Tricom’s 50-state Strategy Empowers Teachers

Tricom’s success in generating nationwide coverage of the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) demonstrates how the Tricom method of individualized 50-state releases and aggressive outreach can transform a “quiet client” with little tradition for promotion into a nationally known resource and authority.

NSF came to Tricom with the challenge of raising awareness of the PAEMST, looking for a higher profile nationally and in local communities among the public, policy makers, schools, teachers, administrators, principals, superintendents and education organizations, and moving toward the long-term goal of improving the quality and quantity of award nominees for future years. Although the program was reputable and branded by the NSF and the White House, the government wanted less focus on the agencies and more on the actual accomplishments of the teachers.

For NSF and PAEMST, Tricom developed a comprehensive, three-year communications strategy centered around aggressive outreach to the local media in the 200+ state finalists’ communities, a big national and local media push surrounding the roughly 100 winners and a targeted advertising campaign. Through this intensive outreach, we were able to transform coverage from little mentions in newspapers around the country about “Teacher Wins Award” to stories that profiled what those teachers were doing differently that made them so excellent.

Hundreds of press releases, media lists from across the United States and its territories, hundreds of online interviews, dozens of on-camera interviews, on-site media training, award design and materials development, photography services and more were part of this effort each year.

Using tailored releases for those hometown markets, Tricom was able to expand coverage of the awards dramatically – from just 144 placements in the prior year, 2002, to 1,091 in 2005.

For more on our work with PAEMST, see this related Case Study.