The New Back To School
This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Consultant Tips” series, written by Charese Fruge on July 14, 2020
In addition to that, there are so many things we need to consider and prepare for now, like mental health for children, whether they are going into school during the pandemic or home schooling, and the education (in and out of the classroom) about wearing a mask and maintaining social distance. If you have kids, you know they have no concept of social distancing. We’re going to have to “preach it” and preach about mask wearing every day, especially if they are going into the classroom.
We also need to think about the health and mental wellness of our educators, they too are under serious pressure and are taking a big risk. I have several friends who are teachers and there are so many mixed emotions about safety and whether or not going back into the classroom is a good idea. I’m also seeing a lot of buzz on social media about mom’s who are considering home schooling in small groups. Safety will have to be maintained there as well.
I’m sure you’ve learned by now that people are looking to radio for comfort, and for its talent to be community heroes. That’s why it’s time to examine as many possible scenarios as we can and take a stab at confronting them and helping head on.
The first thing we need to do is go back and find out what we all learned when the pandemic first hit the United States. Think about how you approached trying to help small businesses and your local clients. Think about the creative brain storming sessions and campaigns you had for them and see how you can turn that into more creativity, but this time direct it toward parents, teachers and students of all ages. Many have complained about the inconsistencies of distance learning. Some kids were productive and learned, and some kids weren’t able to focus. College kids complained they didn’t get their money’s worth on tuition. Regardless of the situation moving forward, we should be considering all possible scenarios now so we can prepare.
I’ll give you a head start. We need to figure out virtual drives for normal supplies for teachers as well as cleaning supplies. Do you have partners or clients who can help? It’s great exposure, great charity and makes you look like a hero. What about show talent developing exclusive mommy (or parenting) groups on Facebook to provide info and discuss topics that will be top of mind for parents who are home schooling or parents who are sending their kids to school too? What about volunteering on a regular basis to teach an easy virtual lesson plan to keep the kids excited about school? You could even help in person if you mask up and visit a class that is physically in session. You would be perceived as a good example on teaching children the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.
Think about the things that are going to be important now more than ever due to the pressure caused by the pandemic: day care, transportation, school lunches, access to computers both in and out of the classroom. How can you help those who don’t have access to the kind of technology needed to home school? You are bound to have a wireless client who may be willing to help you provide internet services where you can. “Educating America’s Youth” comes to mind as a good campaign slogan. Or localize it: “Educating Vegas’ Youth.” What about an electronic retailer who could help provide lap tops for home schooling? Do you work with a loan company that would help teachers buy supplies?
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ideas. You’ve got about a month to figure out your plan so get started now. Don’t be the only show in town who hasn’t changed their approach to “Back To School.” It’s gonna need to be a little more than the traditional “Birthday Game” to move the needle with your audience right now. If you are doing a cash contest and you target anyone between the ages of 6 and 54, make it about going back to school (both in and out of the classroom).