Darden School of Business: University of Virginia

The school

Darden is the business school of the University of Virginia in the USA. Founded in 1954 and based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the school is consistently highly ranked by both the Financial Times and the Economist.

The challenge

The school had made the decision to launch a new Global EMBA or executive MBA , which would feature study trips to key commercial markets around the world. World-class faculty would join participants on these trips to share local insight and experience and to help foster a truly international mindset. Participants would also work on cases studies based around specific features of the target markets such as family businesses in Brazil, the supportive banking system in Germany and the French luxury goods sector. Although this would be a new programme in a very crowded and competitive arena, Darden was keen to work towards a level of recognition and perception equivalent to that enjoyed by its full-time MBA and to emphasise the value of the teaching model.

The solution

BlueSky worked with Darden to develop a clear set of messages for the programme launch. We then set up interviews with journalists on a ‘pre-study’ trip involving both the programme director and key members of faculty. Journalist were offered the opportunity either to conduct a conventional interview with these representatives or to take part in the course themselves. We also successfully pitched the idea of a ‘student diary’ documenting the experiences of participants.

The results

The campaign generated significant interest from the media including:

  • An article in The Economist examining the programme’s  work on management styles in Brazil
  • An interview on the international TV network, France 24
  • A student diary featuring the French and German trips in The Economist
  • A feature in Germany’s Handelsblatt

What the client says

"We were very pleased with the top-tier interviews you secured. Truly spectacular media."

Julie Daum, Senior Director of Communication - Darden School of Business