PITTSBURG — The USD 250 Board of Education discussed brand messaging and how it will be used in the district during Monday’s board meeting.

After working with LimeLight Marketing, USD 250 Superintendent Destry Brown presented the marketing framework created by the company and asked the board if they had any input on what the messages need to be.

Focusing on their vision, Brown said, a promotional video about what he and the board believe are important in the district — including things which make the district unique, building connections for students’ success, advanced placement, career pathways and more — which catch the essence of the district, Brown said.

“We’re a large district, but we try to keep the environment where it doesn’t seem as large,” Brown said. “We offer a broad selection of classes to choose from and we provide a lot of support for kids and parents in varied different ways … our buildings are welcoming environments.”

A board member asked how the marketing company came up with the statements off which the messages were built. Brown said LimeLight had a series of interviews with USD 250 Public Information Director Zach Fletcher, USD 250 Assistant Superintendent Ronda Fincher and himself.

Board President Marlene Willis asked if there will be an audience survey portion. Brown said there will not.

Brown said they are currently focusing on the district’s vision.

“What we are trying to do is align with the vision that you believe what the district is about,” Brown said to the board in response to Willis’ question.

The statements and other information crafted from Fletcher, Fincher and Brown’s interviews and the district’s mission by the marketing company will be used to focus on what stories to look out for.

USD 250 Board Member BJ Harris said he could see the structure from the marketing strategy as a tool which could be used to share the districts message.

“This is a tool and is only as good as you use it,” Harris said. “I guess the idea would be these message building blocks you would start looking at  — specifically one that’s talking about empowering kids for their own future and learning — you’ll grab that story and we’d use these eight things [statements] right here as our kind of playbook on what stories we want to chase and how we want to do it.”
Brown agreed with Harris.

“We’re breaking those [statements] out ... everything we put out should tie to one of these somewhere,” he said.

Harris said the teachers and principals will be able to begin looking for the things which fulfill the school district’s vision, and forward it to Fletcher to share with the community.

Harris and USD 250 Board Member Mindy Cloninger agreed the information provided will give structure to create a good quality brand, Harris said.

“It sounds to me like it is going on the right track it has put a lot of different components we talked about over the years all into one very readable format — good start,” Cloninger said.

Brown agreed.

“It’s giving us a real structure for how we are putting information out there for the district,” he said. “We’re getting more away from reporting every event — that’s what Zach is doing — to him getting information out about what our vision is and what we are doing to accomplish that.”

Brown said having stories and videos based on the district's current vision and goals readily available will help the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and realtors provide information on the local schools.

“I’m always asked by the chamber and realtors, ‘Do you have something we can just put out there and give to people who are thinking about moving here?’” Brown said. “But, we have really never done that, so that’s really what all this about — letting people know this is what we stand for this is what were are striving to be and it really goes hand in hand with our community and their beliefs.”

The video and stories which come with this marketing campaign will be shared through the district’s online channels — including the school website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other virtual tools.
“This will help further talk about great things in classroom,” Fletcher said.

The three month campaign will cost $10,000, including creating a two- to three-minute video and marketing strategies which highlight things which make Pittsburg schools unique, Fletcher said.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.