Practical PR tips for edtech to engage schools

The recent DfE edtech strategy highlights that schools and edtech need to communicate more effectively. PR is all about communication and putting things in plain language that can be understood by non-techie people. This makes it great for explaining new, and sometimes challenging, edtech products and services.

Here are 9 practical PR tips we regularly recommend to edtech companies to help them to communicate effectively with schools, to engage teachers (and others) and help to support their sales

1. Prove that you make a difference

Research that shows how your tech makes a difference in schools is a really valuable PR asset and can be used in press releases, opinion and comment. Services like Edtech Impact or BESA’s LendED can help edtech companies to engage directly with schools to gather valuable feedback, or work with other partners, such as universities.

2. Know your audience

The media that is consumed by your target audience is where you need to try and place coverage. It may be tempting to reach out to as many journalists as possible, but your time will be better invested if you target the media your audience will see.

3. Big education issues attract attention

A look through the national print and sector media will give you an idea of the issues that are newsworthy, for example, school funding, teacher workload, or teacher recruitment. The trick is to think about how the impact of your product or service links to prominent themes in the news. How does it make a difference? What have you discovered that could help schools and teachers?

4. Lose the tech

Don’t waste time trying to PR your latest technical development to education or mainstream media. The ‘tech’ in edtech is rarely a hook for an education journalist. Instead, reach out to edtech bloggers & influencers (more on these below) and invite them to try out the tech pre-launch. Ask them for reviews and help to promote any blog on news item on your website

5. Influencers

There are plenty of ways that you can work with influencers to spread the word of your product or service. An influencer doesn’t have to be someone with hundreds of thousands of followers.  Instead, they need to be respected by your target audience.  If you’d like to know more about how to find and work with influencers, download our step-by-step guide to influencer marketing.

6. Exploit coverage to the full

Make sure you squeeze maximum value from any PR to ensure your PR activity supports content marketing and SEO. Also, show coverage to your sales team so they can share it with existing customers and prospects.

7. Do it yourself

If you’re struggling to find ways to PR your edtech company why not create a new initiative or event? Events like Maths Week London, which has been developed by edtech company Sum Dog, or Lit Film Festival produced by A Tale Unfolds are both good examples of this approach.

8. Be opinionated

An issue that is repeatedly covered by the media is how tech will change the classroom. If you have strong opinions about the use of tech in schools, then there could be some great opportunities to comment on news stories. Set up Google alerts for keywords to monitor the media and when a story breaks, issue a comment to your target media. Click here for more advice on how to get a letter published in a national newspaper or online news site.

9. Finally, don’t forget parents & children

Mainstream media regularly reports on education from the perspective of its impact on children and young people. Parents are often asked to comment or may feature in case studies. Unlike the education sector media, they are less interested in the difference something might specifically make to teaching in the classroom. To appeal to mainstream media identify how your edtech product or services makes a difference to learners’ lives. Develop stories and angles that link to this and your news story is much more likely to appeal to mainstream media.

Good luck generating coverage for your edtech company. Please get in touch to tell us what you have found that works for you, or if you’d like to talk about the ways that we can help you to generate more effective PR.