Education

O’Neill and Associates' education clients have included colleges and universities, secondary schools, education industry corporations and education-related nonprofits. We provide our full array of services including federal relations, state and local government relations, public relations and crisis communications.

Click on the case studies below to read more about the work we have done in the education sector.

A Major University 

O’Neill and Associates provided a major university with round-the-clock strategic communications counsel and direct crisis media relations services to support the administration’s efforts to address a controversy surrounding its athletics recruiting practices. O’Neill and Associates provided message development to ensure the strongest possible response to the emerging crisis as well as advice on proactive steps the university could take to shape media coverage. With this, O’Neill and Associates presented media training and interview preparation for key university officials and drafted talking points, Q&A documents, fact sheets, advisories and press releases. O’Neill and Associates also furnished outreach to national print and broadcast media outlets to ensure the university’s message was heard, fairly reported and coordinated with representatives and served as additional spokespeople as needed.

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Massachusetts 2020 

Massachusetts 2020 is an education nonprofit dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunities for children and families across Massachusetts. O’Neill and Associates provided a multifaceted government relations and public relations outreach campaign to develop market-specific communications, foster local support coalitions, manage media, implement a lobbying campaign to secure funding and monitor the status of funding and political support. O’Neill and Associates secured coverage in national and regional outlets including WHDH-TV, WBZ-TV, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Education Week, The Boston Globe, The MetroWest Daily News and local newspapers and radio stations across the state.

Massachusetts 2020’s Expanded Learning Time (ELT) initiative won the support and cooperation of Governor Patrick, the Massachusetts Department of Education, the state legislature, superintendents, teachers, parents, community groups and unions. The Massachusetts legislature dedicated $6.5 million in FY 2007 to expand school schedules for 10 schools in five urban districts by at least 30 percent. In FY 2008, the legislature doubled its funding for ELT to $13 million.  In FY 2009, the legislature expanded funding for ELT to $18 million.

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Massachusetts Organization for Educational Collaboratives 

The Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives (MOEC) is the professional organization representing the Commonwealth’s educational collaboratives, which provide school districts, often struggling for professional development resources, the support they need.  Recently, a scandal engulfed one of its members. The public outcry over the misappropriation of tax dollars led to widespread news coverage; furthermore, Governor Patrick, Auditor Bump, and House and Senate leadership called for greater oversight of educational collaboratives. MOEC engaged O'Neill and Associates for public relations and government relations services. O’Neill and Associates guided MOEC through numerous oversight hearings, navigated the extensive legislative process and gave them the opportunity to share the important work collaboratives do with the administration and the legislature. Through media outreach and key media placements, MOEC effectively demonstrated their value, leading Governor Patrick to sign legislation that strengthened collaboratives’ ability to serve students, parents and school districts.  Many of the new regulations were based on reforms that MOEC had suggested as part of an education reform commission in 2010.

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Massachusetts Preparatory School 

O’Neill and Associates provided litigation support and reputation management services to prevent damage to the reputation of a Massachusetts preparatory school as a consequence of a potential lawsuit. As a result of O’Neill and Associates’ efforts, this issue did not surface in the media and no legal action was taken against the school.   

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MassBay Community College 

O’Neill and Associates provided Massachusetts Bay Community College with government relations services to support the institution’s pursuit of federal grants from the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, USAID and other federal agencies, as well as appropriations in the FY 2011 Federal Appropriations Bill. As a result of our work, the college was awarded a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Strengthening Institutions program. This grant is the first award of a five-year program that could provide up to $2 million for MassBay Community College. In addition, MassBay received approval for a three-year Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant through the Department of Education. The FIPSE is a collaborative grant won in partnership with the University of Massachusetts-Boston, focusing on teacher education and study abroad exchange between Massachusetts and Haiti.

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Wheaton College - Federal Relations 

O’Neill and Associates began its relationship with Wheaton College by leading a federal relations campaign on behalf of the school’s proposed science center that ultimately yielded federal appropriations in excess of $500,000 over multiple years. Our work transitioned to public relations when the college sought to strengthen its reputation as a premier coeducational college, following its transitionfrom being an all-female institution to welcoming male students. O’Neill and Associates coordinated a series of events to introduce Wheaton’s president to the Greater Boston business and academic communities, which also provided a forum to promote her thought leadership on equal learning environments and the effects of technology on education. O’Neill and Associates also secured a speaking engagement for Wheaton’s president at the Boston Chamber of Commerce, which helped lead to her receiving the Chamber’s Pinnacle Award for Achievement in the Professions.  When Wheaton transitioned to a subsequent new president, O’Neill and Associates was engaged to plan a diversity symposium for inauguration weekend and to lead a community outreach campaign on behalf of the new president to help him foster important local relationships. 

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