National Assessment Governing Board Events

Release of the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress Results in Civics, Geography, and U.S. History


Because of the pandemic, the National Assessment Governing Board had to come up with a way to adapt its release of the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress results in civics, geography, and U.S. history to a virtual rather than real-world event. A straightforward webinar would have been the quick and easy solution, but The Hatcher Group wanted to do more. Combining our expertise in event planning with our knowledge of digital and strategic communications, we developed an integrated solution and delivered a sophisticated, effective, and accessible virtual experience that exceeded the client’s expectations.


Design & Creative
Digital Strategies
Event Planning & Execution
Media Relations
Strategic Communications

Our Strategy

For the release of the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress results in civics, geography, and U.S. history on April 23, 2020, the Governing Board had planned a 200-person event at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Because of COVID-19, however, the in-person event had to shift quickly to an online-only production. But we did not let the pandemic take the life out of our event strategy. A strong communications plan guided the event through its transition to virtual.

Our previous report releases for the Governing Board had been held in venues that highlighted the subject matter and the plan was the same for this one – to hold the event at the U.S. Capitol. To carry on the tradition virtually, we created an online program that allowed the report content and the speakers’ passions and areas of expertise to shine. The three subjects featured in the release – civics, geography, and U.S. History – provided an exciting opportunity to include a range of perspectives across multiple disciplines. The program embraced a creative storytelling format (modelled after the PechaKucha presentation style) with slides timed to personal narratives to share national, state, and local voices. Speakers from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Constitution Center, and the Association of American Geographers shared their broad perspectives, while those from the Louisiana Department of Education and the District of Columbia Public Schools drilled down through their state and local lenses. Going virtual also allowed the Governing Board to expand its audience and include speakers who would not otherwise have been able to participate in person due to travel restrictions and scheduling constraints.

Promoting this online event to an at-home audience increased our digital media opportunities. Outreach strategies included email invitations, promotion on social media, and a Facebook digital advertising campaign. To get the best ROI, we focused our outreach list and digital ad campaign on highly targeted audiences comprised of key stakeholders. As a result, more than half of the event’s registrants came via social media.

In today’s reality, integrated solutions that offer a smart blend of communications and creative services elevate results. Strategic, creative, and multi-pronged approaches are necessary to reach the audiences that matter most to our clients. A blend of digital outreach, innovative communications, and deft strategy can turn a formerly proven plan of action into something innovative and uniquely inspiring.

Our Impact

  • A record-breaking 1,300 people attended the online event, and an engaging program kept 1,000 of them in their virtual seats for the 90-minute duration.
  • Facebook ads were viewed 59,915 times by 40,896 people.
  • Leading up to and during the event, the Governing Board sent 25 tweets, earning 58 retweets, 540 engagements, and 39,039 impressions.
  • Live tweeting earned 494 engagements and 33,080 impressions.

Learn more about our Event Planning & Execution services.

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