City Desk

WTU to Embark on PR Offensive

The Washington Teachers' Union is airing radio ads and launching a Web site to promote their teachers contract proposal, according to press release just issued by the union.

From the release: "The first radio ad features the voices of two current DC public school teachers and highlights the need for innovative and collaborative solutions to fix education in Washington. The Web site [unitedfordckids.org] is a location where visitors can see highlights of the WTU proposal, stream the radio ads and other media, sign up for e‐mail updates, and read the latest news related to the contract proposal."

Last month, the WTU issued a counter-plan to DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee's famous/infamous Green Tier/Red Tier plan that would reward teachers who discard their tenure rights with significantly higher salaries. The WTU plan's gotten fairly light coverage, certainly relative to the attention Rhee's plan has gotten, so it's no surprise that the union honchos are trying to generate some heat here.

A glance at the Web site shows that the WTU is dipping into the Rhee lexicon in describing its plan, calling the proposal "bold and progressive" and promising that it will "dramatically improve teaching and learning in our schools."

LL's trying to track down some more details on the campaign.

UPDATE, 1 P.M.: The Web site domain is registered to Adelstein Liston, political consulting firm with offices in Chicago and D.C. Among their specialties, according to their Web site: "Message Development" and "Media Buying and Strategy." Their client list features almost exclusively Democratic political candidates and liberal-leaning activist groups.

UPDATE, 3:50 P.M.: WTU spokesperson Monique LeNoir says the ads have already started airing on local radio stations including WMAL-AM, WAMU-FM (which doesn't run pre-recorded ads...hmm), WHUR-FM, WPGC-FM, and WMMJ-FM "in mornings, significant times when members and the public can hear them." As far as Adelstein Liston's involvement, she says, they produced the Web site only; the radio ads were done in-house. LeNoir declined to give a dollar figure for the campaign.

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