Since 1999, all Virginia Lottery profits have been designated to help fund K-12 public-school education in Virginia. That has meant nearly $3.9 billion to boost education, yet only half of the general public and half of Virginia’s educators were aware of the Lottery’s mission to support education. To increase visibility, the Virginia Lottery joined with the Virginia PTA and Supply Room Stores to create the Super Teacher program. The Super Teacher program had three goals:
- Demonstrate the Virginia Lottery’s commitment to K-12 public education
- Generate increased awareness about the Lottery’s support of Virginia public education among parents, teachers and the general public
- Recognize deserving teachers for their selfless dedication to students by rewarding them with valuable classroom prizes
Adults across Virginia were encouraged to nominate a teacher on www.valottery.com. Using 500 words or fewer, parents were asked to explain why the teacher deserved to win prizes for his/her classroom.
We were tasked with increasing the number of nominations over the previous year. The major challenge was a significantly lower budget. To achieve our goals, we organized a comprehensive communications campaign, including a Virginia Lottery SuperTeacher Facebook Fan Page and Twitter profile. We used these profiles to engage with Virginia High School alumni groups on Facebook and corresponding groups on Twitter to make them aware of the program and encourage nominations of their favorite teachers from their school years.
Due largely to these social networking efforts, Qorvis helped the Virginia Lottery exceed the number of nominations of the previous year with less than half the budget. The Super Teacher program and its winners were covered by news outlets across the Commonwealth.