Institutions can highlight their successful partnerships through PR activity – and attract new ones in the process Business schools are natural partners for many organisations, from big corporate companies to charities and non-profits. These partnerships work both ways – from the partner’s side of things, many organisations see partnering with business schools as an opportunity to give themselves an edge over the competition, as well as giving them access to some of the world’s best business talent of the future. From a business school perspective, big partnerships can bring successful internship opportunities for their students, international study trips, consulting projects as part of courses, and ultimately recruitment opportunities for their graduates. It is therefore essential that business schools highlight their successful partnerships through PR activity so they can not only showcase the fantastic work they are doing together, but to also attract further partners in the future, and potential students.
PR, communications and media relations are all important to business schools for a whole host of reasons, such as securing ranking positions, stakeholder management, and attracting the best applicants. But one reason that’s sometimes forgotten is that PR is one of the most effective ways of attracting leading faculty.
Now everyone is a media creator. Anyone can make an Instagram account, set up a Facebook page, send a tweet out. Surely that lowers the barrier to entry. If you can easily create your own media, you don’t need journalists and public relations agencies to help you, right?
Is the impact of PR worth the cost? How might communications support help a business school? We sat down with Benoît Anger, the Associate Dean of Corporate Development and Communication at NEOMA Business School, to ask him why they’ve invested in PR and how it’s been successful for the school. Here’s what he had to say...
Covid-19 has proven to be a real test for higher education institutions. The industry has been completely turned upside down over night. Though new research suggests student recruitment numbers are likely to still be fairly high in the UK, the Covid-19 period has still been financially challenging. So much so, that 13 UK universities announced this week they may be going bust without a government bailout.
In a recent episode of the BlueSky Education Thinking podcast, International Business Education Guru Matt Symonds, BlueSky Education’s Adrian Barrett and Stephanie Mullins, Sergio Oliveri of MIP Politecnico di Milano and Carrington Crisp's Ian Hawkings shared their advice and some great examples of how a business school can stand out from the competition.
Academics with more media coverage get more citations, according to new research from Brigham Young University in Utah, America. The authors in the study analysed the scientific and non-scientific impact of more than 800 academic research papers in 2007 and 2008 and found that there is a strong link between media coverage and the number of citations a research paper receives.
There are more elements to the PR function than many people first think. My colleagues and I have been talking about internal and external PR, explaining what it is why it is absolutely vital for many organisations.
In episode two of the BlueSky Education Thinking podcast International BizEd Guru Matt Symonds, BlueSky Education’s Adrian Barrett, Stephanie Mullins and Peter Remon, and David Woods-Hale of the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and Business Graduates Association (BGA) discussed the role of sustainability in business education.
Public Relations is an exceedingly broad area used by a whole host of varied clients, from politicians and actors to universities and businesses. The set of goals and needs can differ greatly from one client to another: an actor might want to boost their profile for a new film or fix their image after some bad publicity while a university might be launching a new programme or want to focus on boosting student applications. There are seemingly endless reasons for why a client has hired a PR agency or, if they haven’t already, why they should hire one.
In episode one of the BlueSky Education Thinking podcast International BizEd Guru Matt Symonds, BlueSky Education’s Adrian Barrett and Stephanie Mullins, and Sarah Seedsman of Media Minds Global navigated the thorny topic of business school rankings from how they came about and what data is taken into consideration, to why they matter and the future of rankings.
2020 has been the year of the expert, and this is because the global pandemic has increased the media and the public’s desire for academic and expert opinion to make sense of an unprecedented situation. As the world collectively comes to terms with the magnitude of Covid-19’s impact on all aspects of society, we all need something we can rely on – expert opinion and insight.
It’s important to know about the different roles within public relations. A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine wrote a blog about what an internal PR role is, so following on from that I have decided to discuss and explain what an external PR role is and why it is an important part of any business, institute or organisation.
As we begin to look beyond the COVID-19 crisis and towards what the future holds for higher and business education, one thing is clear: online learning is going to play a huge role.
During the live recording of our podcast, BlueSky Education Thinking, Tomaso Eridani, Press Officer from Bocconi University, asked some really pertinent questions, which I think a lot of other schools are going to be wondering about at the moment. Is it time to start moving on in our communications from purely focusing on content relating to COVID-19. Is it time to start talking about other things? Is there any interest from the media for other topics?
The Covid-19 pandemic has required the global population to make drastic changes to their day-to-day lives, remaining distant from friends and family while working and studying remotely.
When we talk about public relations, people usually think about it almost exclusively in an external capacity, i.e. looking to create a positive image of your company or organisation in the eyes of people and bodies outside of your institution.
COVID-19 has changed the world more dramatically than we have seen for generations. And arguably communication is now more important than ever. But how you do you maintain a sense of normality when people feel their lives have been turned upside down?
No matter what industry you work in, it is both natural and probably a wise idea to closely follow what your competitors are doing in the market. Whether that be new ideas or innovations, new products or services or something simply eye-catching to a key audience, it is important to keep on top of what is going on around your institution. What is even more important, however, is being the institution that all your competitors are talking about (positively, of course).
During my time working in education PR, I’ve learnt how to best overcome the challenges involved in getting coverage in the media. You’ll have a breadth of knowledge at your disposal, whether it is research papers, or an academic opinion, that deserves to be publicised in the media. However, some research or opinion will have an angle to them that journalists just immediately love, and will result in it being featured in multiple publications, including national and international press.
In the world of education PR, you’ll often be bombarded with story ideas for the media. Perhaps you have been given a research paper, or an academic has an opinion they want to voice in the media. The trick is in knowing what will work best with the media to secure not only a high volume of coverage, but also coverage in top tier publications. Some stories will have aspects to them which will lead to hundred upon hundreds of features in national and local press, while some will be perfect for securing international coverage, from Germany to India.
As universities and business schools around the world face an increasingly competitive recruitment environment, and challenges surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 threaten student intake, it’s vital that educational institutions come up with progressively creative and strategic ways in order to attract students.
We live in a world that is becoming more and more interconnected every day. This has never been more apparent than in the business education sector. Now more than ever before, students are willing to travel all over the world to study on the best programmes at the best business schools. This makes the business education sector well-and-truly a global marketplace. And with that, it makes it an incredibly competitive marketplace!
I think it would be fair to say that right now we are faced with the one of the greatest issues of our generation: COVID-19.
One of the key aims of your institution is to attract students right? But how do you that successfully? Of course, there are lots of ways you can do this. But here at BlueSky Education we think using stories to do this, might be your secret weapon.
There are a vast number of reasons as to why business schools want, and need, to engage in PR. Whether it is to highlight some of the ground-breaking academic research from their professors, announce a new programme at the school or promote their faculty’s expertise – all of which are enhanced and have more impact through the use of PR.
It was a throwback to the 1920s this year at the AMBA and BGA Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner. The event was hosted on February 7th at the Sheraton Grand Park Hotel in London with over 200 business school leaders from the business education sector, as well as category finalists, judges and members of the media.
The world is bursting with people from different cultures; identities formed from the environment we grew up in, our family, friends, and where we were born, among other things. It influences how we engage with the world, the perspectives we take, and the expectations we have. Culture can influence what we consider success in our careers, how we understand music, and even define how we see colours. Every single one of us has a culture, and most of us have identities built from multiple cultures; whether it’s our race, ethnicity, religion, or nationality.
As we enter a new decade, the political climate is arguably more turbulent than ever. The UK has officially left the European Union, which has left everyone in a “transition” period but not everyone really knows what it means, and in terms of education, it’s putting off some EU students from choosing the UK to study.
Within the last 15 years, social media has completely infiltrated our lives – both personally and professionally. From a business perspective, it could be argued that Twitter is the most effective platform to engage with.
It’s no secret that the public relations industry has a challenge when it comes to communicating how it directly impacts the bottom-line. But what if you, the client, could maximise your return from the work your PR agency does for you?
2019 was another fantastic year for the BlueSky Education PR team. Here are some of the highlights.
What are the results of PR efforts for universities? If you are investing money in a service or product, you will want to know whether the investment is worth the time and money. For example, if you’re investing a lot of money in a house, it will only be worth it if the house increases in value. The results of this type of investment is easy to see – an increase in value means it was a good investment.
Worthwhile investments must offer a return. Whether it is in a specific stock you have a hunch about, funding a business you like the idea of, or purchasing a property – you are always looking for results from that investment. But, in most of these, you are easily able to quantify whether your risk paid off, through stats and figures – did the stock you invested in go up? Did the company you invest in increase its value? Did the price of your house increase? Investing in public relations, however, can be a little more difficult to quantify in terms of return on investment.
It’s January 2020, and with the start of the New Year comes people’s New Year’s resolutions, whether that’s getting fit for the summer, being better with your money, or spending less time watching Netflix.
Having a strong PR and marketing campaign is absolutely vital to success in business education. Universities and schools alike need to be able shape their brand to the world in order to compete on the global stage of the education sector.
Science press aims to provide coverage on current scientific research and findings which are often especially relevant to current news and trends, from increasing natural disasters and climate change to public health and the psychology of modern life; there are always scientific topics out there that the public love to read about. A widespread discipline, science press can specialise in different areas such as biology, chemistry, health, sustainability, and medicine, just to name a few.
Political press is a broad branch of journalism, and every day we are infiltrated with political news – in print, on the TV, radio, and of course our digital devices. Indeed, the variety of political media outlets and publications reflect the huge variation of political opinion across the globe.
Financial news outlets attract some of the biggest readerships and are amongst some of the most well respected in the world, with the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Economist and Reuters amongst some of the most popular.
Human resources is an interesting topic. However, many may feel they can’t relate to the role of a HR Director, or that HR decisions have no impact on them – but, this is not the case. Every single company in the world has to have a HR professional, or at least have to make decisions that would fall under the HR function.
Technology is a massive topic, in the last decade it has moved from the fringes to mainstream media. This is because it has increasingly become integrated in businesses and industries so the media has had to adapt to the changing landscape. However, because tech is so popular in the media it can be very difficult to get coverage.
Nowadays, achieving coverage for your business school or university is a challenge to say the least.
PR features in a lot of movies and TV shows, albeit in a dramatized and sometimes inaccurate way; Scandal, Sex and the City, and House of Cards all portraying various aspects of PR in a way that shapes what the general public think PR actually is. In fact, when I tell my friends that I work in Public Relations and what that involves, I am often met with responses similar to the following:
You may have seen an interesting research study hit the headlines last week. Researchers from the University of Sussex released findings from a study into out-of-work hour e-mails, which suggested that banning staff from accessing their work emails outside office hours could actually do more harm than good to employee well-being. These findings, of course, featured heavily in the press, sparking huge debate not only in the comments section of the Daily Mail (what doesn’t?), but on social media and, I imagine, many workplaces – whether they be open-plan, virtual, remote or co-working.
There’s an old saying: "Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for” (Helen Woodward, 1938). I couldn’t agree more.
During my time at BlueSky PR, I have really noticed how much public relations and journalism link, a lot of the skills I learnt as a journalist translate into PR. The ability to write, how to use social media, how to interview someone, even my shorthand has come in handy. But one skill I’ve found to be really beneficial is having news sense.
Our Prime Minister, (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Boris Johnson, has had a challenging few weeks to say the least. He’s currently engulfed in a PR nightmare for the ages, and every day the situation for poor Boris seems to get worse. However, I don’t really feel sorry for him, as he’s brought it all on himself. He has successfully become one of the most divisive political figures of the last 30 years, and he’s only been in office since the end of July.
Life is busy, and it’s very easy to come into work and go about your daily routine, Monday to Friday, sitting at the comfort of your desk. Drafting press releases, writing articles, and sifting through the vast amount of emails you may receive every day is time consuming, and it’s therefore understandable why you may ignore an invitation to a conference or networking event.
The media is constantly changing as a result of digitalisation. The internet has become the go-to news platform, meaning getting news is quicker and easier than ever. As a result, journalists are now busier than before, so as a PR professional it’s even harder to get a response. The relationship between journalists and PR professionals is key to being successful in PR, our job is to get results and the only way this works is if journalists cooperate with us.
You have finally written the perfect pitch; catchy headline, fascinating content, and sent it out to a plethora of relevant journalists. Then, a journalist responds, interested in featuring a piece from your client. But what do you do next?