlets.
 
Objective 2: Select three teachers in Shopforschool’s top markets to act as official spokespeople for the Celebrate Summer Reading Survey.
 
WSW interviewed several teachers in Shopforschool’s top markets, including Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas and selected three teachers as the official spokespeople for the survey results. The selection process was based on the candidates’ teaching experience and interest in promoting the importance of reading during the summer.
 
Objective 3: Generate media coverage of the survey results in family/parenting publications, Internet media outlets and print and broadcast media in Shopforschool’s targeted regions.
 
Generated 10,245,811 impressions within first month following the release, including family/parenting publications, national and local market daily newspapers, TV, radio, and online outlets. 
Established a national presence through coverage in publications including USA Today “Snapshots” (four times), Good Housekeeping and TIME, as well as online sources PTO Today and Excite News.
Generated an advertising equivalent of $470,545*.
           
Objective 4: Secure TV and radio interviews in major markets for spokespeople.
 
Conducted nine broadcast interviews in three major markets
Secured broadcast coverage in the following media outlets (by state):
 
Minnesota
  • “Sunrise Show” KARE-TV (NBC)
  • “Good Day Minnesota” KMSP-TV (UPN)
  • “Morning News” WCCO-TV
  • “Tim Russell Show” WCCO-AM
New Jersey (and surrounding areas)
  • “News 2 This Morning” WCBS-TV (New York)
  • “New Jersey Viewpoint” WABC-TV (New York)
  • “Deedra Bryant Show” WRNJ-AM (New York)
Texas
  • “Good Day Dallas” FOX-TV
  • “Sunday Magazine” KBFB-FM
 
* Number reflects an advertising equivalent with a multiplier of 4.  Industry standard for multipliers ranges from 3-10.  
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