Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. One month, it’s the rankings for business schools in Europe and the next it’s the rankings for MBAs, followed by rankings for Master’s programmes. The rankings for business schools and universities can feel constant and the wide variety of ranking tables published by a number of sources such as Forbes, The Economist, the Financial Times, and QS means that many schools can frequently see significant rises and falls.
Business schools around the world offer a vast selection of postgraduate courses, some of which are more commonly offered amongst institutions, such as Master in Management, Master in Finance, or MBA courses, as well as some uncommon, more specialised programmes, such as a Master of Management in Energy or a Master in Auditing. One postgraduate course that is offered at many different business schools is the Executive MBA (EMBA).
A press release is a vital tool when working in PR or comms for a university or business school. It is a great way to disseminate information quickly to a large number of people, whether that’s new or interesting research from your institution or information on new programmes that you want to share with journalists.
Broadcast media can include a number of coverage types ranging from television and radio to podcasts.
It goes without saying, that 2020 will go down in history for a number of reasons: the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, Trump’s response to the election and the attack on the US Capitol, just to name a few.
What is PR? As an institution, you might be interested in hiring a PR agency and wondering whether PR agencies are worth it.
Maximising the success of any institution or organisation often depends on having a winning PR strategy. Being able to impact the way in which your target audience – whether that’s stakeholders, prospective clients, and target consumers - perceive your organisation is vital to ensuring long-term success. And this doesn’t only apply to fashion brands, tech companies, or fast-food restaurants; this also applies to business schools and universities.
As with any other service you purchase; you want to be able to measure if it has been worth the cost. But with PR, this may not always be easy or obvious. PR works by attempting to influence and change the behaviour, thoughts, and decisions of others. This can be a hard thing to measure, but it’s a lot easier to see the results of a PR campaign if you first outline the impact you want your campaign to have.
When looking for information on a university, or for a specific course to study, or even for how to boil an egg, we would all probably do the same thing: Google it. Then, when we choose which website to visit, it’s probably going to be from the first page of results. The top results you see depend on the SEO ranking of the content on that site. But what exactly is SEO?
As the head of a business school or other higher education institution, a Dean is in a position of leadership with their profile inextricably linked to that of the institution – think of the Dean as the face of the school’s brand, possibly even their secret weapon.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
The Republic of Ireland occupies 26 of the 32 counties which make up Ireland, Europe’s second-largest island, with one-third of the country’s entire population residing in the greater Dublin area. Although it shares an island and a border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, it is not itself a part of the UK. Therefore, the Republic of Ireland has its own unique media landscape with a massively developing technology and business sector, making the Emerald Isle an up and coming destination for many international higher education students.
So, you secured a fantastic media opportunity for your institution and it has just resulted in a great piece of coverage, whether that’s print, online, or broadcast. How do you ensure that this coverage is generating the readership and getting the attention it deserves? Well, this is where social media comes in.
You might be well-versed when it comes to PR in your local country; you know which publications to target with which story and have already built relationships with a number of local journalists, but when it comes to gaining coverage internationally, it might take a little something extra for you to grab their interest and secure that op-ed, comment, or interview.
You might not answer work calls or respond to emails after 5pm, but you are probably unable to escape the presence of social media. Even after clocking off from work, most of us will spend some time in the evening scrolling through the multitude of platforms available. And that’s not the only time we’ll find ourselves scrolling throughout the day.
As a higher education institution, it’s ideal for your name to feature in the media, whether that’s academics commenting on current issues, successful alumni stories, or interesting research results. However, at some point, you may be faced with media coverage which paints your institution in a bad light and unfortunately, this is mostly beyond your control. A professor from your institution has their own mind, their own life, and makes their own decisions. If they make a bad decision and this reaches the media, then they will inexplicably be linked to the school they work for. This can also happen if your institution becomes associated with an unsavoury brand or public figure. You might recall last year, when an unfortunate sausage brand was trending on Twitter along with #boycott after becoming associated with a certain politician.