Graduation in 2020 is like no other. It stinks, especially for parents.
But Creative Circle Media Solutions has released “Honor My Grad” – a web application built specifically to help parents, schools and media outlets give the graduating class of 2020 their due recognition.
“Parents and teachers feel terrible for the class of 2020. No prom. No parties. No shopping spree. No relatives flying in. No walking across the stage for a handshake and a diploma,” said Bill Ostendorf, president of Creative Circle. “It's really sad. And parents everywhere are desperately looking for new and different ways of making a fuss over their grad.”
Honor My Grad, which can work on any web site, is a self-service module allowing parents, relataives and friends to honor grads with family pictures, stories, quotes, a video and more. Parents fill out a simple, flexible form to tell their story about their grad, building a whole page around their achievement.
A variety of widgets can display the stories of grads across the pages of any web site.
“You can literally say ‘Give us two minutes and we’ll help make sure everyone knows about your grad,’ ” said Ostendorf. “It’s that easy to use.”
These parent-generated pages can be hosted by the school or local organization, like a PTA or Chamber of Commerce or local newspaper for a year or more.
"The whole platform was designed to be easy on the host organization and the parents," said Ostendorf.
Free listings include the name of the grad, their class portrait and information describing that grad's achievements and honors and school activities.
Upgrades allow parents to add a photo gallery of family pictures, a video and to respond to a variety of prompts: favorite quote, Top 10 list, favorite teachers/classes, tell us a story, highlights, employment, other (hobbies, cars, dating, anything else), future plans and what the parents are most proud of.
Parents can also plug in up to 24 email addresses inviting other relatives and friends to add their picture and story to the page.
For sites hosted by newspapers, there is also an option to have their listing published in the print editions of newspaper.
While it does provide revenue producing opportunities, “Honor My Grad” was engineered to be a public service. It’s wired to assure that the initial listings are free. Schools set the rates for upsells or can offer them for free or skip any of them altogether.
There is even an open ended upgrade to allow the school to offer another upgrade – like a yard sign or a donation for the 2020 class gift.
“In our focus groups, parents, teachers and administrators all expressed a lot of frustration,” said Ostendorf. “This is an opportunity for schools to help solve this problem and potentially generate considerable revenue.”
For schools, they can turn off the reveue producing tools or use them to raise money for a class gift or other fundraising goals. There is an option to have a sponsor of the platform, which could include a significant donation from a local business.
Schools can license the app for a one-time, $150 setup fee and a revenue share. Schools who don't want to charge for upgrades, can pay a one-time, fixed fee instead of the revenue share. Creative Circle will host the listings for a year.
Creative Circle is running daily webinars through May 10. Call 401-455-1555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for one of the demos.
Here’s what some parents and school administrators said about the "Honor My Grad” app in our focus groups:
“If this were on (our local newspaper web site), I'd write to every parent and encourage them to put their graduate online.” – head of school
“We're really going crazy trying to think of ways to do something just like this. This is a great idea.” – school administrator
“I would do this, absolutely! And for $35 or $45 or $55, I know a lot of parents who would jump on it!” – parent
"I think in a small town like ours, you'd see 100% of parents doing this," school administrator
About Creative Circle Media Solutions
Creative Circle is dedicated to helping local institutions and making excellence affordable for all publishers, businesses and schools.
Creative Circle is one of the newspaper industry's leading consulting, training, design and software firms. We have a 35-year history of success and happy clients on three continents.
We've created a full line of web software solutions for media companies, including a user-oriented CMS, citizen journalism, classified advertising, hyper-local, pay wall, print production and reverse publishing solutions.
We also provide "creative outsourcing" to help companies that don't have easy access to experienced media designers or editors to create high-end content.
Increasingly, we’re finding that businesses, schools, non-profits and associations can also benefit from the unique and powerful tools we’ve built for our media clients.