Austin Chamber Of Commerce

Financial Aid Saturdays

Early in 2011, AMS Pictures – Public Interest partnered with the Austin Chamber of Commerce to create PSAs highlighting their innovative Financial Aid Saturdays workshops for Austin-area high school students and parents. A truly groundbreaking initiative for a chamber of commerce to be leading, these workshops are helping to increase college-enrollment levels across Austin and beyond—with the goal of getting an additional 20,000 local students to go directly from high school to college.

Although Texas students certainly have the ability to excel in postsecondary education, often these high-schoolers are unsure of how to navigate the financing involved with attending college.  The Austin Chamber was interested in coming up with a message that would appeal specifically to mothers of teenage students in the Austin area. So we crafted very targeted 30-second scripts in English and Spanish (check out the Spanish language version below) that highlighted the free workshops and the financialaidsaturdays.org website as a resource for valuable financial aid help and information for families.

The project was a resounding success, with a total turnaround time of less than two months from conception to completion.  The clients were media-savvy and able to provide excellent information and feedback for the scripts and overall message of the spots.  They also were able to recruit real students and parents they had worked with in the past to appear as the “talent” in the PSAs.  Four different spots were produced at the AMS Austin studios—two for television and two for radio broadcast (both in English and Spanish).  The PSAs aired on various Time Warner and Univision stations throughout the area, drawing eyes and ears to the incredible resource being offered by the Chamber and its 400-plus workshop volunteers.

Spreading the word about college affordability is a no-brainer for AMS’ers.  As communication strategists working in public interest, we prioritize media that matters and feel passionate about producing work that helps make a difference—which is why we completed this video project pro bono for the Austin Chamber (and for all those students whose college dreams they help come true). Supporting the Financial Aid Saturdays endeavors is really supporting the highly qualified future workforce in Austin. And we can definitely get on board with that!

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