EPISD–branding

This came in from Dan Wever:
This company was hired for $250,000 with 3 more years possible to improve the Brand of the EPISD. 
Below is what they put on their RFP materials answer bid. 
How could anyone not see that this was an effort to help the bond issue with taxpayer money. 
dw
 
 
 
 
BrandEra’s marketing methology is straight forward: Survey stakeholders and understand goals and expectations. Research key demographics of target market and assess competitors’ brands, messaging and advertisement placements. Develop a comprehensive marketing plan and timeline deliverables. Implement the approved campaign initiatives.
We believe the Districtwide marketing and campaiign for El Paso Independent School District must be smart to distinguish EPISD, serving to re-introducte the District to students, parents, business and community leaders, legislators, faculty and staff, alumni and area residents. The marketing initiatives must find the right balance between consistency and cutting edge ideas so that EPISD is branded boldly delivering deisred results such as increased loyalty and reserval in enrollements, attendance, and gratuation rates as well as changed perceptions of the District in specific areas. As a full-service marketing agency, BrandEra provides all elements of a successful integrated marketing, advertising and PR campaign, including: Logo and corporate branding initiatives; Market research; Creative conceptualization and campaign development; Strategic planning; Producing marketing collateral, such as newsletters, brocuches, flyers, direct mailers and point of sale materials from conception through printing and delivery; Development of digital and social medica strategies; Creation of unforgettable print, ratdio, TV and web advertising campaigns from concept through graphic design and copywriting; Strategic media buying: stretching advertising dollars and finding your “wasted” dollars; Scriptwriting press materials, including media kits and news releases; Planning special events and education showcases; Designing and updating websites; and Development of pitch packages and promotional initiatives.

29 Responses to EPISD–branding

  1. Heartful Educator says:

    If parents want more, they should pay more? Such logical thinking, Mr. Grumpy. Let’s put less taxpayer money into education so that we can actually end up paying more taxes in the long run! You do know that many underserved children receiving your “basic” education because their parents could not afford to pay more, will end up pregnant, incarcerated, and/or drop out of high school, right? Yes, i said INCARCERATED and I’m not exaggerating. Did you know that 2/3 of students who cannot read at grade level by 4th grade end up incarcerated later in life and/or on welfare? Oh well! Their parents should have just taken on that third job so they could afford more for their child. What on earth were they thinking? Who needs sleep anyway? Or the time to spend with their kids? Or maybe even the time to pursue a GED, technical certification, or god forbid, a COLLEGE DEGREE so they can better their lives? Nope. That would be selfish of them.

    I feel for you, Mr. Grumpy. May your grandchildren and great-grandchildren never have to receive a “basic” education due to a financial hardship or unexpected occurrence your own children may someday face.

    Like

    • Tickedofftaxpayer says:

      I love the mindset that schools must be responsible for kids’ success or failure. During the time I worked in Mexico I was amazed at how many engineers and managers that I worked with came from families with parents who hadn’t even finished grammar school. Those parents managed to instill a desire in their kids to pursue every educational opportunity they had to do better in life. My husband’s grandparents were legal immigrants from Poland. They came to Chicago with no money or English skills. Their children dropped out of school to go to work to support their families. But even though neither of my husband’s parents graduated high school all three of their kids went to college (one to Annapolis), and all three served in the military. Today, we seem to feel that success is determined by how much money we throw at the school system. The reality is success is determined by the values instilled in children at an early age and I do believe that should be the parents’ responsibility.

      Like

  2. Dan says:

    Tim, you ask,

    “If the idea of adding students from outside the district is so financially bad, why then is EVERY district in the area an open enrollment district?”

    Let’s use a success model and say that the EPISD’s branding effort was successful and all of the students from Socorro and Ysleta opted to come to the EPISD.

    This means that the Socorro and Ysleta ISD have $194,000,000 (2015-2016 PEIMS figures) of property tax money with no kids to spend it on. No problem give it back to the Taxpayers.
    🙂
    And of course the EPISD will not need the money, as they can educate the students with just State and Federal money. 🙂

    Like

  3. tickedofftaxpayer says:

    The concept of a free K-12 education is great. As a grumpy taxpayer I believe public schools should provide a basic education. If parents want more, they should pay to send their kids to private school. I don’t believe in vouchers for private school. While I see the benefits of charter schools in terms driving competition in learning options, I feel any school benefiting from public money shouldn’t be able to spend it on advertising. When we have public-supported entities competing in terms of advertising (vs. quality of programs alone), taxpayers lose. But the biggest issue I see with Tim’s posts is the idea that school districts must keep the same footprint or grow. If the demographics shrink so should the school district. I worked manufacturing and ran communications departments for over 20 years, including in Silicon Valley. In the private sector, if you hire a branding firm you do it to minimize your in-house staff. The companies I worked in with large in-house staffs generated their own advertising and branding campaigns. The idea that EPSID can afford both suggests that there is little spending control (as does a superintendent who flies first class). The sad thing is that what is really driving up the cost of education is a pack of vendors that most districts are dependent upon. Critical thinking, curriculum development, even branding are all bought and paid for because apparently administrators are incapable of coming up with in-house options even though staffs seem to be growing. Until that stops our tax dollars will continue to be wasted.

    Like

  4. JerryK says:

    Holt is making the case that EPISD has high fixed costs that cannot be shed easily when enrollment declines, thus it makes sense to pursue more enrollment via marketing to spread the fixed costs over a larger student base. No hard analysis given, though.

    This is an argument that an economic analysis of EPISD could answer, but i doubt you’ll ever see one with the current board who are into delusions of grandeur with $600MM dollars in their pocket waiting to be spent. And don’t forget who is running the numbers, too: Ms Fuzzy Math.

    The Shaplite pigeons are coming home to roost and will be pooping on us homeowners for the next generation.

    Like

    • Dan says:

      Tim, you ask,

      “If the idea of adding students from outside the district is so financially bad, why then is EVERY district in the area an open enrollment district?”

      Let’s use a success model and say that the EPISD’s branding effort was successful and all of the students from Socorro and Ysleta opted to come to the EPISD.

      This means that the Socorro and Ysleta ISD have $194,000,000 (2015-2016 PEIMS figures) of property tax money with no kids to spend it on. No problem give it back to the Taxpayers. 🙂

      And of course the EPISD will not need the money, as they can educate the students with just State and Federal money. 🙂

      Like

  5. Concerned Taxpayer says:

    Wasting money: Can someone please look into how much money the district has spent in engage2learn? It is a terrible, horrible, no good, useless training teachers are being forced to take. it lasts three days. https://engage2learn.org/partners/el-paso-isd/
    This board is a sucker for sales people. They buy everything they offer them.

    Like

  6. AnywherebutEPISD says:

    Told you so. Now we can all go home. Thanks Tim.

    Like

  7. Sad State of Affairs says:

    From what I heard…the company hired just re-packaged what they had done for another school district and gave it to EPISD…

    Did you know the EPISD “community engagement” department includes a graphic artist, a photographer, a communications branding person, a communication specialist, two video productions specialists, an executive director, a director, an assistant director and two secretaries? A staff of 13 EPISD in a communications department the district had to spend $250,000. on a campaign? What exactly do those people do? Perhaps if they just hired competent people to begin with they wouldn’t have to outsource!

    Like

  8. AnywherebutEPISD says:

    Wait for Tim to set us straight.

    Like

    • Tim Holt says:

      I will simply refer back to my blog entry from June 10, 2017: “Why Would a School District need a Marketing Campaign?”

      Seriously doubt that anyone here will change their mind after rereading it.

      Like

      • Dan Wever says:

        You are right Tim, I sure did not. You have so much vendor material I would not know where to start but let’s look at just one of the misconceptions you try to foist upon the readers. You say

        “In public schools, the students in the seats are the way that the schools make their money. More students mean more money. Less students mean less money.”

        What is the real life important part of your statement? Are total dollars or the money available to spend on each student more important? Of course, you should realize that the more money you can spend on each student is the best scenario.

        Now your marketing and branding are supposed to bring students that do not live in the district to the EPISD. When this happens these students only have 70% of what EPISD students have.
        And this is caused because the EPISD gets no property tax money from these students.
        So what happens? Well, part of the EPISD students money is used to make up the difference so they both end up with 85% of the money to educate them both. So the EPISD student is cheated out of money for his education and the taxpayers are subsidizing the student from out of the district.
        This to me is NUTS and the EPISD has a possible cost of over a million dollars chasing branding.

        So what I am trying to say Tim is that your branding process is lowering the money that can be spent per student on their education.
        And Tim you and I both know that it was started to help the bond issue or at least you should. 🙂

        Like

        • Tim Holt says:

          Hi Dan, I don’t think that that is completely correct. But like I said , I probably will not convince you but here is my thinking:

          Let’s take for instance a generic class of 20 2nd grade students and one empty chair. Let’s also pretend that the total cost spent on that class in one year is $100,000. That includes the salary of the teacher, supplies, the salaries of the supports staff, utilities, etc. (I know, it probably is higher, but for argument’s sake let’s say 100K) If you add one student to that class from out of district to fill that chair, making it 21 students, the total cost does not go up that much. You don’t heat or cool the class more for instance. You don’t use more lights. You don’t open the doors at a different time. You don’t add another teacher, you don’t add custodians for that one kid. Heck, the parents have to get them there, so you don’t even add busses. So the COSTS remains very close to the original cost for 20 students. However, you DO receive ADA funding that would not have been there originally. (You said the district would not receive any property taxes. That is not totally correct. Property taxes are part of the several revenue sources for funding from the state are they not? You are probably talking about LOCAL property taxes.) Using your figures, the district would receive 85% more funding, than if that chair had been left empty. I will agree that costs will go up with one student, but it hardly would be the amount that the district would receive back, even at 85%. And even if it did take up the entire 85% (which it wouldn’t I don’t think) are you actually against educating students from outside their own district?

          If the idea of adding students from outside the district is so financially bad, why then is EVERY district in the area an open enrollment district?

          Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Don’t make it complicated Tim. The school district is going to have x number of tax dollars for a student’s education and say this education cost is $2000. Then another student comes in but only has $1400. How are both students going to get an education worth $2000? Answer they are not!
            This is why they used to have tuition for out of district students and they should still have it in the amount of their unpaid property tax dollars. EPISD taxpayers should not have to subsidize these students with their money just so the EPISD can keep from losing students and we can keep more $100,000 plus employees.

            Like

        • Old agency says:

          Note to Dan and Tim: Your posts are too long for a blog. Use fewer words to make your point. This is not an essay contest. “Old Agency” rules are: the fewer words, the better.

          Like

          • Tim Holt says:

            OA: I apologize. Yesterday when I posted, I merely posted the LINK to my blog post. What happened apparently was the entire post was put on EPS.
            I am not quite sure why that happened. It has not happened previously that I am aware of.

            Like

      • Chico says:

        I don’t question having a campaign. I question the poor quality of the campaign and the actual actions of the district leadership.

        The behavior of the superintendent is key to the brand of the district. ChupaCabrera is not helping himself. Using district funds for illicit purposes does not convince people that EPISD is well run.

        Let’s add to the foolishness .. the grand kickoff of the bond projects … refurbishing the Franklin football field. EPISD spent PR dollars getting media coverage for this “important” event. Further demonstrating the district’s so-called commitment to education.

        How about one more? There’s many folks who have recognized through Facebook posts that the Superintendent skipped most of the district’s graduations. In once case, he was at a political event at the same time as a school graduation.

        Dumb actions defeat marketing all day long, ask any real businessman. You have to complement marketing with a well run district and good customer service. Otherwise, potential “customers” see your marketing as B.S. That, Tim, is the real problem.

        Like

  9. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    If the spelling shown on their rtp is what was posted here, that should have been a disqualifier. As a taxpayer, I agree that advertising is inappropriate. Public education should provide a free basic education and if “competitors” attract students shrink its infrastructure.

    Like

    • Dan says:

      Tickedofftaxpayer, the spelling was from the EPISD board materials. The spending of taxpayer money for a bond election help is not only inappropriate but it is illegal. However, the law says that it cannot be spent after a bond election has been posted and this was done just before the announcement of the bond election. It is actually FRAUD against the taxpayers.

      Like

  10. Chico says:

    The quality of the billboards is really poor. They have too much copy for something that you drive past at 65 mph. Suggests that this marketing firm is not very good either. There likely are more efficient ways at changing hearts and minds, if that is the goal.

    Like

    • Old agency says:

      Old rule of thumb for outdoor advertising: 3 words. Disappointing that “new” agencies that preach “branding” are ignorant of the basics of advertising.

      Like

  11. I am seriously old school, and I do not live within the boundaries of EPISD, but really?! Why in the name of all that is holy would/should/could a *public* school district, totally supported by tax dollars, ever need to advertise its existence?! And, that is not even considering the bill of goods they sold their tax base. Wow. Just. Wow.

    Like

    • Tim Holt says:

      John, not sure where in town you live, but both SISD and YISD also spend money to advertise their existence. For instance, YISD had a billboard up last year on US54 and Dyer for the better part of 6 months advertising themselves as “The District.” I don’t know the going rate per month from Clearchannel, but that was not inexpensive. UTEP and EPCC, both taxpayer subsidized institutions, advertise quite a bit, even though they have almost a completely captive audience in the El Paso area. Care to take a guess on how much those big Pick Axes cost going both east and west on I10? Why even Texas Tech, another taxpayer subsidized institution, puts up big advertisements at the spaghetti bowl. And yes, I understand that Universities are funded a bit differently, and they actually can generate their own money, but EPCC is on my property tax bill, as it is yours I suppose. Obviously, all of these see the need to market themselves. I don’t suppose EPISD is any different.

      Like

      • Chico says:

        The comparisons to EPCC and UTEP are sloppy.

        Most years of K-12 education are compulsary. College is not.

        Also, students pay tuition at EPCC and UTEP. They don’t for public K-12 education

        These are very different situations.

        Like

        • Tim Holt says:

          We all are paying EPCC taxes are we not?

          Like

          • Chico says:

            That is true … EPCC is planning a bond for next year. I don’t know the details yet, but certainly intend to investigate.

            Keep in mind, I don’t object to the strategic use of marketing by EPISD. I object to the quality of what is being produced. The current products (that I’ve seen) are poor – the I10 billboards and the PR money spent on the turf rollout at Franklin.

            My advice – strategically target the potential students and their families. For example, how do you market to Canutillo or the eastern edge of the district (versus shotgun the entire El Paso area)? Let’s take Canutillo for example. If EPISD is trying to lure in students from this area, they need to consider what differentiates EPISD from CISD? What advantages do families get from jumping district lines? Then, make the case to this population. There are many ways to niche market that are less expensive and more effective.

            Like “old agency” wrote … billboards with 20 words on them are foolish. Even the photos are too small to really see when driving 65 mph.

            Like

      • Dan Wever says:

        What this shows Tim is that the education of our children can be lowered in order to have money for branding. And it shows up with the Staar test scores, the EPISD is sucking hind tit in the ratings.

        Like

  12. quality control says:

    quote…….”enrollements, and gratuation ”

    seriously?

    Like

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