The Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School (CBOB) is a nonprofit educational organization that offers outdoor education programs and expeditions for people of all ages. As a division of the Outward Bound USA, CBOB works to inspire character development and self-discovery in both children and adults in and outside of the classroom. They encourage students to be leaders, self-confident, and environmentally conscious.
Having already established themselves in Maryland, CBOB wanted to expand its services to school districts and communities within Washington, DC. They partnered with Media Cause to spread their brand awareness in this market.
After their main location in Baltimore, Maryland was established, CBOB began serving the surrounding communities. Many students and participants took advantage of their experiential education programs, and because of this growth, CBOB was inspired to expand their reach. They planned to open a new campus location in Washington, DC to serve school districts and communities. CBOB needed to generate awareness in the DC market in preparation for their expansion.
At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, so it posed a challenge for in-person marketing strategies. We had to find new ways to inform people about CBOB and what they offered safely.
Through discussion with the CBOB team, we found that their target audience was parents and school districts. We needed to develop a campaign that got this audience interested in CBOB and their educational programs before their new campus was built while taking the ongoing pandemic into consideration.
This led to the development of the #OutwardBreak Campaign, which focused on motivating parents and their children to follow an independent curriculum during the DC Public Schools Spring Break week. We then developed a paid media and organic social strategy that allowed CBOB to educate DC-based teachers and parents about their curriculum and Outward Bound programs.
To reach DC parents and school districts, we first put a paid media strategy into play. This involved creating and placing 3-4 ads on Facebook and Instagram and recommended the CBOB team make posts on both platforms, as well as Twitter, that targeted parents who were looking for a way to keep their children active and learning during Spring Break (mid-April 2021). Once clicked, these ads took users to a landing page to sign up for #OutwardBreak. Over the course of the break, students and their parents could participate in an independent curriculum that replicated the experience of an Outward Bound expedition. (Both the paid and organic media strategies were performed during the Spring Break for Washington DC public schools.)
Additionally, we leveraged Outward Bound’s Google Ad Grant to capture searches throughout the campaign and target parents that searched for at-home activity and learning opportunities for their children during the break.
Concurrently with the paid media strategy, we ran an organic social campaign that gave parents a place to engage with Outward Bound throughout their week of at-home expeditions.