Brand Recognition

Client:

Flatiron School, an elite programming school headquartered in New York City, which teaches people to code and helps them find jobs as developers.

Background:

Established in 2012, Flatiron School is one of several programming schools and coding bootcamps that have emerged in the past few years. Despite having extraordinarily successful student outcomes – placing 98% of its graduates into jobs as developers where they make an average salary of almost $75K – Flatiron School had little brand recognition and struggled to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Challenge:

When Flatiron School began working with Ditto in December 2014, their primary goal was to earn their “seat at the table” and be mentioned alongside more recognizable coding bootcamps like General Assembly and Codecademy. They wanted to be known as the premier brand in the space, with results that far surpass their competitors’.

Flatiron School initially only offered full-time web and iOS development courses for adults. Over the course of their engagement with Ditto, they introduced several new initiatives, including a Fellowship program in partnership with New York City, a remote learning platform where anyone can take their courses online, and courses for high school students.

Strategy:

Although Ditto’s strategy differed depending on which initiative the team pitched, all outreach to reporters emphasized Flatiron School’s exceptional student outcomes:

·       Jobs report: Flatiron School releases an annual report on its student outcomes created by an independent third party. Ditto pitched the findings prior to the announcement to economic, personal finance and education reporters, as well as those who had covered coding bootcamps in the past.

·       Fellowship: When Flatiron School announced its Fellowship program for underserved, low-income New Yorkers, Ditto targeted Metro New York for a feature article, as well as other local daily newspapers and business publications.

·       Pre-College Program: In the summer of 2015, Flatiron School launched courses for high school students in seven major cities: Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Austin. Ditto pitched local broadcast, print and online outlets in each market, offering up local students and instructors and tailoring the pitch based on the tech industry in each region. Ditto also pitched a segment to local TV outlets with high school students piloting a drone.

·       Funding: Ditto pitched tech, edtech and local New York publications about Flatiron School’s $9M in Series B funding.

·       Learn-Verified: Ditto targeted national business and tech outlets for the launch of Flatiron School’s remote learning platform.

·       Teaching Fellowship: When Flatiron School introduced a scholarship for teachers to learn how to teach coding, Ditto conducted outreach to education and edtech trades.

Results:

Over the course of a year, Flatiron School has earned nearly 100 pieces of original coverage in outlets that included top-tier national publications (the New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC.com, Fast Company, Inc.), national broadcast outlets (Fox Business, Bloomberg TV, PBS NewsHour, Nightly Business Report), influential blogs (TechCrunch, Business Insider), local New York media (New York Post, Metro New York, New York Daily News, Capital New York, Crain’s New York Business) and edtech trades (EdSurge, EdTech Magazine, Education Dive, Education Week).

Flatiron School also received significant media coverage in each city where it launched its Pre-College Program.