Since the pandemic, more than 1.5 billion students in India have been grounded in their houses. With schools and universities declaring an indefinite closure, parents and students have turned to Ed-tech platforms as an alternative to the conventional learning process. Schools, colleges, and coaching institutes are also actively collaborating with the ed-tech platforms to provide a seamless learning experience to their students. It is no wonder that in a period of just seven months, the ed-tech firms have witnessed an exponential increase in their consumer base that far exceeds the annual growth rate of the past five years.
However, as businesses resume to a new normal, Ed-tech brands are facing uncertainty in future growth prospects, once the classroom teaching formats resumes. In spite of the accelerated growth rates and the response they have garnered to new innovations, there is a likelihood that retaining the interest of their stakeholders when the schools and colleges reopen, would be a challenge, if conventional education techniques are not integrated with Ed-tech innovations. In order to address this, Ed-tech brands need to engage with the stakeholders and build a narrative that helps position Ed-tech tools and processes as an inseparable part of Indian education. Effective PR and communication campaigns can help build this narrative by:
- Spreading awareness: The incorporation of technology in education is a relatively new idea to most of the stakeholders and while the pandemic has been a massive enabler, students, teachers and parents are yet to come to terms with the daily routine of using Ed-tech platforms as learning tools. This is partly also because of the current restrictive situation and partly due to a lack of awareness about the features and benefits of these innovations. Being unaware of the complete benefits available through the Ed-tech platforms, schools and parents are hesitant to depend on these new tools completely, and for the long run. A well-formulated communication outreach can help address these problems and introduce stakeholders to a whole new universe of technology-aided education and its benefits, making it fun, simple, and effective.
- Educate Your Stakeholders: Employing new age innovations that leverage AI, ML, and AR tools as modern learning aids, can be complex and even intimidating for parents who have had a comparatively conventional education. By employing the right PR strategy, Ed-tech brands can effectively educate their stakeholders about the varied AI and smart learning tools and products that can simplify learning and make it more interesting for the students, thus advocating a successfully integrated format of learning. Communicating a supportive role to the existing school curriculum, effective PR can help parents, teachers, and school administration see the benefits of a wholesome learning experience for children.
- Changing the Narrative: A common notion among decision-makers in education is that Ed-tech tools are an alternative to the classroom learning process. Breaking this notion has become extremely vital to create a positive narrative for the Ed-tech firms that have been working to create innovative solutions that offer an integrated and wholesome learning experience. Effective PR campaigns can help change this narrative and build a new image of Ed-tech as one that offers support solutions that can aid both the teaching and learning process.
- Create Thought leadership and Visibility: While creating awareness, educating stakeholders, and changing the narrative, Ed-tech firms can gain enhanced visibility in the sector. Effective PR outreach can help leverage this to build thought leadership for a brand spokesperson(s), thereby helping Ed-tech firms to create a distinct positioning and visibility in the sector.
- Ease of Business: Ultimately, the strategic PR outreach can effectively convert to reap significant business rewards, as the visibility and through leadership help create credibility and offer ease of doing business. From raising equity, approaching PE investors, seeking collaborations to even partnership opportunities, and a wider consumer base, all can be effectively garnered through efficient PR.
Ed-tech companies may be at the best stage of growth presently, but if this organic growth is not capitalized and leveraged adequately, future growth potentials can be drastically hampered. By investing in effective PR outreach and engaging with stakeholders in a positive, credible, and consistent manner, the Ed-tech brands can change how the Post-Pandemic educational sector perceives and accepts them.