3 minute read

How PR boosts university events

So, you’re hosting a webinar, summit or debate at your institution. And you want to make it a success, instead of it becoming… forgotten about. The tools in your arsenal? Maybe some impressive stage lights…some fancy dinners… a celebrity guest?

Events at universities and business schools are crucial, and PR can play a key role in making them successful. Speaking to a few members of our team, we outline why and how PR can be a key tool to boosting your event, such as getting more attention, keeping people interested in the long-term, and showing off what makes your university or business school special.

 

Getting the word out

First of all, the obvious one, PR can make sure your university events get noticed by the media. Whether this is through press releases, organising press conferences, or pitching to the media, using PR can help spread the word about your event and make it more credible. "PR professionals can help promote events at universities by ensuring the most relevant journalists are invited,” highlights Kyle Grizzell, one of our Senior Account Managers. “This allows individuals from target media to become more familiar with your institution and potentially lead to features in articles they write in the future."

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Reaching out to journalists is not as daunting as it might seem! If your event is directly relevant to their work, and they may get some unique or useful insights, most are keen to attend.

Building the university's reputation

Every event is a chance for the university to share its values, achievements, and contributions. But PR is not a short-term strategy, and prolonged work for your events can help establish them as part of your brand, cultivating a greater audience who will be interested in attending. After all… an event with an unengaged audience is like a story without readers.

PR can be a useful tool to promote events at universities and business schools. It can help universities increase attendance, improve the institution’s brand visibility and encourage media coverage,” says Chloë Lane, our Senior Account Executive.

“A well-crafted press release for example, will give the media the key information they need to attend and cover the event. PR can also help to generate buzz and attention among the participants, perhaps through an effective social media campaign which reaches lots of potential attendees. PR will also help universities secure more coverage for the event –something that will have a longer lasting impact after the event.”

chloe

Without a PR plan, expanding beyond your existing audience might prove challenging. However, by engaging with the media, you can convert their readers into your own followers. This in turn has long-term benefits…

Creating an after-effect

PR isn't just about one event. It's about building relationships with people over time. By sharing updates, new events, and more content, PR keeps audiences interested beyond the one event itself. Didn’t get any attention for your event? That doesn’t mean the opportunity is gone, as you can share interesting takeaways and findings with relevant journalists. They may not have been able to attend, but that doesn’t mean your guests and faculty won’t be of interest to them.

PR is an excellent way to promote your event,” re-emphasises Senior Account Executive Georgina Tierney. “Whether mentioning your event in an article, or utilising relationships to invite relevant journalists, using PR will help spread the news of your event far and wide, which will draw in the right audience and ensure your event is a raging success!”

georgina

Case study: INSEAD Americas Conference 2023

We supported INSEAD in gaining media visibility for their annual Americas Conference held at their San Francisco hub in November 2023. We invited a few journalists, and as a result, secured coverage in this Reuters article following the event.

With nearly 200 republications of the article across platforms and languages, the event has gained substantial exposure, effectively amplifying its key messages. By featuring the involvement of a prominent business like OpenAI, coupled with PR, INSEAD were able to attract attention from a much broader audience. We were thrilled with the results!

 

Overall, PR boosts your events by making sure they last well beyond their closing speech. Want to know how we can help you engage with the media? Get in touch now!


team photos (4)Author: Alexandre Lopez

Having studied at top institutions including Sciences Po, City University of Hong Kong, Oxford Brookes University, KIMEP University and having completed his Masters at the University of St Andrews, Alex’s insider knowledge means that he genuinely understands the inner workings of universities and higher education institutions. Alex has won awards for his academic writing and is fluent in both English and French, and proficient in Spanish.

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