Securing media opportunities for faculty is one of a university or business school communications professional’s most important responsibilities.
A once-held, later debunked belief in the Western world is that, in traditional Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is made up of two other words: ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’.
A timeless truth, understanding what the media is after will always be fundamental to media success, irrespective of the specific year.
Whether at a business school, university, start-up or multinational conglomerate, the men and women that sit in the C-suite are more than just leaders.
In the world of PR and media relations, perception is everything. Optics are all that matter. Nothing is as important as what you see.
When it comes to hiring a new agency to support your business school with external engagement, the criteria can be pretty specific. After all, commissioning this agency to work with you will be an investment of sorts. The funds you allocate to paying for external PR support will inevitably be diverted from – or at least unavailable to – other initiatives or ventures.
“Content is king.” It may seem cliché and trite, or as my colleague Kerry put it in a recent blog, ‘over-touted’, but there’s no doubt about it: in this day and age, when it comes to marcomms, content can be your school’s greatest asset… if it’s crafted well. And that’s a pretty big ‘if’. For any business school, the need for quality content has never been more desperately-felt: as a marketplace it’s never been more crowded; long gone are the days of the local or regional derby as more and more institutions seek global superstardom. This is because prospective students are no longer considering only domestic options – no, applicants have never been more willing to up-root their lives and travel in pursuit of the best provider. So, as an institution, you’re no longer competing exclusively with counterparts in your region, but competitors from all four corners of the globe. The market really is the most cut-throat that it’s ever been. And this puts all the more pressure on in-house comms teams to create engaging, appealing and, ultimately, effective content for external engagement purposes. Enter the content guru As a growing number of schools – more specifically, in-house communications staff – continue to feel the pressure to create quality content en masse, more and more are turning to professionals whose remit exclusively encompasses content-creation. But is there a need for such individuals? It’s understandable that so many schools have turned to content gurus. Having a professional on-hand whose sole task is to create the best marketing / PR content possible to support brand awareness and recruitment goals seems a smart investment. But what about broader media / external engagement? It’s all well and good hiring someone to focus exclusively on content creation if you have the budget for it – but what happens when you don’t. That’s where PRs – like me – come in. The value of hiring external PRs From content-creation to liaising with targeted journalists and outlets, external PR professionals can significantly bolster your output in terms of external engagement, acting as an extension of your institution. They also offer a wealth of expert insight and understanding of both the media – domestic, sector-specific and international – landscape as well as the broader business education market. And, while it would take others significant periods of time to look for the right publications, source media contacts, and make introductions, PR professionals come with all of this in-hand. It’s one thing being able to create effective content, it’s another getting that content in front of the right people. PRs can do both: from press releases and targeted pitches to writing copy on behalf of your school’s key spokespeople – external PRs can ensure that your institution’s stories find their way into target press. Measuring that value It shouldn’t be hard to measure the value of external PRs – in fact, it should be clear as day to see the contributions of an external agency. Through depth of knowledge, communication skills, and sheer creativity the premium content – and subsequent high-value media opportunities – should start flowing not long after their arrival. And if it doesn’t, there’s a problem. But, that’s not to say that cold, hard numbers alone are enough to truly measure the full impact of your external content creators / media experts. No, sometimes working out the value of external PR support isn’t always that simple. As my colleague, Katie, put in one of her recent blogs, “just like anything else you pay for; you want to make sure that the service you are paying for is worth it. But in the PR industry, that is often easier said than done.” It's true – schools often mis-measure the contribution of external PRs. And, in doing so, they waste money. To learn more about measuring the value of PR, check out Katie’s blog on the subject. But, in short, when looking to measure the impact of external PRs, here’s three things to think about: Are you any closer to realising your PR / Media Relations goals? Has output increased beyond levels reached prior to hiring support? Have they advanced your school’s broader strategic goals? Whether it's creating compelling content, or securing sought-after opportunities with leading publications, external PRs are able to help. Turning specifically to content-creation, if an agency is any good, it should be made up of highly-skilled communicators with a flair for taking ground-breaking but seemingly-inaccessible content and craft engaging and captivating copy to support your business school’s external relations efforts. Author: Jonny Stone
According to HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report, 82% of marketers actively use content marketing to achieve their branding goals. Up 17% since 2020, content marketing is recognised by many professionals as an effective, tried and tested means of attracting, engaging and retaining new audiences and customers – and in the case of business schools, prospective applicants.
Industry 4.0: it’s a term that’s become pretty commonplace in recent years.
For countless business schools and universities worldwide, the research that they produce defines them.
The competition to attract élite faculty has never been more intense.
Deliveroo suffered one of the worst stock market debuts on record, seeing their shares drop by 30% on opening day, which wiped around £2 billion of their market value. According to Yahoo! Finance, their stock slumped a further 1.9% after opening on the second day.
Messaging has always been important for business schools. Whether for marketing communications, external media engagement or internal comms, how institutions frame key messages has long been crucial. This has never been truer than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the fourth episode of season two of the BlueSky Education Thinking Podcast, BlueSky’s Stephanie Mullins and Kerry Ruffle, alongside International BizEd Guru, Matt Symonds, discuss long-term changes to business education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also in the episode, Steph is joined by Hanna-Leena Pesonen, Dean of Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics, as well as BlueSky Education’s Jonny Stone and Kate Mowbray, and Jonathan Simon, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Telfer School of Management.
Having a winning PR strategy is vital to the broader success of any organisation, in any field, providing any service.
In episode three of the second season of the BlueSky Education Thinking Podcast, BlueSky’s Stephanie Mullins and Kerry Ruffle are joined once again by International BizEd Guru, Matt Symonds, to discuss the importance of diversity in business education. Also in the episode, Stephanie sits down with Sunitha Narendran, Director of Roehampton Business School, as well as BlueSky Education colleague, Kyle Grizzell.
Truly understanding and being able to measure the impact of PR is key for anyone working in or around the communications space.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nowadays, achieving coverage for your business school or university is a challenge to say the least.
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.
Business schools and universities are successful for a whole host of reasons – their longevity, their location, their contribution to the society around them, but their life blood is the quality of their teaching and research – and for this they need the best academics.
Relationship building is key when it comes to gaining success in public relations – especially in the world of business schools.
From the Daily Mirror to the Wall Street Journal, pretty much every widely-read newspaper uses clear language for their readers.