Posts by Kristina James

Kristina James

Kristina James has nearly 20 years of marketing experience.  She is currently the marketing leader for MDR.  Kristina has been driving education marketing strategy since 2008 when she joined Pearson. As a marketing leader, Kristina believes in the influence of marketing to build a loyal audience and drive revenue. Her marketing experience includes brand amplification, web strategy, including ecommerce direct marketing, content development and partner marketing both in B2B and B2C environments.  Prior to her education marketing experience, Kristina has led marketing initiatives and teams for other verticals including nonprofit, healthcare and real estate.  Kristina earned her Master’s Degree from DePaul University and is a previous board member for a local chapter of the National Association for Professional Women. Kristina James lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and daughter.  Connect with Kristina on  opens in a new windowLinkedIn.

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week 2021

By Kristina James | 04/23/2021 | Comments Off on Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week 2021
Thank You Teacher

We’ve had a lot of heroes to celebrate over the past year, among them, and most notably for our community, the over 4 million U.S. K-12 teachers! While thanking teachers should not be a once-a-year event, we have an opportunity with Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, May 3-7, to share our gratitude. This year, more than Read More »

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The Opportunities in the NEW Back-to-School

By Kristina James | 04/23/2021 | Comments Off on The Opportunities in the NEW Back-to-School
Reviewing marketing plans

The last year in education has been an ‘all hands on deck’ situation. Educators, parents, districts, providers, nonprofits…everyone pitched in to keep student progress moving forward under challenging, and constantly changing, circumstances. Like a stress test, this current school year demonstrated how important it is to have an efficient and flexible marketing operation that can Read More »

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3 Tips for the Spring Selling Season

By Kristina James | 03/12/2021 | Comments Off on 3 Tips for the Spring Selling Season
School Supplies

Each year, we review the marketing strategies that we believe will guide our customers to success in the spring selling season and beyond. When we look at the trends for 2021, it quickly becomes clear: In today’s environment, a focus on data, digital, and customer engagement will pave the path to marketing growth and sales Read More »

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Prepping for the Spring 2021 Selling Season

By Kristina James | 02/16/2021 | Comments Off on Prepping for the Spring 2021 Selling Season
School Supplies

If the view from your window looks anything like mine, spring may be the furthest thing from your thoughts. But, thankfully, it really is right around the corner and now—before the crocuses pop their heads through the snow—is the time to start planning for the spring 2021 selling season! Although this year’s selling cycle has Read More »

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4 Ways to Engage Customers at Virtual Conferences

By Kristina James | 01/21/2021 | Comments Off on 4 Ways to Engage Customers at Virtual Conferences
Virtual Conference

Typically, at this time of year many education marketers are spending a lot of time on the road, traveling from one conference to another. However, face-to-face education conferences came to a halt in the middle of March 2020; many went virtual for the rest of the year with a few cancelling completely. This year, for Read More »

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Direct Mail Is Alive and Well: 5 Tips for Success in 2021

By Kristina James | 01/20/2021 | Comments Off on Direct Mail Is Alive and Well: 5 Tips for Success in 2021
Mail box filled with mail

We all—especially these days—spend countless hours behind our screens, communicating via email, private messaging, Zoom, and other online tools. But at the end of the day, who doesn’t still love going to their real-world mailbox and checking to see what surprises (other than bills) may have arrived that day? It might be a greeting card Read More »

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How 2020 Shifted Perceptions of Technology in the Classroom

By Kristina James | 01/15/2021 | Comments Off on How 2020 Shifted Perceptions of Technology in the Classroom
Teacher and students in masks using laptops

That’s what MDR learned after surveying nearly 1,000 K-12 teachers in October 2020 after this far from ordinary year in education. There are some silver linings to be found in education’s pandemic response, and we explored teachers’ experiences and attitudes. Educators are highly positive towards technology in the classroom, with 54% indicating it was very Read More »

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Learning Space Design for Student Success in 2021 and Beyond

By Kristina James | 12/18/2020 | Comments Off on Learning Space Design for Student Success in 2021 and Beyond
Modern Classroom

In Chicago, a third grader attends virtual school at the dining room table, her laptop perched on a stack of books and her father nearby in case she needs help. A high school student in Maine is learning physics in a newly designed classroom, with 10 of her classmates, all wearing masks, at desks more Read More »

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Start 2021 with a Playbook Based on 2020 Experiences

By Kristina James | 12/18/2020 | Comments Off on Start 2021 with a Playbook Based on 2020 Experiences
New Year New Start

Ringing in a new year always presents us with the chance to be optimistic and think about the opportunities it will bring. While 2020 may have looked a lot different than expected, as 2021 nears, we actually do have reason to be optimistic. Having said that, the change of a calendar year doesn’t necessarily mean Read More »

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5 Things to Be Thankful for This School Year

By Kristina James | 11/17/2020 | Comments Off on 5 Things to Be Thankful for This School Year
Grateful

The first few months of the 2020–2021 school year have been more than a bit “unusual.” However, in the run-up to Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, it is quite clear that we have much to be thankful for — even in the midst of what can sometimes feel like chaos. At MDR, we are pausing Read More »

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School Supply Lists 2020-2021: Take Advantage of an Extended Buying Season

By Kristina James | 09/28/2020 | Comments Off on School Supply Lists 2020-2021: Take Advantage of an Extended Buying Season
School Supplies

School supply lists are a lifeline for teachers and districts. Outfitting students and classrooms has become a collaborative effort with teachers, parents, fundraising appeals and districts all pitching in. This year, with so much uncertainty about how and where instruction will happen and heightened focus on health and hygiene, lists look a little different. With Read More »

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Is this EdTech’s big moment? Hear from teachers

By Kristina James | 07/09/2020 | Comments Off on Is this EdTech’s big moment? Hear from teachers
Remote teaching

A Gallup report from fall 2019, Education Technology Use in Schools, found that slightly over half of teachers (53%) said they would like to use digital learning tools more often in teaching. Teachers are getting that opportunity now with EdTech (i.e., educational technology) adoption on fast forward, and MDR wanted to know how they were Read More »

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5 Tips for Communicating With Educators During COVID-19

By Kristina James | 06/29/2020 | Comments Off on 5 Tips for Communicating With Educators During COVID-19
Group of people using digital devices

In this new normal, we are participating in online meetings while we work from home. Our kids are connecting with one another through online school and activities. Many of us celebrated the spring holidays with our families virtually, and some of us may have even lifted a glass of wine during an online happy hour. Read More »

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An Expanded Education Community

By Kristina James | 06/19/2020 | Comments Off on An Expanded Education Community
School children drawing

It may be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a difficult year so far. Yet teachers are meeting the year’s challenges. They tell us that they are adapting and the school community at large continues to find ways to change. In the midst of these changes, things are beginning to open up again, Read More »

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What do educators need right now? Survey says…

By Kristina James | 05/21/2020 | Comments Off on What do educators need right now? Survey says…
Educator Sentiment Survey

While education is certainly facing unprecedented challenges in responding to stay-at-home orders, educators are rising to the challenge. A history of constant evolution in U.S. education – from Common Core to asynchronous learning – may have helped educators hone their skills as problem solvers. That’s one conclusion from a recent survey MDR conducted with educators Read More »

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Social Distancing Is Driving Social Media

By Kristina James | 04/06/2020 | Comments Off on Social Distancing Is Driving Social Media
Man using laptop and tablet

With nearly 300 million people in at least 38 states being urged to stay home, sales and marketing professionals alike have absorbed a new vocabulary term, “social distancing.” Because of social distancing millions of us are working from home, top Education conferences like NCTM, ALA and ISTE have been canceled, and we are all wrapping Read More »

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Education in the Time of Coronavirus

By Kristina James | 04/06/2020 | Comments Off on Education in the Time of Coronavirus
Father and son working at home

Like many of you, I find most of my daily activities have significantly changed because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine/”shelter in place” rules. I’m making the best of it, spending time with my family, connecting more frequently via text, FaceTime and social media, and shopping — lots of shopping for food and supplies, of course, Read More »

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School Supply Lists for Fall? They’re Being Compiled Now.

By Kristina James | 03/12/2020 | Comments Off on School Supply Lists for Fall? They’re Being Compiled Now.
School Supplies

Teachers are known for their advance planning, so it’s no surprise they get out ahead of the fall classroom resupply game by making their shopping lists months in advance. And our research reveals most lists are compiled in the spring. To make the list, it’s important to focus your persuasive attention on teachers because over Read More »

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Top Minds in the Education Industry Convene at MDR’s Inaugural EdNET Executive Council

By Kristina James | 03/11/2020 | Comments Off on Top Minds in the Education Industry Convene at MDR’s Inaugural EdNET Executive Council
NYC Skyline

What do you get when C-suite leaders from top education companies convene for a day to examine current trends and plot a path for the industry’s future? Spirited discussion, thoughtful consideration of the evolving education environment, and synergy and connections that have the potential to transform both their companies and the future of learning. That’s Read More »

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2019 Top Content for Teachers

By Kristina James | 02/20/2020 | Comments Off on 2019 Top Content for Teachers
Colleagues collaborating

With more than 60 million page views in 2019 and 600,000 new followers across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram channels, WeAreTeachers  is the online destination for teachers and school leaders. Educators come to WeAreTeachers every day looking for practical classroom ideas, freebies and giveaways, and teacher-to-teacher advice and humor. Our team of strategists have become Read More »

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10 Ways to Crush Your Education Marketing Conferences this Year

By Kristina James | 01/17/2020 | Comments Off on 10 Ways to Crush Your Education Marketing Conferences this Year
mdr-conference-tips

It’s our favorite time of year (well, one of them), when you can go to one location and meet all your prospects and customers, show them what’s new, and collaborate on what’s next. The 2020 conference season kicked off this week with the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in sunny Miami, FL. The thing Read More »

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The Advantages of Email Marketing are Only as Good as the Marketing Itself

By Kristina James | 11/06/2019 | Comments Off on The Advantages of Email Marketing are Only as Good as the Marketing Itself
Mobile email illustration

Is there a problem with email? Many would say yes, but I’d challenge that. Having spoken recently with a few executive level marketers, I learned that, like me, they still rely heavily on email in their marketing mix. However, also like me, they are hearing a lot of buzz about email not being reliable as Read More »

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Beyond Back-to-School Spending: Teachers Are Brand Loyal

By Kristina James | 10/25/2019 | Comments Off on Beyond Back-to-School Spending: Teachers Are Brand Loyal
school supplies illustration

School spending is big business. Teachers spend an estimated $1.75 billion per year on school supplies from classroom budgets and out-of-pocket expenditures. And marketers know teachers—and parents—spend a lot of their own money on school-related products and services. In a previous post, I talked about the trend of teacher out-of-pocket spending on school supplies for Read More »

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Beyond Back-to-School Spending: Teachers Spend All Year Long

By Kristina James | 10/18/2019 | 1 Comment
Money jar and stack of books

There’s a reason the hashtag #clearthelist—which asks people to buy items on teachers’ Amazon wish lists—took off this back-to-school season. Teachers are spending more and more of their own money on school supplies and materials for their classrooms. And many schools continue to push the AmazonSmile program which gives back to schools when friends and Read More »

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Don’t Be Hating on Email Marketing

By Kristina James | 10/11/2019 | Comments Off on Don’t Be Hating on Email Marketing
MDR dont hate email

I went shopping before work again…because I feel compelled to look at my email when I first wake up. There was a sale, there were these boots… and the next thing I know I’m $100 poorer (but infinitely more stylish) before 8 a.m. That’s the thing with email. It finds you…wherever you are, it is Read More »

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Connecting With Educators in a Time of Unprecedented “Churn and Change”

By Kristina James | 07/12/2019 | Comments Off on Connecting With Educators in a Time of Unprecedented “Churn and Change”
Line of colleagues passing folders to each other

“Nothing ever changes in education.” It’s not surprising that this is a common perception, after all, there is a good possibility that the schools in your town are more than 40 years old. However, while the structures may look the same or have kept the same name, it is a different story when you look Read More »

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