Campaign: Rock the Schools

Client: Rock the Schools powered by a brand called eD

PR Agency: IDENTITY PR

 

Background

Rock the Schools powered by a brand called eD is a free entertainment and educational tour that travels across six states of Australia over four months to perform free lunchtime concerts for high school students. In 2010 three up and coming Australian bands performed on tour, including: Cassette Kids, Finabah and The Violet Flames.

Since its inception five years ago, School Tours Australia has firmly cemented Rock the Schools as the longest running free tour for high school students across the country. Launched back in 2006 with a reach of 34 high schools and one band over three states, Rock the Schools now visits 70 high schools across six states of Australia. 2010 saw the media campaign for the tour generate $1.5 million across throughout the four-month program period, an increase from the $200,000 media campaign first generated in 2006 when the initiative commenced.

Rock the Schools is fully funded by corporate and Government partners such as a brand called eD, payclick by Visa, SUPRÉ, The Australian Institute of Music, the Australian Government and its National Drugs Campaign, Girlfriend Magazine, Habbo and Channel V.

In addition to the bands rocking out during the tour, senior music students at each school are invited to a live sound workshop where they will learn about and develop skills in the latest digital technology. Students are then given an interactive masterclass on the industry standard recording software.

These students are also given the opportunity to take part in a workshop facilitated by the Australian Institute of Music on the varied careers available in the music industry, in fields ranging from business, production and composition.

Objectives

IDENTITY PR was engaged in 2010 to execute and manage the publicity element of the tour, targeting national and localised media across print, TV, radio and online mediums. Building on the already established brand the aim was to widen the audience’s awareness and recognition of the tour.

A key objective was also to create mainstream awareness of the program in order to target new schools for 2011 and beyond, target new sponsor partners and assist in building awareness for the bands that participated in the initiative.

Strategy

A media campaign was developed that targeted a range of outlets. The main focus of the campaign was to generate new and unique angles around each band for their performance dates.

The fifth anniversary of Rock the Schools fell in 2010, so focus was placed on conveying this through the media and highlighting the evolution of the tour since it’s inception.

Media attendance was also a target, and so three media days were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide during the tour.

Execution

Over the four month tour a series of press releases announcing each band as they commenced their month of touring, as well as announcing special guests and sponsor partner news.

School Tours Australia and IDENTITY PR also engaged a selection of high profile special guest ambassadors to visit selected schools during the tour to entertain the students and generate further media coverage. In Melbourne, legendary musician and performer Jon Stevens hosted, Adelaide saw local success story The Sundance Kids entertain students and, former Rock the Schools band, Amy Meredith performed in Sydney with Lyndsey Rodrigues MCing at one school and Danny Clayton MCing at the Sydney media day.

Local newspapers were targeted alongside community radio stations in the suburbs of each high school on the tour.

Music industry awareness was increased through targeting and generating media coverage across a wide range of marketing trade media.

Results

167 pieces of media coverage for Rock the Schools and School Tours Australia were secured. A total of 124 print, 33 online, three radio and seven TV feature stories and segments were recorded over the four month period. In 2010, Rock the Schools received a total of over $1 million in media coverage supporting the tour.

Each school and band were supported with publicity and media attention around their tour as well as maintaining consistent messaging throughout the four months.

A focus on Rock the Schools providing an education to students on the music industry as well as entertainment was maintained through out the tour publicity, showcasing the effects that the initiative can have on young music students.

In addition, visibility of sponsor partner activity was ensured across various mediums and through media attendance at selected days through out the tour.