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EdTech 101 (1)

Public Relations for Education Companies: Part 6

The special role of PR in the education market.

When and why do education companies and nonprofits use PR firms?

Chris Mills
Oct 4, 2022 9:12:25 AM

Every company (yep, even yours!) engages in public relations. They don’t all hire firms, but they do PR. Whenever you make a choice about how you want your brand to be perceived by others, that’s PR. That being said, any company looking for sustained, long-term success in education should understand PR’s special role in an ecosystem that includes administrators, teachers, parents, and students.

PR introduces education leaders to new learning resources.

The education and EdTech media is often the first way that your target audience learns about the newest technologies and products available to schools and districts. Busy leaders don’t have time for marketing campaigns and certainly aren’t trolling social media—but they do read publications that help them do their jobs better

There are many roles in education whose job description includes buying your products: CTOs, superintendents, principals, subject matter specialists, and more. They follow specific publications, blogs and newsletters so that they learn about new educational technologies first. They may even bookmark the announcement of your new product—especially if you’ve managed the press release right.

PR earns educators’ trust.


Much like a single email blast won’t do much to move the needle, a single interview or featured article isn’t enough to generate the level of awareness or brand recognition to drive sustained action on its own. Each time your buyers see your brand or your name in print, though, they become more familiar with you. They begin building a relationship with and perception of your brand, whether they realize it or not. If you’re landing coverage in the right publications, then your buyers will give you the same trust that they have in those publications.

The education buying cycle is long, so this sense of familiarity, along with regular reminders, is especially helpful. Repeated references and touchpoints increase the likelihood that your target audience will stumble across your story, again and again, building trust each time.

PR opens doors at the school and district levels.


A good story in the right publication becomes sales collateral that you’ll use to connect with buyers. You’ll re-share it again and again. Unlike a social post or an advertisement, stories stay relevant, often months or even years after publication. 

Effective crisis PR happens long before the crisis.

From political controversy to ransomware attacks, schools and the vendors who serve them face intense public scrutiny. It’s all too easy to find yourself at the center of a media storm of publicity for something as unpredictable as an employee’s poorly worded tweet. PR firms help education companies prepare and protect themselves through crisis planning and management

Learn more about how PRP can help you create a PR Crisis Plan.

Crisis Planning and Management

PR inspires your internal team, too.

At PRP, we often talk about how PR puts you in control of your reputation and builds awareness. That’s all external, but PR makes an impact internally as well. Understanding your audience and crafting compelling narratives will inspire your team and help them connect with your company’s mission. A good story about how your product changed a student’s life or made an educator’s day will help your salespeople and marketing team understand how your product fits the market. Stories that highlight people who succeed in the face of challenges build motivation and consensus. They create a shared narrative your team will rally around.

Effective PR focuses as much on your buyers as it does on you. In the education industry, it’s especially important to share stories about how customers have benefited from your products. A PR team curates success stories so that you, your sales team, and your target audience know what’s working and why.

Learn more about how we tell stories at PRP.

Our Story Ideation Process

PR supports renewals.

So far, we’ve talked about how PR helps build awareness with education buyers who are just learning about your brand. But one more group should be considered: your current (and former) customers. 

Renewals are as important to revenue as new sales, and a compelling PR campaign with well-placed articles will remind your current or former customers why they decided to work with you in the first place. It helps customers feel good about their decision to renew your products or services.

PR creates urgency and connects you to trends.

PR connects your brand to trending topics and positions you as the go-to solution for solving a problem. It sets you up as a thought leader. Each time your readers see your brand as a solution to the most pressing problem that they’re facing, they’ll experience a sense of urgency to learn more about your products and to see if you can solve their problems. They’ll feel encouraged to reach out or click that “free trial” button.

Whether you’re handling your public relations in-house or with an agency like us, PR in the education market is much more than broadcasting your message in a variety of formats. It’s an ongoing process of building relationships with the media, with your customers, with your prospects, and with your own team. If you can build those relationships, you can build a successful education brand.     

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