The perspective series provided an opportunity for Teens in Print students to write about their personal experiences during the early pandemic at a time when our program didn't generally publish personal essay writing. The project also led to the first paid advertising experiment during my tenure, which was exciting for our team and had favorable results despite an extremely small budget.
A screenshot of one of Mariella Murillo's perspective pieces. In the image, she is wearing a glasses, a red head scarf, a Boston Red Sox-face masks, and glasses, partially hidden behind a red curtain. Underneath the image is the headline "While reflecting at home I've found a reason to be hopeful for the future", byline "Mariella Murillo, Staff Writer," and her affiliation "Boston Arts Academy"
The perspective series was published on Medium. At the time, Teens in Print's website was having technical problems, but our team knew from the start that we wanted this to be a project that we could promote widely. We began publishing on March 29, 2020, only two weeks after Boston Public Schools closed in response to the pandemic.
Facebook Ad
I led the design and execution of this ad, designing the three animated videos and uploading this information to the Facebook Ad Manager.
After working with our students to produce three rounds of personal perspective pieces, our team discussed how to reach more people with these stories. Coming from larger newsrooms, I suggested social media advertising as an experiment, to see if there was any value in running ads with an extremely small budget. At the time, many of our most engaged volunteers were people who had found out about the program somewhat coincidentally, so along with bringing more people to the stories, we were also interested in making more people in high-value psychographics aware of our work.
audience a/b test
We found this to be surprisingly successful from the perspective of CPR. While the total number of clicks was relatively few (40) as would be expected with a micro-budget ($20), this campaign put the work of Teens in Print in front of several thousand people in our area, and our team and Executive Director felt that it was certainly worth the time and money.
A screenshot of the Facebook ad results. A bar graph for "cost per result - link clicks" shows that Audience A won with a CPR of 32 cents compared to Version B with a CPR of 59 cents.
audience a:

Concept: Massachusetts-area community members interested in youth work and education. These demographics and psychographics represent the majority of donors and stakeholders, so it was unsurprising that it won.
Location - living in: United States: Boston (+50 mi) Massachusetts
Age: 22 - 65+
Interests: Community issues, Youth voice, Youth empowerment, Secondary education, Journalism, Positive youth development, Higher education, Community organizing, Current events or Literacy
Employers: Boston Public Schools
Industry: Education and Libraries
Audience B:

Concept: Young, Boston-area media, education, and community service workers who may be interested in our work, but aren't aware of us. These people could become volunteers in various programs.
Location: United States: Boston (+25 mi) Massachusetts
Excluded connections: Exclude people who like Teens in Print
Age: 18 - 35
Interests: Community issues, Nonprofit organization, Volunteering, Social equality, Positive youth development, Community organizing, Social change or Writing
Education level: In college, College grad or Associate degree
Industry: Education and Libraries, Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Media or Community and Social Services
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