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EdTech will never have another moment like this.

EdTech 2020: The Noisiest Year Ever

If you have been in edtech as long as I have, at some point in the past couple months you have had that “here we are moment.” We have been saying for years the future of learning is online and the future of work is remote, and let’s be honest, we were early to the party. But Covid-19 has catapulted these topics into mainstream acceptance.

What this also means is that now more than ever the media is covering education and workforce issues, but the truth is that while more reporters are covering your space, they are getting inundated with thousands of pitches and like most media, a bit of the focus is on bigger, more well-known companies.

The takeaway: Except less coverage but from bigger outlets.

Near the beginning of Covid-19, I wrote the PR Playbook for Edtech companies, and like any good PR plan, it’s important to re-evaluate your approach and adjust where necessary. So, if you made it this far into Covid-19, now is the time to think (again?) about your approach to communications for the remainder of 2020.

If you read one thing: From Covid-19 to Black Lives Matter to the markets to the Presidential Election, 2020 will be the busiest, nosiest year ever for the media. It doesn’t mean you can’t gain amazing awareness, but it means you need to be smart about how you do it.

Three Ways to Gain Awareness in 2020

  • Media relations — Start to plan out the obvious — and seasonal — storylines for 2020, which include Summer, Back to School, Jobs, Remote Work, Upskilling — to name a few. But if you want to get the media’s attention, you need students, graduates, employers, employees and data.

Remember: Media relations is part of the strategy. It alone is not a strategy.

  • Election — All eyes will eventually turn to Trump vs. Biden, starting in August. You have 90+ days to stand on the sideline or find a way to be a part of the conversation around education. Having worked at the U.S. Department of Education, I can tell you that this year, education will get more attention than ever before. You can find ways to talk about student loans and debt, the value of a college degree, what policies matter the most, etc. without getting partisan.

Remember: This isn’t just about talking to a reporter. You can lead and participate in conversations online — whether that’s on social or at virtual conferences.

  • Social Media — Given that more people than ever before are paying attention to — and directly dealing with — issues like remote work and online education, there’s a huge opportunity to capture attention of target audiences through social media. From Reddit to Twitter to LinkedIn to Facebook to TikTok, a strategy to push content and engage in conversations online can lead to an increased follower base, new customers and, more broadly, a better understanding of your business to outsiders.

Remember: This takes time, but now is the time! Starting a plan now and going through the election and into the holiday season is perfect for any edtech company.

**BONUS TIP! Op-Ed Writing — There has been a huge surge in media outlets accepting op-eds, and it’s a great way to complement — if not supplement — your media relations approach. Remember, editors like timely topics, which is great because, as I mentioned above, there’s a lot of edtech news happening in 2020.

Remember: Think about your media relations strategy and create a month-over-month approach to writing op-eds. And the more you write, the more likely you are to get published.

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Trey Ditto

Trey Ditto

CEO of Ditto PR, Brooklynite, new Dad, Crypto and tings