News and views on what matters to me: mindfulness, leadership, public relations, marketing, social media, pop culture and every now and then I will surprise you with something else.
Few of my last entries focused on the crisis of high school students dropping out of school. Specifically, what that means for national security and our society as a whole. I have posed questions such as what is the government doing about this and even individual institutions, as this should be of interest to all of us. As an update to my previous entries, I wanted to shed some light on President Obama teaming up with the Army and the Ad Council to launch television and radio PSAs that encourage teens to stay in school. The Army has been pretty active since 2000 in trying to curb this problem by partnering with Ad Council and creating “Operation Gratitude” national campaign to motivate students to graduate.
I am sure most are not aware that the US Army has been so active in finding ways to help youth graduate. The latest campaign, “Boost” (www.boostup.org) in partnership with the Ad Council is providing relevant messaging for the teen demographic that they can relate to. “Boost” encourages teens to talk to their at risk friends about staying in school as well as providing parents with advice and tools. The best part of the campaign is its extensions into social media and using the power of influencers. “Boost” is leveraging youtube, myspace, facebook, etc. as well as user generated content sites to relate to teens and promote its mission. There is also a series of wake-up calls and alarm ringtones recorded by professional athletes to motivate teens. This campaign is brilliant because it does not rely only on mass advertising, instead is employing nontraditional messaging to get its mission across. Clearly, the Ad Council and the US Army have learned from “Operation Gratitude” and are using vehicles that will speak to youth in a more meaningful way.
No matter what side of the political spectrum one identifies with, it is important to see our President addressing the educational problems and teaming up with the US Army who has already done so much. The power of influencers such as government official, athletes, and celebrities is crucial to get this mission across to the masses. As I like to say, we are living in a branded world that puts high emphasis on celebrities and we need those influencers to step up and share their encouragement to teens that idolize them and trust in every word they say. The United States is truly the land of opportunities, but those opportunities are mostly available to those who have sufficient education. Every child deserves to graduate from high school and it is our collective responsibility to do all we can to make that into a reality.