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Face of Education campaign shifts focus

February 25, 2020 Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor


Sherry Howey, principal of Oscar Adolphson Primary School in Valleyview, is one of six teachers being featured in an updated version of the ATA’s Face of Education campaign.
Photo supplied.


Teachers take over the spotlight as public relations campaign enters second phase

The ATA’s Face of Education campaign is being refreshed with new content featuring some of your own colleagues.

Active since the fall of 2018, the advertising campaign to date has featured students talking about the challenges they face and how their teachers have made a difference. The campaign is now directing its focus on teachers talking about their daily routines and how they are trying to meet the challenges they face.

“When we first envisioned the Face of Education campaign, we knew we wanted to start with the students, but we had always planned to have a faces campaign change over time to include teachers and, perhaps in the future, parents. There are a lot of faces that are represented in education,” explained Shelley Magnusson, the executive staff officer who oversees the ATA’s public relations campaigns.

The new 30-second videos will begin airing right away on television, online and on the ATA website. Each video features one of six teachers, but the ATA is contacting more with the intent of shooting more interviews.

“Originally the videos were designed to tell the story of the rural teacher, but once we started we realized that we were telling the story of all teachers,” Magnusson said. “So now we are looking to expand with a few more videos, this time with teachers who are teaching in urban areas.” 

The overall objective of the campaign is to promote the Association as a strong advocate for public education by highlighting the needs of teachers and students. While positive in tone, the student-focused videos also carry subtle messages about some of the challenges faced by students and teachers.

“Now we want to be a little less subtle but still positive,” Magnusson said. “It is really important that we stay positive. We know from our polling that the vast majority of Albertans think teachers are doing a good job. We need to keep and grow that sentiment. As more cutbacks are expected in the next provincial budget, now more than ever we need the support of the public.”

While the student-focused ads employed actors and scripted commentary, the new videos involve real teachers sharing their own unscripted thoughts.
“These videos, because they are real and unscripted, tell the story of teachers’ heartbeats,” Magnusson said. ❚

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