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  • Writer's pictureEmaDella Conners

Recruitment Campaign When a Pandemic Hit

The Challenge

A mid-sized school district was losing students, mainly to charter schools in the area, initially presenting Caissa with a typical competition scenario that we planned to tackle like a normal recruitment campaign.

The Goal

We set a goal to recruit 90 students to four public schools over a two-month period.

The Work

Caissa began the campaign by initiating telephone interviews with parents in the school district to gauge their perceptions and concerns about public schools, collecting roughly 100 responses. For families with students enrolled in charter schools, we asked them how and why they thought a charter school education was the better alternative.

We then conducted research on targeted schools to determine the issues they were facing. Armed with this data – a baseline to give us more information when engaging with parents throughout the recruitment process – we began with an on-the-ground campaign that had team members going door-to-door to inform parents and guardians of the positives of their neighborhood schools.

Grassroots Engagement During a Pandemic

Shortly after we began our ground campaign, COVID-19 changed the game by forcing everything to shut down.

All across the country, school districts were closed, which meant major adjustments for everyone. Working with the district, Caissa navigated around the complications due to social distancing by shifting to a wide range of digital communications with parents and guardians, using interactive flyers, videos, audio files and more. We paired our original messaging about the positives of neighborhood schools with updates on the ways the district was responding to the pandemic.

We were able to work with the district to maintain recruitment and registration momentum, making necessary adjustments to the registration process and supporting them in other areas, while they faced a multitude of challenges the pandemic presented. It was important that parents and guardians remained informed of the district’s updates, so constant communication was crucial.

Our main goal at this point was to continue setting up the district for success as they navigated unknown territory.


Through target identification, research and a hybrid grassroots-digital engagement campaign, despite the disruption presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Caissa recruited more than 400 students to the targeted schools in two months, recruitment numbers nearly 350% over the initial goal.

With the pandemic still complicating normal school operations, we are continuing to work with the school district to help them navigate this new normal, while maintaining constant communication with parents and guardians.

If you are interested in learning more about our recruitment campaigns or other services, please contact us here.

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