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From the 1st Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Inspiring Curiosity with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s #SparkAMind Campaign

Entered in Education

About this entry

Can a global learning company inspire the world? At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, we believe so.

We are constantly inspired by the stories we hear from teachers, students, families, and friends about how inquiry and discovery instill a lifelong love of learning, both in the classroom and beyond. We believe that education is empowering, that passion for knowledge is infectious and that sharing ideas with others fuels creativity and builds community.

In staying true to our mission of changing people's lives by fostering passionate, curious learners, we identified an opportunity to do this at an even larger scale through a powerful, inspirational, social media and digitally led campaign called #SparkAMind.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

A simple question like "Why is the sky blue?" can spark curiosity in an instant.

#SparkAMind's goal is to do just that; spark curiosity around the world through social media and digital marketing. We focused on creating a space for our audiences to come together and share ideas and stories both in the digital sphere and physical world. We also wanted to make sure that the efforts of #SparkAMind have a lasting effect. With all of this in mind, we partnered closely with internal and external partners to ensure the integration of #SparkAMind across all efforts.

The key features for #SparkAMind include a digital sharing community, a social media-led giving campaign and a cross-country playful learning tour that brings inspiration and curiosity sparking activities directly to families and communities for free.

#SparkAMind has become the campaign and message that many across HMH have rallied behind and integrated into communication efforts like email campaigns and in-booth activations at national conferences. It also has become a driving force in employee advocacy at HMH.


Through the #SparkAMind campaign, we strove to increase our engagement, impact our share of voice in social, generate positive external brand recognition, grow our communities, and build brand advocacy by forming a deeper connection with educators and parents. In the short period following the program's launch in late February, we saw an increase in social engagement, reach, positive sentiment, and community size, as well as a higher degree of brand advocacy based on landing page time spent, hashtag usage, and Tour attendees:

Social Media:

Web: Spark a Mind Digital Community Landing Page

Book Donations:

Curious World Tour:

20,000 (number subject to change as tour is still in progress) Young Curious World Tour attendees


Video for Inspiring Curiosity with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s #SparkAMind Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, AMP Agency, LeadDog Marketing Group


Entry Credits