Case Study: Children's Book Bank

Often, organizations lack either the time or the expertise to develop a communications plan that will help the organization get where it wants to go. That’s where I come in. I assess you organization’s capacity, skills, goals and objectives and draft a strategic communications plan that clearly identifies:

  • Your target audience

  • Strategies and tactics to reach that target audience

  • A calendar of what to do and when

  • Metrics to evaluate your success


Problem

More than 60 percent of the preschoolers that Children’s Book Bank serves come from communities of color. Yet less than 3 percent of books donated to Children’s Book Bank feature ethnically and racially diverse characters. Part of this is because the families donating books are largely white and middle class; and part of this is because there is a lack of books on the market that feature diverse characters. Children’s Book Bank engaged me and several colleagues to develop a strategic communications plan that would help them deliver more culturally relevant books to the communities they serve.

Action

Children’s Book Bank needed people to:

  1. Donate used books featuring diverse characters

  2. Donate money to help the book bank buy books featuring diverse characters

My partners and I developed a campaign around the concept of “A Story Like Mine.” In other words, everyone needs to be able to see themselves in the stories they read and see their own story represented on the page.

We developed a comprehensive plan that focused on raising awareness about the need for culturally relevant books, and raising funds via foundations and individuals. The strategies suggested included a webpage, news media, social media, events, and grant proposals. We developed strategic messaging for these strategies and collateral including a brochure, bookmarks, and a sample grant proposal.

Result

The Children’s Book Bank implemented our suggestions in 2015 and as of 2018 had delivered more than 20,000 culturally diverse books to more than 5,000 families. One example is Marisol, who wrote to the book bank:

“Now that we have these beautiful books, I read with my daughter every night at bedtime, and she has fallen in love with books! Her favorite is Nos Vamos a Mexico. She has memorized the story and we talk about the pictures together. Now Marisol knows about the village where her own grandmother lives and where I grew up. She likes to pretend she is in the story, too, and tells me, ‘Mommy, this is me,’ when she sees a little girl who looks like her.”

SERVICES

Communications planning services

  • Qualitative research including interviews or focus groups

  • Review of quantitative research

  • Literature reviews

  • Communications audits

  • Audience analysis

  • Strategy recommendations

  • Calendar for implementation

  • Methods for measuring success 

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