We seek the counsel, creativity and implementation muscle of a seasoned PR firm that knows how to create messages and opportunities that resonate among business leaders and compel them to act. In particular, we believe our efforts could benefit from:
- A clear PR strategy
- Stronger connections to key business community influencers
- The design of a clear and resonant PR campaign targeted to business leaders
- A “roadmap” or work plan/checklist for implementation
- Creative design services for campaign components
Asheville Buncombe Preschool Planning Collaborative (ABPPC) is an all volunteer effort of multiple child serving and child-advocacy organizations that is working together to make high-quality, affordable preschool accessible to any 3- or 4-year-old whose family wants it. Over the past two years, members of ABPPC have met to create a shared vision for the county, define what a “high-quality” program can realistically look like in our community, identify barriers to expansion of high-quality preschool seats (e.g. workforce and budget limitations), and to plan for ways to address these barriers.
Locally, we’ve seen great success. Our report, The Key to Our Futures: Expanding Access to High-Quality Preschool in Asheville and Buncombe County was well received by the community. Buncombe County has increased funding for some immediate preschool expansion. Discussions are underway among the city, county, nonprofit agencies and ABTech to determine how to increase the supply of high-quality preschool teachers to staff expansion efforts. The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina has been a stalwart supporter of ABPPC’s efforts. Currently, we have defined several strategies for increasing state-level funding for preschool expansion, all of which will require some legislative action. We believe that some of these actions may realistically happen in the next year or two, while others may take longer. As we work with other communities across the state to push for expanded preschool funding, we would also like to build a stronger army of support locally among the Buncombe County business community.
Our surveys and focus groups tell us that parents, nonprofit service providers, government leaders and preschool providers are all well aware of the stark need for expanded, high-quality preschool seats in Buncombe County and are supportive of expansion. However, we have so far been somewhat unsuccessful in engaging the support – both financial and in terms of advocacy – from the business community. This is a missed opportunity for both our efforts and area employers; we need the voice of the area’s business community to join our push for expanded public funding and to lend their own financial support — and area businesses benefit from the workforce stability, quality of life, and recruiting potential that communities with high quality preschools provide.
Scope of Work:
Our goals (subject to change) are to:
- Build awareness and enthusiasm within the business community about preschool’s benefits for local employers
- Secure business financial support for concrete elements of expansion (e.g. building/upfitting of new classroom space or scholarships for employees’ children)
- Enlist business advocates for our efforts to change legislative funding policy at the state level
- Create a cadre of long-term allies and champions in the business community
July 13th, 2018
Chair, ABPPC Communications and Advocacy Workgroup