Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS)

COVID-19 back-to-school campaign

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued taking its toll, businesses and organizations had to rethink many aspects of their operations. But few had as many logistical, safety and other hurdles as school systems, as the 2020-2021 school year presented a unique challenge for students, parents, teachers, administrators and staff. As Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) prepared to begin the school year amid the global pandemic, consistent communication was critical to clearly and effectively inform everyone involved about the many considerations in getting safely back to school.

With nearly 36,000 students across 63 schools, CPS needed to get it right. The district approached Vehr to create a back-to-school campaign that would instill confidence and hope in parents, students and community members as students prepared to return to school in the fall. Featuring the headline “Backpacks On, Laptops Open, Futures Bright” and photos of happy students following safety guidelines at school or learning at home, the chosen campaign concept is vibrant, cheerful and inclusive of all learning scenarios, making the campaign adaptable.

To ensure that all CPS communicators and marketers (both internally and externally) were speaking from the same playbook when communicating about back-to-school and COVID-19, Vehr created a toolkit including illustrations, icons, collateral templates and stock photography suggestions as well as guidelines to govern all back-to-school communications.


Visually consistent communications have reached CPS audiences through multiple channels. Despite high tension and uncertainty, thousands of parents and students are better informed about the upcoming school year.