Following years of leadership changes, a devastating graduation rate audit and declining public opinion about the school district, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) turned to SKDK to provide media affairs counsel and strategic communications support for then-interim CEO, Dr. Monica Goldson, appointed in 2019. PGCPS chose to partner with SKDK to help Dr. Goldson implement and communicate her priorities of restoring trust, accountability and academic excellence to the school system.
SKDK helped PGCPS put in place a multi-faceted communications campaign designed to tell a more positive story about the district and help instill public trust in its new leadership. Our team began by developing a set of core messages for PGCPS’ earned, paid and social media platforms, a media affairs and crisis response protocol and a community engagement plan. This required crafting the right message for the community, focusing on the self-identified goals of restoring trust, accountability and academic excellence. We then deployed this message through Op-Eds, stakeholder meetings and first-of-their-kind public engagement events, community letters and television, print and radio interviews. SKDK also worked with Dr. Goldson to refine her delivery of PGCPS’ core messages.
Throughout Dr. Goldson’s first year as interim CEO, SKDK’s support improved community and stakeholder engagement and built renewed trust in the school system.
This ultimately led Dr. Goldson to be appointed as the permanent CEO of PGCPS after her first full school year.
We also led the communications rollout of the Blueprint for PGCPS, an initiative aimed at improving several key aspects of the school system, including teacher compensation, renovating school buildings and improving infrastructure, expanding Pre-K programs and providing wrap-around mental health services to students across the county.
We worked with the PGCPS team to secure and shape many high-profile media placements around correcting policies that led to previous grading and truancy issues, providing 20,000 meals for students impacted by a government shutdown and restoring pay increases for teachers who missed them during a recession. We also placed op-eds in The Washington Post from Dr. Goldson to communicate her top policy priorities. Overall, this campaign reestablished Prince George’s County Public Schools as one of the leading school systems in Maryland and won positive feedback from the community, school board and county leadership.