Center for Assessment
Increasing Student Learning Through More Meaningful Assessment and Accountability Practices

Giving Thought Leaders a Louder Voice Through a Content Strategy

The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (the Center) is a New Hampshire-based organization focused on improving student assessment and accountability across the country. The Center wanted to better leverage its in-house experts to help elevate the national conversation around educational assessment and accountability and draw more attention to the Center’s important role in that conversation. To help the Center reach this goal, we launched a research exercise to inform a content strategy that would give the organization’s experts a greater opportunity and platform by which to share their knowledge.

Engagement

Planning

We kicked off the content strategy with industry and company research, coupled with extensive conversations with the Center’s key stakeholders about the organization’s mission, vision, top competition and target audiences.

We then conducted research of the digital and competitive landscapes in educational assessment and accountability. This exercise allowed us to make informed content recommendations to the Center based on the most popular topics and themes in which their target audience was already interested, and to also identify opportunities on social media and through email marketing to further amplify the Center’s voice.

We also conducted an extensive content audit, evaluating all of the Center’s existing collateral to identify which pieces could be reused or repurposed, and how these pieces fit into the landscape research findings. Streamlining all their content allowed the Center to ensure maximum engagement and impact in the digital landscape.

Creating

We leveraged the topics and themes that surfaced in the research exercise, as well as the findings of the content audit, to create a content calendar for the Center. The goal of the content calendar was to clearly map all content recommendations to the key areas we knew to be most effective from the research exercise findings.

Part of this content strategy included the creation of a blog on the Center’s website called CenterLine, which is updated weekly with posts rooted in strategic content topics. In conjunction with an email marketing effort to disseminate these posts, we were successful in creating an effective communications strategy for the Center, vastly elevating their voice and impact among their audience.

Outside of helping the Center amplify its presence and the voices of its expert thought leaders, our goal has been to streamline the look and feel of the Center’s content, making the organization immediately recognizable and helping to build brand trust and loyalty.

Deploying

The key results of this work was deploying a purposeful content strategy that drove an integrated platform for the Center’s outreach. Part of this platform was audience segmentation and diverse communication vehicles to help the Center reach its audience effectively and in different ways.

The Center has seen a significant increase in blog subscribers, consequently growing its database 807% and allowing it to get information in front of more people. With more downloads and more form completions of targeted content, it’s clear the Center has grown as a trusted resource and is continuously elevating its expert voice through quality content that resonates with their key audiences.

The Center is known for its leadership in technical aspects of educational assessment and accountability, but we wanted to increase our influence in the educational policy world. Fishnet helped us organize an unbelievable amount of content, and empowered us to streamline our internal processes to place a greater focus on content creation and dissemination. The fact that we’re seeing such great results from these efforts has energized everyone at the Center around the value of strategic communications. The staff is proud of these accomplishments, especially as more people are influenced by our work.

Scott Marion, Executive Director