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How to boost applications to your EMBA using PR

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 more specialised programmes, such as a Master of Management in Energy or a Master in Auditing. A postgraduate course offered at many different business schools is the Executive MBA (EMBA), a degree programme specifically designed for corporate executives and senior managers.

With any business school programme, you will want to ensure there is a high enough number of applicants for your EMBA. This is where PR can be vital; business schools can use PR for a number of different reasons depending on the goals they have set out. One such goal is to increase applications and recruitment to a specific programme.

Here are some ways in which PR can help your institution enhance its media presence and boost applications to your institution’s EMBA:

Successful graduates and participants

Before buying any product, you want to read reviews and see how it has worked out for others. The same can be applied to business school programmes. When exploring which EMBA course and business school to apply to, candidates will want to see the possible results that can be achieved with such a qualification.

For this, it is useful to feature successful EMBA graduates from your school in the media. Perhaps you have a graduate who went on to start their own successful business or who used the skills from their EMBA to make meaningful change within their company. For example, an EMBA graduate of BI Norwegian Business School was able to feature their profile in the Financial Times, explaining what they perceived as the most important lessons learnt from the programme.

As well as providing examples of what graduates have achieved thanks to the programme, it can also be useful to demonstrate the calibre of candidates that choose to study the EMBA in the first place. This provides an insight for potential applicants as to the type of individuals they will be surrounding themselves with if they choose to study at your institution.

Typically, EMBA candidates are relatively senior in their fields and can have quite a few years, if not a decade or so, of work experience under their belt before embarking on the programme. Many may have already carved impressive career paths or worked for world-renowned companies before choosing your institutions as the place to embark on their EMBA.

Faculty expertise and research

Sharing the expertise and world-class research your institution produces is a great way to demonstrate to potential applicants why they should choose the course at your institution. This is incredibly useful in instances where an individual might be torn between two or more schools’ EMBA courses, as it helps make your school stand-out by demonstrating the expertise your academics have and can share with EMBA candidates.

For example, a researcher from WU Executive Academy, who is also a Senior Lecturer on their Global Executive MBA, featured their expertise in Forbes, discussing good leadership qualities.

When it comes to academics sharing opinions and expertise, it is important to have good news sense, understanding which topics, research and academic opinions might be particularly newsworthy. Linking expertise with a current or trending news topic is more likely to succeed in attracting interest from journalists.

Promote rankings

Rankings highlight and compare numerous aspects of a school including gender balance, salary before and after graduating, employment prospects, and more. A number of publications publish well-respected EMBA rankings each year, including QS and the Financial Times, which many potential candidates will consult to see how each course could help them progress.

EMBA graduate and student stories in high-profile publications, accompanied by your own school’s ranking achievements, is a fantastic way to demonstrate to prospective applicants how studying on your EMBA can advance their careers.

Interesting aspects of the course

Your EMBA programme might have aspects to it that make it stand out amongst other schools’ courses, whether that’s the opportunity for trips abroad, practical consultancy projects, or unusual and interesting electives. You should ensure that business school journalists are aware of these aspects of your course and have students, graduates, and faculty express why they are useful to the modern business world and how they have helped graduates in their careers.

For example, Aalto University Executive Education and Professional Development (Aalto EE) described the benefits of their EMBA, amongst other courses, offering coaching as part of their programme in EFMD.

Events

Another way in which you can increase the presence of your EMBA programme is by holding events at your school. At these events, you can showcase the research and expertise your school generates, as well as the programmes your expert faculty teach on, including the EMBA. PR can help here by ensuring that the right people, such as journalists from top-tier business and global media, attend these events, potentially writing a piece on your school and your EMBA.


Press Trips Checklist-1

As more and more business schools offer top-class programmes, world-class teaching, and utilise innovative learning tools, competition is increasing. Business schools are even having to compete with organisations other than educational institutions, such as LinkedIn Learning and Google, as they also start offering business courses and programmes.

Due to all this competition, international higher education markets are growing rapidly every year with the task of attracting applicants and standing out amongst institutions becoming more difficult. This is why the most effective resource for any institution when looking to attract applicants could really be their PR and communications team.

To find out more about how we can help promote your Executive MBA and other business school programmes, get in touch with BlueSky Education today!


 

Kyle

Author: Kyle Grizzell

Kyle is experienced in working with leading institutions in far-flung corners of the globe, from London to Kazakhstan. His client list features the likes of the London School of Economics’ Department of Management, ESMT Berlin, BI Norwegian Business School, Nazarbayev University, and many more around the globe.

Originally published August 2021, updated June 2024

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