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Enhance your business school's reputation with one powerful tactic: Media visibility

From multinational corporations to pop singers to business schools, no reputation is ever static. A brand’s reputation is fluid and ever-changing – just look at Taylor Swift.

As a business school, a well-timed comment in a publication, for example, can drastically improve your reputation, much like poor crisis management can tarnish it.

This is why media visibility needs to be handled carefully. Well-sculpted, carefully-placed media opportunities can help cement your brand image in your target audience’s mind, and attract attention from people who otherwise wouldn’t have known your business school.

So even if your business school is already world-renowned with a strong reputation, you could still benefit from more positive media visibility.

Why is media visibility important?

Increased media visibility can do wonders for a business school’s reputation. It can help to attract top-tier students and faculty, increase engagement with alumni and stakeholders, and strengthen relationships with industry partners.

Gain a competitive advantage

Media visibility can also help your business school gain a competitive advantage. From a potential applicant’s perspective, for example, regularly seeing a business school featured in positive media stories in top-tier publications can reinforce their decision to apply there and make it more likely that they will select that school over another.

Only a small number of people can attend your business school’s open days, but many more can learn about your institution online. Through international publications and social media, having a strong presence in the media will allow your messaging to reach a much larger group of people.

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Build trust

If your institution wants to position itself as a leading business school for certain subjects – sustainability, for example – encouraging faculty to get involved in media opportunities around this topic will showcase to the wider community that your business school is an expert in this area.

This is particularly true if faculty members are seen to be regularly commenting on current events. Potential applicants can see that the school’s faculty members are not only knowledgeable in their field, but they can apply their knowledge and research to real-life scenarios. They get a glimpse of the sorts of people they might be learning from should they apply to your school.

Influence rankings

Whether you like it or not, rankings still play a huge role in determining a business school’s reputation. Business school rankings are often based on indicators focused on the institution’s faculty reputation, research output, and student satisfaction. These aspects of the ranking can be greatly improved by increasing the school’s overall reputation. Again, ways to improve this include getting faculty members into the media, highlighting positive initiatives and sharing inspiring alumni stories.

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How to gain media visibility

With these benefits in mind, if you’re looking to give your school’s reputation a boost by increasing your media visibility, there are several steps you need to follow.

Identify your goals

As we’ve demonstrated, there are copious benefits to becoming more visible in the media, but to get the best results, you must first decide your goals. What do you hope to gain in the long run?

Perhaps you hope to increase the number of applications to your MBA programmes, for example. You could be looking to promote your faculty members as thought leaders in their sector. Whatever your goal, it’s important to plan for the long term – gains from media won’t happen overnight.

Want advice specific to your institution? Get in touch and arrange a free  consultation.

Decide your school’s USP

While setting your goals, brainstorm what you want your business school to be known for. What specialism sets your school apart?

If being a technologically-focused school is important to you, for example, you’ll want to secure OpEd and comment opportunities for your faculty members in technology sections of news outlets and relevant magazines.

Alternatively, perhaps you want to draw attention to your school’s sustainability measures. Are there any new ESG initiatives you can feature? Which publications or journalists might be interested in this?

If done successfully, your school and its faculty will then become the go-to experts for these topics, and students looking to study at a technologically focused business school, for example, will think of your school’s excellent reputation in this area.

Unique selling point

Create compelling stories

Compelling stories are essential if you want to grab the media’s attention. Why is this piece of information important, and why should a journalist care? Is one of your alumni running a life-changing business now, or is one of your faculty members working on some surprising research? Is your business school doing something unique with AI?

Think about what’s relevant to the publication’s research and what a journalist might find interesting.

Identify key spokespeople

To be more involved in media opportunities, you must also identify key spokespeople in your institution who would be willing to participate – faculty members, current students or alumni, for example. These individuals should be experts in their subject matter, have strong communication skills, and have enough flexibility in their schedule to talk to members of the press.

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As a business school, growing your media visibility can be both frustrating and incredibly rewarding. Sometimes, the stories that are creating buzz in your community might not be interesting to the international press. On the other hand, a piece of research that you didn’t think was remarkable can go viral unexpectedly.

At BlueSky Education, unpredictability is part of what we love about the media. Of course, if you know what makes a good story, you’re much more likely to be successful in securing the best media opportunities. That’s why we support business schools around the world in building and retaining their reputations in the media.

If your institution would benefit from PR and media relations support around media visibility, contact BlueSky Education today.


Author: Chloë Lane

Chloë was previously Content Editor for QS Top Universities and QS Top MBA, Chloë produced over 400 articles during her four years at the world’s largest international higher education network. With additional experience writing for trade media, she is also formally qualified with a Level 5 Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

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