Backpack BLISS
APR Online Prep
Case Study Presentation
Candidate: Bridget McGuiggan
The Situation: An Overview of
Orland School District 135


District 135 is an elementary district (K-8) serving
nearly 5,...
The Situation: An Overview
of the Paper Flyer Program (1)


A variety of organizations and businesses in the
area serve e...
The Situation: An Overview
of the Paper Flyer Program (2)


Organizations interested in sending flyers to our
families we...
The Situation:
Why Paper Flyers Don't Work (1)


Excessive paper consumption




Students as mules




6,800 copies x...
The Situation:
Why Paper Flyers Don't Work (2)


Expense in copying for organizations

One flyer to all students requires...
The Situation:
Introducing BLISS (1)


In Spring 2009, we learned of an Illinois
school district that implemented a virtu...
The Situation:
Introducing BLISS (2)


Backpack BLISS stands for the five
reasons for implementing the system:
 Be

envi...
The Situation:
Introducing BLISS (3)


Backpack BLISS was introduced after the school year had
already begun, missing man...
Research:
Making BLISS more Blissful


Research Activity #1: Primary, Formal
 How

much money and paper were the
organiz...
Research:
Making BLISS more Blissful


Research Activity #3: Secondary, Informal
 How

many members / attendees have
org...
Research:
Making BLISS more Blissful


Findings from Research


We compared the money spent and paper used prior to
the ...
Research:
Making BLISS more Blissful


Findings from Research


In doing an informal phone survey, the BLISS Coordinator...
Research:
Making BLISS more Blissful
 Problem
 While

Statement

the idea of a virtual backpack is
well received by grou...
Goals


Goal #1: The Backpack BLISS webpage is
known among District 135 parents as the
place to find community flyers.

...
Key Publics


District 135 Parents



District 135 Students



District 135 Staff Members



District 135 Board of Edu...
Objectives


District 135 Parents







(Obj. #1) By January 2011, 50% of District 135 families will have
visited th...
Strategies


(Obj. #1, 2, 3) Contact District parents regularly to remind
them of the current postings on the BLISS webpa...
Tactics (1)


(Strat. #1) Contact District parents regularly to alert them of
the current postings on the BLISS webpage.
...
Tactics (2)


(Strat. #3) Contact organization leaders who sent a paper flyer to
District families in the 2009-10 school ...
Main Message, Spokesperson
Main Message (Parents): The virtual backpack program
"Backpack BLISS" is a highly effective mea...
Costs (1)
Enhance Constant Contact E-Mail
Database:


 Flyer

Printing – No cost (printed in house, sent
through the sch...
Costs (2)


Host EXPO - Costs:
 Drinks

/ Food for
volunteers,
participants: $60.00
 Raffle: $20.00
 Balloons: $20.00
...
Costs (3)
Phone



calls to Organization Leaders:

No cost

Send Two Surveys:


No Cost (existing system)

Time


...
Timetable
June 2010: Call organization leaders to discuss virtual
backpack program and invite them to host a booth at EXPO...
Evaluation Against Objectives


By January 2011, 50% of District 135 families will visit the Backpack BLISS
webpage.
 Ev...
Evaluation Against Goals


Goal #1: The Backpack BLISS webpage is known among District
135 parents as the place to find c...
Conclusion


The Backpack BLISS program is a real, working effort in
District 135. We have implemented the strategies and...
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Communication Plan Example

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Communication Plan Example

  1. 1. Backpack BLISS APR Online Prep Case Study Presentation Candidate: Bridget McGuiggan
  2. 2. The Situation: An Overview of Orland School District 135  District 135 is an elementary district (K-8) serving nearly 5,500 students  District 135 employs 750 teachers and staff  District 135 is located in Orland Park, IL (South Suburban Chicago) – It is an affluent, strong community  District 135 is among the top tier of local districts in the areas of academics, Special Education, athletics, activities, and facilities
  3. 3. The Situation: An Overview of the Paper Flyer Program (1)  A variety of organizations and businesses in the area serve elementary-aged children, including:  Sports groups (LaCrosse, Soccer, Football, etc.)  Martial Arts groups  Dance / Cheer groups  Tutoring / Development centers  Physicians  Scouts  Special Needs  Parochial elementary and high schools
  4. 4. The Situation: An Overview of the Paper Flyer Program (2)  Organizations interested in sending flyers to our families were required to:  Be an approved organization (meet set criteria)  Have the flyer approved by the District  Copy the flyer  Bundle the flyers by school and grade  Deliver the bundled flyers to the District Office  The flyer coordinator was required to then ensure flyers were copied and bundled correctly and then coordinate their distribution with the Maintenance Office.
  5. 5. The Situation: Why Paper Flyers Don't Work (1)  Excessive paper consumption   Students as mules   6,800 copies x 100 flyers per year = 680,000 pieces of paper used per year The weight of student backpacks has long been a concern of parents and flyers add up quickly. Ineffective distribution  Children don't always share the information they are supposed to bring home, the information gets lost at the bottom of a backpack, or they pull it out after deadlines and events have passed.
  6. 6. The Situation: Why Paper Flyers Don't Work (2)  Expense in copying for organizations One flyer to all students requires nearly 6,800 copies  6,800 copies x $.05 = $340   District time (money) quickly spent The flyer coordinator estimated she spent 3 hours per week with the flyers, often surrounded at her desk by dozens of stacks of event and program announcements.  The turn-around time for flyers was sometimes three days to ensure proper approvals were met.  The District Courier was responsible for hauling all flyers to each of the District's ten buildings 
  7. 7. The Situation: Introducing BLISS (1)  In Spring 2009, we learned of an Illinois school district that implemented a virtual backpack program.  In June 2009, the flyer coordinator, Superintendent, and I met to discuss the possibility of adapting the virtual backpack for use in District 135.  In September 2009, Backpack BLISS was launched in District 135.
  8. 8. The Situation: Introducing BLISS (2)  Backpack BLISS stands for the five reasons for implementing the system:  Be environmentally friendly  Lighten student backpacks  Improve flyer effectiveness  Save money for organizations  Save time for District personnel
  9. 9. The Situation: Introducing BLISS (3)  Backpack BLISS was introduced after the school year had already begun, missing many of the communication opportunities available in the first weeks of school.  Organization leaders had positive comments to say about the system, but complained to the BLISS Coordinator because they were not getting the amount of responses from parents they had prior to posting and thought the system might not be working as well as it could be.  The virtual backpack requires parents to go online to the District website to view the flyers, to take action themselves.
  10. 10. Research: Making BLISS more Blissful  Research Activity #1: Primary, Formal  How much money and paper were the organizations actually saving using BLISS?  Type: Data Gathering / Source: BLISS Reports  Research Activity #2: Primary, Formal  How many visitors were there to the BLISS page, and how long were they staying on the page? What was the most popular time to visit?  Type: Data Gathering / Source: Google Analytics
  11. 11. Research: Making BLISS more Blissful  Research Activity #3: Secondary, Informal  How many members / attendees have organizations lost since switching to the virtual backpack for posting flyers?  Type: Phone Survey / Source: Organization Leaders  Research Activity #4: Primary, Informal  What did parents think of the new virtual backpack?  Type: Focus Group / Source: Parents for Education (Parent Association)
  12. 12. Research: Making BLISS more Blissful  Findings from Research  We compared the money spent and paper used prior to the virtual backpack's implementation and found the savings to be outstanding. We were able to provide a group-by-group breakdown of the savings.  We used Google Analytics to track the number of visitors to the BLISS webpage. We found it to be among the top ten most-visited pages of the website, with a steady, but small stream of visitors. The total number of visitors was a fraction of the total number of potential visitors, though. The number of visitors was significantly higher on the days we sent an e-news reminder to check the page with a direct link to the site.
  13. 13. Research: Making BLISS more Blissful  Findings from Research  In doing an informal phone survey, the BLISS Coordinator determined that few groups were able to track how members / attendees learned about their services, so conversations were inconclusive in regard to possible drops in attendance or membership. Overall, groups shared their love of the program, noting that the cost and time savings was worthwhile.  In doing an informal focus group with members of our parent association, we learned that parents who have heard of Backpack BLISS really liked the idea of a virtual backpack and found it useful, but learned that even the "involved" parents had not been to the page after months of posts and a number of reminders.
  14. 14. Research: Making BLISS more Blissful  Problem  While Statement the idea of a virtual backpack is well received by group leaders and parents alike, the number of visitors to the page shows that parents are either not taking the action to go to the BLISS page at all, or are not returning regularly to check for new posts. Community organizations are noticing a drop in membership and attendance and suggest it is a result of the change in flyer
  15. 15. Goals  Goal #1: The Backpack BLISS webpage is known among District 135 parents as the place to find community flyers.  Goal #2: The Backpack BLISS webpage is visited regularly by District 135 parents.  Goal #3: The Backpack BLISS webpage is known by qualifying community organizations and used regularly for sharing events and program registration opportunities.
  16. 16. Key Publics  District 135 Parents  District 135 Students  District 135 Staff Members  District 135 Board of Education and Administration  Community Organization Leaders
  17. 17. Objectives  District 135 Parents     (Obj. #1) By January 2011, 50% of District 135 families will have visited the Backpack BLISS webpage. (Goal 1, 2) (Obj. #2) By June 2011, 75% of District 135 families will report that Backpack BLISS is their primary resource for learning about community events and programs. (Goal 1) (Obj. #3) By June 2011, 75% of District 135 families will have visited the Backpack BLISS webpage a minimum of three times. (Goal 2) Community Organization Leaders    (Obj. #4) By August 2010, 100% of organizations who had a paper flyer distributed to District families in the 2009-10 school year will be aware of the virtual backpack program. (Obj. #5) By December 2010, 75% of organizations who had a paper flyer distributed to District families in the 2009-10 school year will use the virtual backpack program. (Obj. #6) By June 2011, 90% of organizations using the Backpack BLISS program will give the program a satisfactory rating.
  18. 18. Strategies  (Obj. #1, 2, 3) Contact District parents regularly to remind them of the current postings on the BLISS webpage.  (Obj. #2, 4) Create an event where District parents and community organization leaders can meet face-to-face.  (Obj. # 4, 5, 6) Contact organization leaders who sent a paper flyer to District families in the 2009-10 school year to explain the virtual backpack program.  (Obj. # 2, 6) At the end of the 2010-11 school year, do formal research with parents to gauge their response to the BLISS program, and then also gauge the response of the organization leaders.
  19. 19. Tactics (1)  (Strat. #1) Contact District parents regularly to alert them of the current postings on the BLISS webpage.  Tactic: Enhance Contact Contact e-news database.  Tactic: Send e-mails twice per month noting current postings.  Tactic: Post a Twitter message when a new posting is added.  (Strat. #2) Create an event where District parents and community organization leaders can meet face-to-face.  Tactic: Host an EXPO in a District school, featuring booths of community organizations. Allow non-profits to have a free booth; for-profit / non-qualifying groups can be charged a fee.
  20. 20. Tactics (2)  (Strat. #3) Contact organization leaders who sent a paper flyer to District families in the 2009-10 school year to explain the virtual backpack program.  Tactic: Call organization leaders.  (Strat. #4) At the end of the 2010-11 school year, do informal research with parents to gauge their response to the BLISS program, and also gauge the response of the organization leaders.  Tactic: Create two Survey Monkey surveys to be sent as email links.
  21. 21. Main Message, Spokesperson Main Message (Parents): The virtual backpack program "Backpack BLISS" is a highly effective means of learning about opportunities for involvement with community organizations. Main Message (Organizations): The virtual backpack program "Backpack BLISS" is a highly effective means of sharing community organization information with the families of Orland School District 135. Spokesperson: Community Relations Coordinator
  22. 22. Costs (1) Enhance Constant Contact E-Mail Database:   Flyer Printing – No cost (printed in house, sent through the school to students directly)  Online e-mail sign up – No cost (existing web feature) Send  No  E-mails Twice per Month cost (existing e-mail system) Post Twitter Message for New Posts
  23. 23. Costs (2)  Host EXPO - Costs:  Drinks / Food for volunteers, participants: $60.00  Raffle: $20.00  Balloons: $20.00  Advertising: $1,000  Labor: $1,000  Total Expenditures: $2,100.00  Host EXPO - Income:  $100 booth fee x 30 booths  Total Income: $3,000 EXPO will net a profit of $900.00
  24. 24. Costs (3) Phone   calls to Organization Leaders: No cost Send Two Surveys:  No Cost (existing system) Time       Spent: Phone calls to leaders: 3 hours E-Mail Enhancement: 2 hours E-mail Sending: 30 minutes / 2x per week Tweet Posting: 5 minutes / 3x per week EXPO: 48 hours Surveys: 3 hours
  25. 25. Timetable June 2010: Call organization leaders to discuss virtual backpack program and invite them to host a booth at EXPO  June 2010: Send flyer to District families to obtain e-mail addresses   July / August 2010: Implement EXPO advertising campaign  August 2010: Host EXPO September 2010: Begin bi-monthly e-mails and Tweets with BLISS posting information  May 2011: Send surveys to parents and community leaders
  26. 26. Evaluation Against Objectives  By January 2011, 50% of District 135 families will visit the Backpack BLISS webpage.  Evaluation: Google Analytics, Survey Results  By June 2011, 75% of District 135 families will visit the Backpack BLISS webpage a minimum of three times.  Evaluation: Google Analytics, Survey Results  By August 2010, 100% of organizations who had a paper flyer distributed to District families in the 2009-10 school year will be aware of the virtual backpack program.  Evaluation: BLISS Coordinator Report  By December 2010, 75% of organizations who had a paper flyer distributed to District families in the 2009-10 school year will use the virtual backpack program.  Evaluation: BLISS Coordinator Report  By June 2011, 90% of organizations using the Backpack BLISS program will give the program a satisfactory rating.  Evaluation: Survey Results
  27. 27. Evaluation Against Goals  Goal #1: The Backpack BLISS webpage is known among District 135 parents as the place to find community flyers.  Evaluation: Ensure that at least 50% of District parents have visited the BLISS page by the middle of the school year.  Goal #2: The Backpack BLISS webpage is visited regularly by District 135 parents.  Evaluation: Ensure that at least 75% of District parents have visited the BLISS page at least three times by the end of the school year.  Goal #3: The Backpack BLISS webpage is known by qualifying community organizations and used regularly for sharing events and program registration opportunities.  Evaluation: Ensure that at least 75% of paper flyer users post a flyer on the BLISS webpage and that 90% of those who use it give the program a satisfactory rating.
  28. 28. Conclusion  The Backpack BLISS program is a real, working effort in District 135. We have implemented the strategies and tactics referenced, including the EXPO. It was held on August 18, 2010, and welcomed more than 1,200 visitors to see 70 community groups and businesses. The event received excellent media coverage, and comments that followed the event showed it was a true success. The event netted a profit of $930 and post-event evaluation results were extremely positive.  In developing this case study, I have considered that more can be done to enhance the success of our virtual backpack program. I plan to re-visit the original goals and objectives for Backpack BLISS, and then I will re-visit the strategies and tactics needed to achieve our vision, including more paperless options.
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