COVID Impact: Education.

The education world has been deeply impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Schools across the country have suspended operations to limit the spread of the virus, shuffling students to online learning platforms. The challenge for edtech companies is creating messaging and an outreach strategy that addresses the concerns that students, parents, and teachers are grappling with. If you are communicating on behalf of an education company, here’s what should be on your mind as you help users adjust to an online learning environment. Don’t Be Opportunistic Put empathy first when communicating with families and teachers: your message shouldn’t highlight how excited you are to support students or what a great opportunity this is to experience the future of online learning. Millions of Americans are being forced into situations they didn’t want or ask for, including this shift to online education. Creating the impression that you’re taking advantage of a serious situation will only hurt your brand in the public eye. Instead, focus on users’ challenges and stress your desire to support them. Meet Your Users Where They Are Despite the uncertainty COVID-19 has caused, companies have stepped up to support employees and customers who have been impacted. For students and teachers everywhere, this will be one of their first extensive experiences with edtech platforms. Edtech providers can share knowledge about how to make the best of online learning. Are you creating new instructional materials meant to help teachers on your platform craft online-only lesson plans, or are you just relying on the same onboarding products you developed years ago? Are your subject matter experts talking about steps parents working from home can take to ensure that their children are learning as effectively as possible? Restoring a sense of normalcy to education can be a major boost to your brand. Pick the Right Conversations for Your Brand There’s no shortage of negative stories for journalists to focus on right now. In education, the shift to online learning has drawn attention to broader issues like high-speed internet access and how a child’s home life impacts how they learn. This shouldn’t scare you away from continuing media relations outreach, but it does mean you need to be prepared. Focus your outreach on the journalists and outlets most likely to cover the issues where your expertise can shine through. The Takeaway We’re in uncharted territory. Edtech providers are now subject to expectations about online learning that look very different than they did just months ago. Putting your brand in a strong position and getting your message right will be tough given the circumstances, but it could pay big dividends in a post-COVID-19 world.


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