LA Universal Preschool

Participants: Eva Brune and Braden Lay Michaels

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Web Site:

Describe the Experiment

LAUP’s experiment was the 2nd Annual LAUP Dodger Day. This event provided the opportunity to bring staff, providers and families throughout Los Angeles County together for a day to celebrate the “graduation” of our preschoolers. Not only did it allow us to reach out to those people already in our universe but also gave us the opportunity to use a Dodger game as a vehicle to capture those who love LA sports and baseball and bring them into our network. Our goal was to surpass last year’s ticket sales total of 1500 and to use social media tools to sell stadium.


Your objective was to raise awareness for the Dodger Day event. Our hope was it would translate to additional sales and, ultimately, funds for LAUP. The audience we were aiming for was internal (employees) and external; anyone who had submitted their email addresses to us, families of employees, our service providers and the families that they serve. Our overall audience outreach strategy for Dodger Day included personal ‘sales pitches’ to providers at meetings, a mailing of hard copy invitations to various audiences, an email newsletter campaign that was linked to and to our facebook page. The LAUP facebook fanpage became the ‘go to’ page for all announcements, contests and interactions relating to the Dodger Day event.


Some of the tactics that we tried to drive traffic and interactions included contests, animoto posts of last year’s event pictures along with tags and all out fan-drives through email blasts using Constant Contact. LAUP was the beneficiary of a very generous organization that made a number of tickets available for the LA Lakers play-offs games in a suite at Staples Center. LAUP was able to leverage these donated tickets as prizes for those who became fans or “liked” LAUP’s Facebook Fan page. We informed our staff, friends, providers and just about everyone that would listen to push through their Facebook pages each time we had a contest.


The results were mixed, but positive overall. We increased our fan base from just around 300 to 873 (and counting). We were able to identify ‘super users’ within our company as well as a few Super Fans from the community at large. We had fans engaging one another in conversation, 144 fan picture posts, some video posts and a positive experience on the facebook fanpage overall. As for the Dodger Day event and using the fanpage to create awareness, we sold 500 more tickets this year than last year and we had spikes in interactions around the event and just afterwards as folks were looking to see pictures on facebook.

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Lessons Learned

We did not have time to have a Social Media policy in place before engaging staff, nor did we get to fully roll out a staff social media brand ambassador plan before the event. The net-net is that we stabbed around at different ways to engage folks, didn’t have all of the answers to their technical questions and basically groped around for a part of the time. If we had to do the experiment over again, we would have sat down with our key Brand Ambassadors and engaged them in tactics to generate traffic to the fan page. We would also have engaged our providers by helping them to set up fan pages for their organizations where their parents could interact and ‘move more message’.

The big AH HA for me was, “If you ask, they will come!” We had just about as much success with a generic ‘fan drive’ as we did with contests. That’s not to say that the ticket give aways and outright pimping were not amazing, they were, but some of our truest fans are the ones that showed up because we asked them nicely to do so. Another insight that we did have was that we need to cuddle up close with our community partners. There is so much positive energy out there in the Early Childhood Education community, yet each of us is off fighting our own battle for attention, dollars and time. Our core issues are common to us all and that needs to be parlayed into community building and mobilization through some sort of concerted Social Media effort.