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OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School is an institution that fosters creativity and academic
development by providing students with first-hand experiences that will prepare them for success in the
21st century. A community outreach program would enable BCAM to broaden its impact on the New York
metropolitan area.

SITUATION ANALYSIS
Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School (BCAM) is a public school in Brooklyn, New York that
combines performance-based academics with professional training in arts and media. The school was founded
by its current principal, James O’Brien, and opened its doors July 1, 2006. BCAM currently serves 417 students
in grades 9-12, with 224 students being female and 193 being male. The student population is ethnically
diverse, with 82% of students being black, 14% being Hispanic, and the remainder of students being multiracial.
The school uses a three-pronged approach consisting of academics, creativity and professional development to
prepare students for success in the 21st century.

BCAM operates on an unscreened, open-enrollment basis which provides a diverse group of students with
accessibility to enrollment. This presents BCAM with a unique challenge, as it requires the school to cater to the
academic needs of many students who have significantly different academic levels. BCAM must also prepare
students to pass the Regent exams as required by the state of New York. The school’s location also results in it
having a segment of the student population that has dealt with the challenges that so many inner-city children
face, such as poverty, crime and violence.

As a public school, BCAM faces the challenges of meeting state-wide standards and operating under a limited
budget. BCAM’s goal to provide students with a creative experience that will prepare them for the 21st century
relies heavily on the support of outside influences. Financial support, professional support and opportunities for
students and professional development for staff and faculty are vital to the success of BCAM.

James O’Brien was selected as one of the 2009 PopTech Fellows, which served as recognition for his new
approaches to education and his commitment to having a “transformational impact.” PopTech is a network of
“leaders, thinkers and doers” from a variety of a disciplines, “who come together to explore the social impact
of new technologies, the forces of change shaping our future, and new approaches to solving the world’s most
significant challenges.” (Source: www.poptech.org/about) His experience as a Fellow has helped him to realize
the importance of public relations for garnering financial and community support. This support would better
enable BCAM to carry out its goal of preparing students for success in the 21st century.

Public relations is necessary to foster relationships with outside partners in an effort to enable BCAM to better
serve its students and the Brooklyn community. Doing so will also allow BCAM to broaden its reach and
impact, hopefully allowing for an endless array of opportunities for the students it serves and will serve in the
future.

GOAL STATEMENT
For the New York metropolitan area to be contributing to the perpetuation and expansion of Brooklyn
Community Arts and Media High School.

PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca


TARGET AUDIENCES
Potential Students
Brooklyn is the most populous of the five boroughs, holding about 30.57% of New York’s residents. In
Brooklyn, 25.1% of the population are under 18 years old. In the New York City Department of Education there
are approximately 185,050 students in intermediate school and 257,801 in high school. In Brooklyn, there are
161 schools that house 8th graders, the vast majority of BCAM’s potential students.

There are many students who don’t do well in a structured academic setting. The students who struggle in this
setting often do not perform to the best of their ability and it can sometimes lead to dropping out. BCAM offers
an alternative program to these students, one in which they are more likely to succeed. BCAM is also a school
that will benefit students who are focused on the arts and intend on pursuing an art-centered career or higher
education degree. BCAM will target potential students to provide the unique program to those it will benefit
and as an opportunity to expand.

Teachers
BCAM has 31 teachers on staff as well as five administrators, two social workers and 19 other staff members.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 6.2 million teachers in the United States today and 71 percent
of all teachers are women. According the the National Center for Education Statitistics, factors that limited
a city schools’ ability to reduce crime were inadequate atlernative programs and inadequate funds; BCAM
is directly influenced by these factors as a city school with some students already in the criminal justice
system. Moreover, 94 percent of city schools use teacher-student mentoring and tutoring to prevent crime.
The ability to consult and mentor students is a characteristic BCAM values in their teachers.

Public school systems, such as BCAM, are funded through property taxes. Because that is the primary
source of funding, suburban schools receive more money because of higher property tax rates. Also, city
schools have higher student-teacher ratios than their suburban counterparts. Inner city schools suffer the
consequences because teachers are more likely to accept a suburban job, rather than an urban one because
of salary and student-teacher ratios. Therefore when trying to recruit new teachers, BCAM must recruit
based on factors other than money, such as making a difference in the community or flexibility in teacher
creativity.

Potential Internship Partners


Internships are a highly encouraged facet of the BCAM curriculum. Brooklyn is an area that is becoming
increasingly known for media, art and cultural opportunities it offers. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
lists 75 businesses related to arts and media. The four primary business categories are advertising and
marketing, arts and culture, graphic designers and publishing or publications.

BCAM students will have to maintain their academic performance and largely do not have access to necessary
transportation. Approaching primarily Brooklyn-based businesses will give students professional experience
in their own community and will not put as great of a strain on their success in the classroom as if they had to
travel to other areas in New York. Brooklyn businesses will be interested in improving the community in which
they operate. Providing positive, constructive learning opportunities to Brooklyn’s youth will help shape the
community for the better.

Investors
BCAM had a budget allocation of $2,628,853 for the 2008-2009 school year from the New York Department of
Education. BCAM received a reduction in Fair Student Funding and Children First allocations, both of which
were New York Department of Education funding initiatives. BCAM also had to adjust its budget for the 2009-
2010 school year to accommodate citywide increases in teacher salaries. Increases in expenses and decreases in
PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca
funding from the state presents a challenge for BCAM, whose expenditures for the 2009-2010 school year are
estimated to be $3,484,907.

While funding from the New York Department of Education and other governmental initiatives is significant
and extremely useful, it has become increasingly challenging for government money to fund public schools.
Special programs, like arts education, are often the first to go during times of budgetary difficulties. Thus,
looking toward private investors would be an effective way for BCAM to obtain additional funding and further
involve the community in its mission and success.

OBJECTIVE ONE (POTENTIAL STUDENTS)


To increase the total number of students in Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School by 10 percent by
the 2012-2013 school year.

Guerilla Marketing Strategy


Several unconventional methods will be used to promote BCAM and to raise awareness. These unconventional
methods will appeal to potential students’ creative sides.

Tactics
1. Set up a group of 10-20 dedicated students that represent diverse backgrounds and interests to
become the faces of BCAM in the community, to potential investors and potential students. The
group of students will be referred to as “Student Ambassadors.”

2. Student Ambassadors and any other student volunteers will put together performances and art
demonstrations that will be presented with no introduction or warning in parks and student hang outs in
the Brooklyn community after school, when the most potential students will be there. The performers
will be wearing t-shirts designed by BCAM students and at the end of the performances will hand out a
few t-shirts and pamphlets about BCAM and its programs. Some examples of performances are:
a. Raps
b. Hip-hop or other high-energy dances
c. “Graffiti” created with chalk paint or on a paper that was set up before

3. Hang posters students have created all over Brooklyn, in normal and unexpected places.

Administrator Speech Strategy


BCAM administrators, as well as one or two students from the student ambassador group will travel to give
speeches, presentations and hand out informational pamphlets to help spread the word about BCAM.

Tactics
1. Schedule presentations at all the local PTA or parent committee groups at Brooklyn middle schools.
These presentations will focus on the benefits to the students, such as unconventional teaching methods
that may help students to learn more than traditionally structured ones and the no-judgment policy.

2. Schedule end-of-day assemblies for 8th graders at the local middle schools. These presentations will
mostly be led by a student ambassador and will contain multi-media. Presentations will focus on the
excitement and experience BCAM can provide students.

3. Set up meetings through truancy officers and other officials like that to talk with high schoolers and
8th graders who are dropping out or not attending classes. These more intimate presentations will focus
on the difference between BCAM and the normal high school. Also, the importance of a high school
PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca
diploma will be discussed.

Word of Mouth Strategy


A general buzz about BCAM will be created in the local community so students, parents and administrators will
begin to see the many benefits of the school.

Tactics
1. Send out letters to the editor of local newspapers such as the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn
Spectator and Brooklyn’s Downtown Star. The letters will discuss the approach BCAM takes and its
benefits to a diverse student body.

2. Pitch a story to News 12, Brooklyn’s local television news station and invite them to a day at BCAM.

3. Encourage students, teachers, parents and anyone else associated with BCAM to talk up the school.

4. Utilize social media to create a buzz. Especially focus on creative YouTube videos and tag each video
heavily so it will come up in searches.

OBJECTIVE TWO (POTENTIAL TEACHERS)


To persuade teachers to join BCAM’s faculty and increase the teacher population by 10 percent.

Media Communication Strategy


Teachers are literate media consumers so the media will be used as a communication channel to reach
prospective teachers in the New York area.

Tactics
1. Create a media kit to send out to various publications and media outlets. It will include:
a. Photos
b. A social media press release to reflect BCAM’s creativity and innovation. The press
release will detail the success of the school in the Brooklyn area and the innovative
techniques teachers are able to use to instruct students. The press release will be posted
on the New York Department of Education Web site, BCAM Web site and Teach For
America Web site. It will also be sent to teacher-based blogs and to local media outlets in
the New York area.
c. A backgrounder on the history, mission statement and accomplishments of the school.

2. A feature story will be distributed which will focus on a teacher who works at BCAM. The story will
detail the fulfillment the teacher gains from working at the school and his/her life story. The objective
is to connect with other teachers and inform them that BCAM is searching for other instructors. The
feature will be distributed to news outlets in the New York area.

Teacher Persuasion Strategy


BCAM offers teachers creative techniques, educational freedom and a fulfilling livelihood within the Brooklyn
area. This message will be communicated to prospective teachers to persuade them to seek a position at
BCAM.

Tactics
1. Student Ambassadors will be transported to NYU, Columbia University and CUNY, where they will
draw artistic messages and pictures in chalk advocating their need for teachers.
PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca
2. Principal O’Brien will speak to graduating education majors at NYU, Columbia and CUNY. The
speech will be similar to his speech at PopTech! It will be emotional, with actual examples of children
who were supported by their teachers and will influence future instructors to apply for positions at
BCAM. A brochure will also be distributed as collateral.

3. Student Ambassadors will perform songs, poetry and other forms of art at college sponsored events in
the New York area. Prospective teachers will realize that BCAM is not an ordinary school and they will
seek more information which will be given in the brochure.
OBJECTIVE THREE (POTENTIAL INTERNSHIP PARTNERS)
To increase awareness of BCAM High School within the Brooklyn business community so that arts and media-
related organizations will make internships available to junior and senior BCAM students.

BCAM Experience Strategy


The potential internship partners objective will be accomplished by providing opportunities for Brooklyn
businesses to see what is happening at Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School through first-hand
experiences with teachers and students.

Tactics
1. Take selected students to Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce meetings to give presentations about their
BCAM education and network with businesses with the goal of creating internship partners.

2. Invite community business leaders to BCAM Experience Days that take place during the school day
so they can see an average day at the school.

3. Continue to develop the Student Ambassadors program, which will match students with visiting
professionals. This will provide a personal experience for visiting professionals and will help them see
the quality of BCAM’s students.

4. Host an “Evening of Experience” event at the school to showcase work done by BCAM students.
Invite all relevant members of the Brooklyn business community to attend.

5. Assist selected students in preparing presentations about what they have gained in their BCAM
education. They will give these presentations at the “Evening of Experience” event.

Early Relationship Building Strategy


Potential internship partners will have a closer relationship with Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High
School by getting to know students early in their high school careers through mentoring relationships. This will
benefit not just the students, but the businesses as well through their contributions to education and recognition
in the community.

Tactics
1. Establish positive relationships between Brooklyn business leaders and BCAM students by creating
and implementing a mentoring program for freshman and sophomore students. This program will
focus less on professional development and more on character development as students spend time with
successful people.

2. Send out press releases highlighting these relationships and the participating businesses. This will
garner positive media exposure for the professionals.
PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca
3. Take select freshmen and sophomore students to a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce meeting to
present about what their BCAM education has meant to them.

OBJECTIVE FOUR (INVESTORS)


To obtain outside support from private corporations, citizens and associations in an effort to offset the costs of
20 percent of BCAM’s budget, or to expand BCAM’s budget.

Foundational Strategy
A foundation devoted to the betterment and financial support of BCAM would provide a cohesive, unified body
through which outside supporters can contribute money. The foundation would serve as a unit of collaboration,
where outside supporters can work with foundation personnel to develop donation strategies, gift planning and
ongoing support methods. The foundation will serve as an outlet for partnership, generosity and growth for
BCAM and the community.

Tactics
1. BCAM’s administrators, the dean and principal, will work with the New York City Department of
Education to establish the BCAM Believers foundation.

2. A director will be hired to run the foundation, whose duties will include promoting the school,
identifying potential investors and building relationships with those investors.

3. The foundation director will be responsible for working with potential investors to develop plans and
initiatives with specified instructions to ensure that investors are satisfied with the way their investments
are utilized.

4. The foundation will also utilize the Student Ambassadors group from BCAM to develop more
personal relationships between BCAM students and investors to further inspire and engage donors.

5. The foundation will also be responsible for fostering ongoing relationships between investors and
BCAM students, thus encouraging investors to invest not only in BCAM, but in its students’ futures,
through the forms of post-secondary scholarships and grants.

Support Strategy
Raising awareness and spreading enthusiasm about BCAM is an optimal way to garner support, both financially
and beyond, from investors. Outlets will be provided for donors to support BCAM, and the ways in which
BCAM will also support investors will be illustrated.

Tactics
1. Create a promotional video to send to local businesses, especially those that have a history of
supporting local schools. The video will feature footage of BCAM students excelling in areas related to
arts and media, be it performances or clips of students doing class work. The video will also feature a
testimonial from BCAM’s dean, Hasaun Hunter, and founder and principal, James O’ Brien, discussing
the funding challenges that the current economy has presented BCAM. The foundation’s director will
also be featured in the video and explain ways in which investors can help.

2. The foundation director will contact local business associations and professional organizations
and arrange student performances at these groups’ events, such as luncheons and conferences. The
performances will heighten awareness of BCAM and illustrate the importance of the school. The
PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca
foundational director will then present and invite potential investors to work with the BCAM Believers
foundation to invest in the future of Brooklyn’s students.

3. The foundation director will work with investors to develop a giving plan, which will provide
investors with support and the opportunity to have a say in how their donations will be used.

4. The foundation director will also work with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to develop
a partnership program that will provide students with public transportation to their internships at a
discounted rate.

5. BCAM will devote a section of its web site to recognizing the support of its investors. This section
will also be an outlet for BCAM to support its investors, especially through business advertisements and
endorsements.

6. BCAM Believers foundation will hold a giving campaign during the holiday season to encourage
businesses to invest financial support in BCAM for holiday gifts. Direct mailings to investors will notify
them of the giving campaign.

EVALUATION
Objective One (Potential Students)
To increase the total number of students in Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School by 10 percent by
the 2012-2013 school year.

Assessment
The first way the success of the potential student objective will be measured is by noting the increase in
enrollment each year. Also, as students enroll they will be asked how they first heard about BCAM, enabling
the assessment of various strategies. Enrollment from various schools will be noted to see if speaking to 8th
graders and teachers was effective. The guerilla marketing and word-of-mouth strategies will both be evaluated
by counting media hits. Also, traffic to YouTube and other social media sites will be counted.

Objective Two (Potential Teachers)


To persuade teachers to join BCAM’s faculty and increase the teacher population by 10 percent.

Assessment
The effectiveness of the media kit will be measured through media impressions and traffic to Web sites where
the press release was posted. Also social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and RSS Feeds will also be
measured. The feature story will be measured by media impressions and the total circulation of each news outlet
with a focus on the New York City area.

Teachers who seek jobs at BCAM will be asked how they heard of the school on their application. Choices will
include drawings, informational speeches, or university sponsored events.

Chalk drawings will be drawn in the busiest sections of the universities and the number of people who walk
by in the busiest hour will be estimated. This will help us measure the percentage of the target audience that
is receiving our message. Informational speeches will be measured by attendance and through a specified
application that will be given to the graduating classes. We will count the number of specially marked job
applications that are turned in to BCAM.

PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca


Objective Three (Potential Internship Partners)
To increase awareness of BCAM High School within the Brooklyn business community so that arts and media-
related organizations will make internships available to junior and senior BCAM students.

Assessment
The success of the BCAM Experience Strategy will be assessed by whether or not time is secured to speak at
the Chamber of Commerce Meeting, tracking the number of business leaders who come to BCAM Experience
Days and asking for feedback about Experience Days and the Student Ambassadors. The success of the
“Evening of Experience” will be measured by how many businesspeople attend the event.

The success of the Early Relationship Building Strategy will be measured by whether or not time is secured to
speak at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, how many mentoring relationships are fostered and how much
media coverage is generated from the press releases in the top 10 area news outlets.

Objective Four (Investors)


To obtain outside support from private corporations, citizens and associations in an effort to offset the costs of
20% of BCAM’s budget, or to expand BCAM’s budget.

Assessment
The foundational strategy will be assessed by evaluating whether or not the BCAM Believers foundation was
actually developed. The foundation’s director will be assessed by investors, who will be given forms with which
to evaluate the director and investors will be given a chance to offer praises or criticisms. The strategy will also
be assessed by analyzing whether or not students could recognize or were aware of the school’s key investors.
Student recognition of outside generosity will illustrate success. The development of post-secondary support
systems will also be indicative of success.

The support strategy will be assessed by surveying investors and inquiring as to whether or not the promotional
video heightened their awareness of BCAM or influenced their decision to invest in BCAM. The support
strategy can be assessed by interviewing BCAM investors and asking them what influenced their decision to
donate money or resources to the school. The success of the support strategy can be evaluated by assessing the
number of giving plans developed and comparing that number with the number of plans actually carried out.
Monitoring the number of MTA passes available at a discount rate and used by the students, and totaling an
amount of money the students saved by using the passes will also be a means by which to evaluate the support
strategy. Analytics to monitor the traffic to the investor recognition section of the website will also be a method
of assessment for the strategy.

BUDGET
Foundation director $40,000/year
Subway passes $50/year
T-shirts $300
Art Supplies $200
DVD’s $25
Total: $40,575

PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca


TIMELINE
July and August 2010: Create any media (pamphlets, media kits)
BCAM administrator meeting with New York City Department of Education
Hire director for BCAM Believers foundation
Begin contact with MTA for discounted public transportation partnership

September 2010: Form student ambassador group


Create videos, blog and online presence
Plan Experience Days and Evening of Experience
Contact Chamber of Commerce and local business associations
Create promotional video
Meet with investors to develop guidelines for giving plans
Give students MTA discounted passes for internship transportation

October 2010: Take students to speak at Chamber of Commerce and business association meetings
Host weekly Experience Days
Host the Evening of Experience event
Principal O’Brien’s speeches to prospective teachers
Chalk drawings by students on University campuses
Send promotional video to local businesses

November 2010: Present giving plan to investors for review to ensure investor satisfaction

December 2010: Solicit financial gifts from businesses during the holiday season through the use of
Direct mailings
Begin word of mouth strategy

January 2011: Subway performances


Send out press releases to newspapers

February 2011: University sponsored performances by BMAC students

March 2011: Talks in schools

April 2011: Postering


Performances in parks

Repeat this timeline yearly

PopTech BCAM Plan by Finnerty, Komjati, Lyles and Magliocca