Focusing on the figurehead of a business school, the second episode of season two of the BlueSky Education Thinking Podcast sees International BizEd Guru Matt Symonds, BlueSky Education’s Stephanie Mullins, Kerry Ruffle and Peter Remon discuss how Deans can be positioned externally to great effect along with Sarah Seedsman, Executive Director of Engagement, Insights and Consulting at Media Minds Global, and returning guest Jonathan L. Simon, Director of Marketing and Communications at The Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.
In the first episode of season two of the BlueSky Education Thinking Podcast, International BizEd Guru Matt Symonds, BlueSky Education’s Stephanie Mullins, Kerry Ruffle and Olivia Nieberg discuss how the pandemic has heralded the age of the expert, along with Jonathan L. Simon, Director of Marketing and Communications at The Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.
With season two of the BlueSky Education Thinking Podcast firmly underway, and Sarah Seedsman from Media Minds Global back as a returning guest, here's a recap from season one's episode on business school social media:
Is the impact of PR worth the cost? How might communications support help a business school? We sat down with Tim Ruthven, Director of Marketing and Communications at Imperial College 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...
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...
One of Europe’s largest countries, Germany is located in north-central Europe and has a population of more than 80 million people. At its spiritual heart is the capital city of Berlin – just one of the draws which bring millions of visitors to the country each year. And it’s a country known for its people’s devotion to hard work, who place a high value on leisure, culture and a free press, and enjoy the benefits of life in a liberal democracy that has become ever more integrated with and central to a united Europe.
France is at the heart of Western Europe. Historically and culturally among the most important nations in the Western world, France has played a significant role in international affairs, with former colonies in every corner of the globe, and remains one of the world’s leading industrial powers. It’s home to around 66 million people that support the EU's second largest economy and enjoy reading some of the world’s most respected media publications.
Whether it’s for a short-term project or long-term support, are you considering hiring a PR agency? If so, how’s the best way to go about this as a university?
Despite the turbulence of life in the UK at the moment, working out just how we might leave the EU, the country is still open for business. It’s time that business schools properly communicate their worth in today’s political climate.
More than 100: mentions for our clients in the FT, Forbes, and the BBC targeted press releases delivered mentions for our clients in QS Top MBA, AMBA, Biz Ed Magazine, THE, BusinessBecause, and Poets&Quants
Hans Christian Andersen once famously said that ‘to travel is to live’. And while my grandmother never left the British Isles – she was genuinely even afraid to cross big bridges near her home in the countryside – we now live in a world with sprawling cities, where we regularly board planes, cross borders and travel the world.
As a specialist PR agency in the business education market, there are plenty of reasons why schools choose to bring us on board. If you’re considering hiring a specialist consultancy like us too (or you’re just here out of professional curiosity) then it’s probably time to look more closely at what having an agency’s support could achieve. With institutions having such wildly varying goals, here are a number of reasons why a business school might want to work with us: Raising the profile of a key member of faculty – perhaps the Dean of the business school or a renowned academic. Getting coverage in the press that hits both the quantity and quality mark can effectively boost a significant person’s profile. We often use the example of securing an op-ed for a professor in The Guardian that lead to him being inviting to speak at the World Economic Forum. Results like this speak for themselves. Boosting applications for certain programmes – are application numbers for your MBA lower than you’d like them to be? Get that course into the right press – show off your students, highlight that incredible alumni, position that academic lead – and watch the knock-on effect of climbing student application numbers. Appealing to quality students - Your EMBA not getting the quality of applicant that you really desire? Are you in need of better scholarship applicants? Placing articles within the right media outlets, like the Financial Times or The Economist, can attract a high calibre student. Numbers aren’t everything after all, getting quality applicants is vital.
Working with business schools on day-to-day basis, you learn about the incredible array of courses that they offer. With some specialisms like luxury attracting very different profiles to finance or perhaps entrepreneurship, I wondered what our team would be interested in studying.
Avoiding disaster, navigating networking, and pitching like a pro – what advice would our BlueSky team have for the world of the PR professional?
Like to see your name in flashing lights? Most of us would take joy from seeing our names and businesses in the newspapers, spoken on the radio, typed up on newswires – quoted as an expert in our fields, or highlighting an impressive company achievement. That’s something to show off. Isn’t it? Yes, but some have been known to fall under the curse of vanity PR, when achieving media coverage is just to show friends and colleagues and put up in an office. Attract your target market Rather than hunt coverage for the fame - vanity PR - some people need to be reminded that to be truly effective PR efforts should be channelled into attracting your target market. For example, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and The Economist are excellent publications to be seen in – but the niche, specialist outlets that your potential students, corporate partners or faculty are reading are just as important! Although they might not look as good in a frame, these mentions are building credibility and exposure in the right places. PR is best when being led by the bigger corporate picture. While some big name hits might make a few stakeholders and the odd professor happy, are they really delivering something in line with the business school or university’s goals and objectives? There needs to be a balance
What’s the point in creating wonderful blogs and providing insightful comment if no one ever reads it? Incredible thoughts deserve to be heard! We deal with plenty of them from pioneering professors and ambitious students. We thought it would be great to offer up our ideas on how to increase social media shares for the great content that you put out. I spoke with our resident social media expert here at BlueSky, Dan Stobbs, and he gave me his top four tips – Use visual content to increase social media shares Research shows that social media posts with images average around 2.5x more engagement than text-based posts. However, you should make sure that your image dimensions are optimised for each platform. Monitor trending hashtags The trending sections of Twitter and Facebook provide great insight into what your target audience and wider public are discussing. If you have some ready-made content such as research on the role of women in the workplace and a topic is trending like #womeninpolitics (which is trending as we discuss this post) then tweeting about it using that hashtag as your content can add real value to the discussion. Post when your audience is online Look back at your analytics to see the peak times that your audience is online and schedule your posts to maximise your engagement. Have sharing icons on your website
For as long as public relations has existed, the industry has needed to demonstrate the value of press coverage – and that’s not easy. There’s no accepted standard for PR measurement AVE, a seriously flawed concept based on advertising value equivalency, has long since been rejected by the majority of reputable PR professionals. Its method is undeniably crude and inaccurate. Then the Barcelona Principles, a set of seven voluntary guidelines established by the industry to measure the efficacy of campaigns, has been widely criticised for being impractical. But we are still left with clients and colleagues wanting to measure the success of a PR campaign. The value of PR: what can we measure? The reality is that the ultimate end result is the changed behaviour of individuals caused by the media coverage. It’s difficult to measure and put numbers to this, but there are ways that we really can demonstrate the value of the work that we do. For example, a client asked us to help them boost student applications from India, so we secured stories in The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, and other well-read Indian publications. We based these around the experiences of their Indian alumni and their successes. Thanks to feedback from the communications team at the school, we know that they saw a 20% increase in Indian applications for their programmes. It’s instances like this where we can visibly see the success of a PR campaign. We’ve even delivered press coverage in Mongolia after a group of students visited the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. This lead to our client university’s first application from a Mongolian student.
This post was originally published 23/01/2014 but after revamping the images we share via social media alongside our content this week, it occurred to me that it's perhaps even more relevant today.
Raising the profile of an institution, a professor, a new specialist centre, or the launch of a programme? You’ve probably thought about public relations as well as advertising. Both have their place in the marketing world, but is one better than the other? What is the main difference between advertising and PR? “PR provides third-party advocacy for your product or service,” said Ian Hawkings, Head of Practice here at BlueSky Education. “It lends a credibility that advertising simply can’t.” Essentially, this is the most important point. Advertising is an organisation shouting about itself. Apply now! Join us! We’re the best in our field! Evidently, they’ll be biased and any potential student or customer knows this. PR is someone else saying how great your business school or university is – someone that isn’t being paid to be positive, someone without a personal investment. There must be a genuine angle or hook for editors run an article, publish a press release or to cover an event. It’s the goal of PRs to achieve this and get clients noticed by the media. More benefits of PR While today’s audiences are savvy about advertising, any positive press coverage puts the organisation in the public eye and promotes it in a more subtle way. “Advertising doesn’t necessarily start a debate, pass interesting comment or bear great relevance to current sector issues,” said Natalie Bishop of BlueSky. “PR, on the other hand, is more three-dimensional; it doesn’t just promote a product, it uses these tools to explain why something is a sector leader.” On this mission, PR professionals shape the messages that compel and inspire. These are woven into press releases, pitches to journalists, speeches at conferences and public forums, and even in-house materials like magazines and copy for websites. Chris Johnson of BlueSky argues that these efforts are actually more cost effective. He says the results of PR are more likely to be read, provide content for social media, and aid internal communications. Which one is right for you? So while both advertising and PR exist to endorse an organisation and its products, they aren’t the same thing. With this in mind, marketing budgets need to be allocated carefully. What will have the best impact? It was Bill Gates that famously said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
From the US Military to the MBA, to business school students’ fears about Brexit, and lessons from Chilecon Valley, we spoke to some fascinating students in 2016. Some of the fantastic people studying at the schools and universities we’ve worked with this year Charity Founder Inspiring PhD student from the University of Edinburgh Business School, James Turing, set up a charity to send computers to African villages – all in the name of his great-uncle, Alan Turing, the father of modern computing.
From how to improve online dating success – top tip: forget the anonymity feature – to how to navigate retirement, 2016 was a varied year in the world of press releases and pitches for our clients here at BlueSky Education. As another year ended, I looked back on the research I worked on during the past 12 months and highlighted some of my favourites.
Donald Trump is an American businessman, a reality television personality and, now, he is President of the United States. Trump’s victory in the presidential elections means many different things for the world’s people. He may have been the subject of much controversy but he will lead one of the most powerful countries on Earth from the Oval Office. Unsurprisingly, this is top of the news agenda. But what does Trump's win mean for PR? We use the news agenda to tailor press releases and create timely pitches, but is there a risk of being associated with Trump? Or is his success too newsworthy not to use as a news hook? “It’s certainly got PRs asking questions they wouldn’t have done otherwise,” said Chris Johnson, Account Manager here at BlueSky Education. “How it’s going to impact their brand, their business.” He suggests that many people working in public relations will be looking into the potential for growth or how to overcome the problems that Trump’s election success could bring.
After Typhoon Haiyan devastated areas across the Philippines, a project spearheaded by MBA students from The National University of Singapore set to restore clean water to those worst hit. Sounds like a project worthy of publicity, right? We thought so! BlueSky Education has developed a dedicated service to provide pro bono PR support to a business school in our ‘give something back’ project. The winning NUS initiative from the first competition has since featured in a wide range of media across the world, including The Atlantic’s City Lab and The Times of India. Now we’re looking for imaginative and robust ideas again! Aiming to improve the lives of disadvantaged people anywhere around the globe, it could be a social enterprise, educational programme, or humanitarian undertaking. We’re open to suggestions! What is really important is the idea must be capable of translating into action – mere aspiration isn’t enough.
As, Os and Bs are disappearing from our Twitter names, street signs and most recognisable brands to encourage more people to donate blood. As National Blood Week starts, NHS Blood and Transplant have launched an impressive PR campaign that centres on the hashtag #MissingType. In an effort to replace more than 200,000 donors who cannot give blood any more, the health service have prompted removing the letters that make up the blood groups. The likes of book retailer Waterstones, chocolate company Green & Black’s and cinema chain Odeon have all dropped their As, Os and Bs in support. Do you have the #MissingType? Help us fill the gaps and save http://t.co/KSdAvL2y7p@GiveBloodNHSpic.twitter.com/2rUaRSVa0q — GREEN & _L_CK'S (@greenandblacks) June 8, 2015