The Challenge: I WILL GRADUATE (IWG) is a New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering students and families in underserved communities across all boroughs to combat low graduation rates. IWG’s programs utilize music and the arts for youth development, college and career preparation, mentoring, parent engagement, school and community workshops and events. TASC compiled an audit of I WILL GRADUATE’s communications, including an in-depth review of its website, social media and SEO. Based on that research, TASC developed a six-month strategy aimed at building relations between IWG and local print, online and TV affiliate outlets to ensure plentiful coverage leading up to its largest annual event, I WILL GRADUATE DAY. TASC sought to position Executive Director Tonya Lewis Taylor and President Sanchez Tuitt as thought leaders in the community on educational empowerment and development.

Our Strategy: TASC developed strategic documents to refine I WILL GRADUATE’s messaging and position it as a prominent leader in the education nonprofit sector. Considerations included social media engagement with uniformity across platforms at top of mind, improving readability of website and affiliated platforms, creating partnerships with key stakeholders and elected officials, securing media coverage in local and broadcast media through proactive and reactive outreach and effectively communicating IWG’s mission to empower student’s families and communities by promoting educational opportunities.

TASC secured 195 media placements for I WILL GRADUATE and its leadership with a total potential audience of 467,670,709 readers, viewers and listeners. Our team arranged interviews for Executive Director Tonya Lewis Taylor with prominent media including a live on-site interview with CBS New York and a live remote interview FOX 5 Good Day New York at the Barclays Center on I WILL GRADUATE DAY alongside an interview with ABC7 Here and Now ahead of the annual event. Overall, IWG was covered in 37 segments on CBS New York, 46 segments on News 12 Brooklyn and News 12 The Bronx and 36 segments on Spectrum NY1, including two segments for its “In Focus” program with Cheryl Wills. Additionally, I WILL GRADUATE DAY was covered in local and national online and print outlets including ABC 7 Eyewitness News, amNewYork, New York Amsterdam News, BK Reader, The Riverdale Press, Brooklyn Paper and nine Yahoo! News syndications of the CBS New York coverage. TASC also leveraged its relationship with New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks and the New York City Department of Education to secure his attendance at I WILL GRADUATE DAY, which increased awareness, spurred coverage and positioned the event as the premier celebration of education in New York City.