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Jun 26, 2013 3:52 PM by Sean Mooney

TUSD to spend $300,000 on PR campaign

TUCSON - Tucson's largest school system is looking to spend big bucks to burnish its image outside the classroom. TUSD staffers moving forward with a major pubic relations push.

The one year campaign will cost an estimated $300,000. The expense will be covered by mandated marketing money already set aside from desegregation funds and grants, along with funds from TUSD's maintenance and operations budget.

This after a string of school closures, layoffs and other cuts to close a $17-million dollar deficit.

On Tuesday, the TUSD Governing voted to launch the new advertising campaign, prepared to spend $300 thousand they hope will return big dividends in the form of an improved image and more kids headed to TUSD schools.
The proposal passed with a 4-1 vote, Dr. Mark Stegeman the only dissenting vote from the board.

After accepting bids and seeing presentations from several marketing firms the district committee selected the Gordley Group to produce the campaign.
The campaign will include all new branding with a new logo posters and media advertisements.

With the recent budget woes some are questioning spending hundreds of thousands on advertising. That would include TEA President, Frances Banales,"If we don't fix some of the other issues within the district as far as the employees and the relationships they have, as your true ambassadors in PR, that this is going to be money that is not going to be well spent."

But outgoing TUSD Superintendent, Dr. John Pedicone, says this campaign is absolutely necessary to make TUSD a better district, "It is absolutely not just time, long past time, for the district to be featured in the hearts and minds of this community, as a district that works and does the job well."

If all goes as planned the advertising campaign is expected to hit the airwaves in October.

Tuesday's meeting was Dr. John Pedicone's last board meeting. The Governing Board concluded the evening by voting and passing the 2013-2014 TUSD budget.

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