Urban Strategies Incorporates Digital Marketing Strategies to Help More Families

By Katelyn PrestonOctober 25, 2018

As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. From when they are born to the time they start school, a child goes through a lot of development, which is why the early years of their life are so important.

Urban Strategies Family & Child Academy (FCA), an early head-start center providing comprehensive services for children and families from birth to age three, exists to aid in your child’s early development by providing early care and education to marginalized populations in the communities they serve.

“We believe that by connecting, resourcing and equipping grassroots organizations, the lives of vulnerable children and families dramatically improve.”

Through community outreach activities, including home visits, FCA strives to connect with marginalized or vulnerable members of the communities they serve. Many of the families that have children at the Academy are low income, minorities, homeless, or in other vulnerable life situations, and who could not provide a stable and consistent environment for their child at the critical early development stage.

“FCA is an integral component of Urban Strategies’ vision to connect, resource, and equip faith and community-based organizations to serve children and families in need,” said Sarah Harrison, Interim Director of Urban Strategies.

FCA saw success in recruitment of children to participate in the program through their community outreach strategy, but wanted to make an even greater impact by targeting an audience through digital marketing.

“Our staff hit the streets and went door-to-door, visited local businesses, and participated in community events. We also took some time to learn the community and to partner with agencies that offer services for children and families,” said Harrison.

In 2018, FCA realized they needed to extend their marketing efforts further than conversations on the sidewalk to reach a wider, untapped audience not only for recruitment of students, but also to find donors and supporters. In doing so, they hoped to increase their brand awareness and spread their mission far and wide in the communities they served to achieve even more success in helping families.

“Our target audience is increasingly engaging with digital materials. We decided to harness the power of digital marketing to increase the reach and deepen the penetration of our messaging. Strategic storytelling is a key element in showing families what our program is like and helping them understand how to access our services,” Harrison said.

This new endeavor included new building signage and pop-up banners, promotional items such as flyers, magnets, pens and notepads, and a promo video to raise awareness of FCA.

With regards to the digital marketing activity, Harrison added, “Our recently-released, promotional video showcases parent testimonials in both English and Spanish. This was strategically designed to show our target audience that our approach is family-centered, inclusive, and culturally and linguistically-sensitive.”

Funding is crucial to the success and resources FCA has access to and can pass along to their students and families. The organization is federally funded, but also relies on external support nonprofit organizations trusted in the community, social service agencies, and local universities for collaborations for internship opportunities.

“Brand awareness is critical to cultivating and continuing relationships with these external stakeholders, as well as essential for indicating to funding sources that they are investing in social capitol by strengthening families and the community,” said Harrison. “We believe branding is a key strategy for creating rapport with community leaders and organizations and communicating the importance of early childhood development. Digital media is key in showing stakeholders the authenticity of our team and intentionality of our programming.”

Through their engagements with digital marketing and other initiatives, FCA’s goal is to increase awareness of who they are and what they represent.

“We utilize engaging marketing such as creatively-designed summary reports, professional media pieces (photos and videos), and social media campaigns. With the brand awareness we are beginning to see an increase in our center by the way of more phone inquiries and more families visiting the center to learn about our services,” said Harrison.

Learn more about FCA online at https://www.urbanstrategies.us/