The media landscape is ever-changing, which is why it’s important to implement updated strategies that will keep you connected to your audience. One of the best ways to do so is through regular media interviews. Not only do they provide a platform to share your message, but they also help put a human connection to your institution, particularly if you’re the Dean or a key spokesperson.
It’s a fair assumption that many people only have a vague idea of what publicity is and why it’s useful for universities and businesses alike.
Watching Love Island, the home of influencers, which this year was sponsored by ‘Just Eat’, I was reminded of the true power of PR. Despite ‘Just Eat’ spending huge amount on a TV marketing campaign, they were unfortunately outshone as in the final episode, watched by 3.4 million people, a contestant claimed they ‘couldn’t wait to get home and order a ‘Deliveroo’, ‘Just Eats’ main competitor. A pretty powerful statement.
LinkedIn boasts an impressive 830 million members in more than 200 countries worldwide. So surely it presents an opportunity for the savvy PR? However, like most social networking sites it’s overcrowded and noisy, making it difficult for anyone to make a real impact.
Wondering how PR and marketing work hand in hand? There is often confusion if PR is a part of marketing or is it an independent function. How much do they differ? Or is there a fine line between the two?
Research is important. Many universities and business schools describe themselves as ‘research-led’ or as institutions renowned for the calibre of research they put out.
It is absolutely vital that academic research has impact, especially for the Research Excellence Framework, the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions – and PR can help academics reach people who can use the insights to make real changes in society and companies.
Getting in on the conversation is a well-trodden means to gain media coverage. This piggy-back method by responding or talking about key issues on the news agenda can be highly productive. It can help to enhance reputation or credibility by showcasing a university or business school’s knowledge and expertise in fields at the centre of the news agenda.
Public relations agencies are, by definition, client-focused businesses. Without clients, we don’t exist. Doing great work for clients and keeping them happy is what we’re all here for, of course.
Thanks to the rise in digital adverts, recent surveys tell us that we see 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day – and the shocking thing is most of us don’t even notice them.
How do you successfully improve your online reputation? Well, the key is to listen to what your potential students are talking about. To monitor where your competitors are appearing and to anticipate where your industry is heading. It’s about being and staying ahead of the curve.
If you’re familiar with business schools you will know just how important accreditations are. Speak to any business school students and they would advise you to seek out and apply to an accredited business school. Speak to any business school Dean and they will talk about the importance of the ‘triple accreditation’.
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?
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.
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?
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.
India is the second most populated country in the world. It has an astounding diversity of religions, languages and cultures. Along with this, India has a flourishing media scene, with thousands of outlets operating in multiple languages. The mainstream media has more freedom that even before. The use of social media has grown exponentially with the increase in availability of technology. As a result, the media industry in India has expanded tremendously, so now is the time to focus on public relations and secure some great coverage.
Its trendy at the moment to say the ‘press release is dead’. And while I would agree that the media industry has gone through a dramatic shift in recent years, that doesn’t necessarily mean the demise of the press release. The problem is there’s a lot of wordy press releases sent to the wrong people which ultimately end up in the deleted folder of journalist’s emails. I think it’s fair to say that press releases have a PR problem. However, if it’s done right, the trusty press release is still a quick and effective way to target relevant journalists with just the information you want.
Why we tell MBA stories to increase applications for Business Schools Storytelling is often considered vital for human survival. It’s how we have communicated since we were sat in caves – I think it is just as important now as it was then. And in the world of PR there often needs to be an emphasis on storytelling over selling.
This last week has provided a lot of PR fails - which have been so awful, they have literally made headlines themselves. Here are my top three. Melania Trump The first, and possibly the worst, PR fail is Melania Trump’s jacket. It’s fair to say that President Trump and the first lady have faced a lot of criticism, but somehow, I think wearing a jacket to visit a migrant child detention centre that says ‘I really don’t care, do you?’ is possibly one of the most insensitive things Melania could have done. Unfortunately for her, Melania Trump's apparently empathetic visit to the Mexican border is now completely overshadowed by the unempathetic message on the back of her jacket. Burger King Another embarrassing PR fail this week comes from Russian Burger King. Obviously seizing the opportunity to make headlines with the world’s media spotlight on Russia thanks to the World Cup, Burger King Russia decided to create a social media campaign offering free burgers for life to women who get pregnant by a football player. “Each will receive 3 million rubles, and a lifelong supply of Whoppers. For these girls, it will be possible to get the best football genes and will lay down the success of the Russian national team on several generations ahead. Forward! We believe in you!" Burger King in Russia have since apologised for the social media campaign. I would have thought that Burger King wouldn’t want to encourage Russia having a bad reputation for playing on sexist stereotypes, particularly in advertising, but this campaign really felt like something from the 1950’s.
There are more than 496 million blogs on Tumblr alone. Although this statistic may feel intimidating and evoke a sense of shouting into the void, business schools should actively try and engage with blogging. But why?
Now that I’ve entered the world of PR, I can see the lessons that some films can teach us about the varied world of public relations. I’ve selected three film quotes that stood out to me and the messages they convey about this industry. Be creative “Almost Famous” is the story of a young, up and coming journalist in the 1960s who is given the job of interviewing his favourite band. He ends up in a world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, without his overprotective mother knowing, he ends up falling in love with one of the bands most infamous groupies. My favourite PR quote from the film is: “Is it hard to make us look cool?” Making your client appear interesting to the media is a major aspect of public relations, and sometimes it seems impossible to make them “look cool”. In the world of Business Education, sometimes clients want you distribute challenging research, or a story that might have already been told. This is why creativity is important, taking the time to come up with a new angle in order to provide the media with a fresh way of telling, or adding to, a story. If you can successfully execute this, you will build your clients' profiles and credibility around the world, essentially making them “look cool”. Don't over-complicate things “One Day” is about two university graduates who spend the night together after their graduation ceremony. Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives, sometimes they are together, sometimes they are not. The best PR quote from this film is: “I think we like to complicate things when really it’s quite simple”. To successful grab an editor’s attention you have to develop the knack of writing in a simple way, making the wording engaging and understandable. The same can be said when working with university research, to transfer it from academic language into a message that you can send to the media which is as simplistic as possible. This is the best way to reach a wider audience. Make the right decisions
Now is the time to make some professional resolutions which will make you a better, more productive PR person.
The art of writing catchy headlines is the difference between your article, or blog, reaching the eyes of your targeted readers or disappearing into the ether as they scroll or flick disinterestedly past. Learning how to write a headline really is key to both PR and content marketing.
Without publicity and a well-known reputation, a business or institution may have a hard time growing and thriving in its respective industry. A steady stream of efficient marketing strategies can help build an audience. This is where public relations can help build, promote and manage brand reputation.