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teaching with love

minding the gap

In the midst of a national teacher shortage where high-minority school districts were being the hardest hit, Richmond Public Schools (RPS) came to us with a challenge: Attract and recruit diverse teachers for open positions throughout their school district. To do this, they needed a marketing strategy that would not only motivate an action that ran counter to the general environment, but would also compel teachers to apply to their school system specifically. WCG created a campaign that generated six leads overnight.  

balancing the equation

RPS was on par with most standard teacher benefits and starting salaries, but they faced extra challenges. In three years, they went from four open vacancies to nearly 500​. Add to this the “whole family” teaching environment, and enticing qualified educators became even more difficult.

RPS sweetened the recruitment pot by offering signing and relocation bonuses. WCG recommended a media strategy combining awareness and lead generation tactics, with the primary goal of nurturing prospects. We prioritized geographies where there was a higher likelihood of interest based on proximity to the Richmond region, which included D.C., Baltimore, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

The creative appealed to an educator’s wants, needs, and aspirations while using emotion as a connector. It included digital ads, out of home (OOH), and social posts with testimonial videos from actual RPS educators – all leading the audience to an application form on the recruitment microsite we built (

But we knew this wasn’t enough – during a national shortage, teachers could go anywhere. Why would they choose RPS? So, we amplified the work by incorporating the added value of Richmond’s diverse culture, extraordinary quality of life, and thriving social justice scene, developing a campaign of love and even blanketing the city with heartwarming billboards. Further, we emphasized the uniquely rewarding journey that is part of an RPS career. Throughout the campaign, we used images of real students at RPS, while messaging focused on the specific benefits and impact of being a teacher there.

a world of good

The campaign launched on the evening of April 12, 2023. By the next morning, there were six conversions, and we drove an additional four leads that evening. A week into the campaign, 52 prospective educators had expressed their interest in RPS by applying through the form on the recruitment microsite. 

Bear in mind that the average teacher affects over 3,000 students ​during his or her career, which means the potential impact of 156,000 kids who understand they matter ​and are encouraged to be their best. ​That’s a whole lot more love in this world.

Chart showing increase in garden visitation

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