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The 2024 Education Essential Marketing Campaign in Metro Detroit and Chicago

August 1st, 2023 | 5 min. read

By Julia Elliott

Child sitting at a school desk from above

What do winter, spring and summer have in common? If you’re involved with education marketing, you know the answer. It’s when schools are pushing to increase their enrollment.

That’s what drives the 2024 Education Essential Marketing Campaign — aka “Education Essentials.” This year-long offering is for schools in metro Detroit and Chicago. It taps into the audiences of two parenting resources with 35+ years of experience: Metro Parent and Chicago Parent. Both are sister businesses to Zoe Marketing & Communications.

Read on to discover how this education marketing package can work for your school:

This blog will help you understand what the Education Essential Marketing Campaign can deliver. And you can decide whether it might be the right fit for you.

What the Education Essential Marketing Campaign is

The Educational Essential Marketing Campaign is an annual campaign leveraging the audiences of Metro Parent and Chicago Parent. These are parenting media companies based in metro Detroit and Chicagoland. Zoe Marketing & Communications, their parent company, manages the campaign.

It launches during two critical points of the year — winter and spring/summer. This is when schools recruit students and parents look for schools.

The campaign combines sponsored content articles, targeted digital ads, magazine ads and school roundup articles on both companies’ websites. Plus, there are emails to push those roundups out to key audiences.

In short: Education Essentials promotes your school to key audiences at key times of the year. It uses tactics with a track record of success.

What schools and businesses the campaign is for

PreK-12 schools located in southeast Michigan or Chicagoland are eligible. This includes private and charter schools, along with public schools in Michigan (where there’s a “school of choice” option). Some tutors may also benefit if they have enrollment goals.

1-What is EE-minWhat Education Essential can do for your school

You’ll reach at least 500,000 engaged local parents in either the southeast Michigan or Chicagoland markets. These parents read Metro Parent and Chicago Parent’s websites, emails and magazines.

This campaign achieves two key goals:

1. Building awareness

Before anything, parents and guardians need to know you exist. Building your branding and awareness with smart education marketing is crucial.

And, at both Metro Parent and Chicago Parent, education is the No. 1 subject. These audiences spend more than 10,000 hours reading education-related content each year.

2. Establishing your reputation

Picking a school is a big decision. Once people know you exist, how do they feel about you? Do they see you as a “good” school? Would they feel proud to send their child there?

Education Essentials provide an opportunity to tell your story about what makes you a unique educational choice.

Chicago Parent spring cover, an example of Sponsored Content, the big book of schools coverThe pieces of the campaign and when they run

Education Essential has three pieces, which start in January, May and June. Here’s a closer look at the pieces of this marketing campaign.

1. Education Innovators — Winter (January-February 2024)

This is the first of two “Education Innovators” pieces of the campaign. It’s launched in tandem with the January-February magazines for both Metro Parent and Chicago Parent, which focus on Education.

Your inclusion as an “Education Innovator” is an implied endorsement of your school from both companies. You’ll net at least 300,000 impressions. This winter installment includes:

A sponsored content story

This promotes your school as an Education Innovator in the Metro Parent or Chicago Parent region. Our award-winning content team writes it, and you get full approval. Our readers spend 4 minutes reading these stories on average. That makes your school more memorable.

Publicity on our websites

Your Education Innovator story appears on or It includes inline ads linking right to your website.

Promotion on our social media

Your content is promoted in paid ads on Facebook and Instagram for Metro Parent or Chicago Parent. These ads target loyal audiences of the appropriate company, as well as local parents interested in preK-12 schools.

Inclusion in the Education Innovators roundup story and email

You’re featured in a sponsored roundup of all schools involved in this campaign. This appears on and It’s also pushed out to 50,000 enewsletter subscribers.

Targeted digital advertising

We create custom digital ads for you, to retarget people who have read your Education Innovators story — and to drive clicks to your website. This delivers 200,000 impressions.

Full-page magazine display ad

Your full-page ad appears in Metro Parent’s or Chicago Parent’s January-February 2024 magazine (print and digital editions).

2. Education Innovators — Spring/Summer (May-June or July-August 2024)

The second wave of Education Innovators arrives in time for the critical summer enrollment push. You get the same benefits as Winter, including another 300,000 impressions. There are two small differences (in italics):

A second sponsored content story

Here’s another chance to share your school’s story in a second, fresh article.

Publicity on our websites

Your new story appears on our websites, complete with ads linking to your website.

Promotion on our social media

Once again, your story gets wider play in Facebook/Instagram ads.

Inclusion in the Education All-Stars roundup story and email

This roundup, sent to another 50,000 subscribers, has a different name: Education All-Stars.

Targeted digital advertising

You’ll gain another 200,000 impressions from ads that retarget and drive clicks to your site.

Full-page magazine display ad

This time, you choose between the May-June issue or the July-August issue of our magazines.

3. Big Book of Schools (June 2024)

Big Book of Schools is the only comprehensive directory of southeast Michigan and Chicagoland schools.

This annual print and digital magazine features hundreds of private, charter and, in Michigan, public school options. Every school that meets specific criteria is included for free.

With the Education Essentials package, you’ll stand out from the pack in three key ways:

Your Spring/Summer story gets published

Your spring/summer sponsored content article gets a full page in our special “Education Innovators” section.

Full-page magazine display ad

Your full-page ad appears in both the print and digital editions. You can supply the ad, or we’ll design it for you.

A full-page magazine ad

Your spring/summer story appears as a full-page ad in both the print and digital editions of the magazine. You can supply the ad, or we’ll design it for you.

Enhanced listing

Your school pops among all the other schools listed in the appropriate section (i.e., private, charter or public schools) with an eye-catching treatment.

Deadline circled on a calendarThe deadlines and commitment for this campaign

Here are three key things you should know about Education Essentials:

There are hard deadlines

Two layers of them. First, to get involved in 2024, you must sign up and commit by Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.

Second, since the campaign hinges on print issues, be aware we work months ahead of when the magazines “deliver.” Once you sign on, you’ll receive a full deadline schedule.

Your input is essential for both stories

We need your help in determining great topics that focus on how your school is innovative. Plus, you’ll need an “expert source” available for us to interview. Our pro writers will walk you through the process — and inform you of deadlines.

We’re here to help with the digital ads

Have ad campaign art already? Great. Don’t? With some feedback from you, we can design those ads for you — at no extra charge.

Cost of Education Essentials

It costs $12,000 for the entire Education Essential Marketing Campaign. This includes all three pieces:

  1. Education Innovators — Winter
  2. Education Innovators — Spring/Summer
  3. Big Book of Schools

Add-on options for more reach

We offer add-ons to increase the potency of your campaign for added fees. These include:

  • Sponsored content enewsletter: Beyond both roundup emails, you can send your own enewsletter to a custom audience you choose. It includes your story, logo and links.
  • Retargeting display email: We can send a direct, image-based email to drive action. “Register for our open house,” “Limited enrollment, act fast” — etc.
  • Increased impressions: Reach even more eyeballs by boosting your impression count.
  • Extra sponsored content stories: Longer campaigns are more effective. (We encourage 3-4 consecutive months.) Optimize your message with sustainable storytelling throughout the year.

Talk to us to discover what options might be the best fit for you.

Next steps for effective school marketing

Enrollment is essential for schools. In this blog, you’ve discovered how the 2024 Education Essential Marketing Campaign delivers results for preK-12 schools in metro Detroit and Chicago.

For an investment of $12,000, you’ll gain access to a full suite of marketing services. That includes professional writing and design to help make your school stand out.

However you invest your school marketing dollars, hone in on those critical enrollment seasons — winter, spring and summer. And aim to reach an engaged, local parenting audience.

Is the 2024 Education Essential package right for you? Talk to us. Our team is ready to fine-tune a plan that will get your school results.

Or, to optimize your in-house marketing efforts, read these articles for next steps:

Julia Elliott

For 17 years, Julia Elliott crafted strategies and stories for Zoe, along with its sister companies, Metro Parent and Chicago Parent. A deep background in journalism helped her create customized content marketing to drive client success.