The National Assessment Governing Board – Media Relations

Challenge

The topic of student testing is fraught with differing opinions and perceptions. The National Assessment Governing Board (Governing Board) sets policy and provides oversight for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. This is the nation’s only continuing national assessment of what America’s students know and can do in mathematics, reading, writing, science, technology, among others. So how do you ensure accurate information is being reported with such a conflicting topic? DCG knew we would have to work with the media.

Approach

One of the first actions was to establish ongoing, positive relationships with the media. DCG identified reporters whose beats aligned with the Governing Board’s mission. Then, the media relations team coordinated a media roundtable, interviews, and pre-release calls between Governing Board representatives and reporters. We developed media releases and sent them to our highly targeted media list. The development of talking points, presentations, and media releases enabled DCG to help the Governing Board control messaging and accuracy of information. During each release event, DCG’s media relations specialists assisted with on-site interviews while live-tweeting data points and quotes.

Results

  • Over a three-year period, DCG was able to gain widespread national coverage of nine Report Card release events.
    • For just one release – the Trial Urban District Assessment – DCG generated prominent media coverage in The Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Associated Press, UPI.com, Education Week, Education Daily, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Boston Globe.
  • The released results were also reported in the major newspapers of 18 targeted cities, on radio stations in four cities, and in local television outlets in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, and New York.
  • This coverage garnered a total of 64 news stories and achieved an estimated 16.5 million impressions.