Comprehensive Media Relations and Thought Leadership Campaign for Business School in Pittsburgh

Comprehensive Media Relations and Thought Leadership Campaign for Business School in Pittsburgh

Client: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh

Overview/Situation Analysis:

In May 2013, the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh (Katz) sought an outside partner to help improve their position in business school rankings with top-tier media. Schneider Associates (SA) was retained as the agency of record and immediately went to work, raising the profile of the school among students, alumni, faculty and the media to reach our goal.

SA brought an integrated approach to the assignment, melding together media relations, social media and marketing to tell the school’s success story, supported by the thought leadership of the esteemed faculty and Dean. Our program was designed to increase awareness of the business school within the University of Pittsburgh, throughout Pennsylvania and across the country. And during the first 90 days, the integrated campaign achieved significant results through media coverage and an elevated social media presence.


  • Raise awareness of Katz’s unique approach to experience-based learning through securing top-tier business, vertical and local Pittsburgh media coverage.
  • Position the Dean and faculty as thought leaders in their respective areas of expertise through strategic media sourcing opportunities with top-tier, business and local Pittsburgh media.
  • Enhance Katz’s social media presence, while driving engagement for the school with existing students, potential students and the media by developing a community management process.

Strategies and Tactics:

  • Conducted a two-day discovery session with the Dean, Associate Dean and the Katz faculty at the University of Pittsburgh to identify story ideas and future trends to prepare the faculty for high profile interviews with top-tier, business, vertical and local Pittsburgh media.
  • Conducted a Pittsburgh-area media tour to establish Katz faculty as the go-to source for a variety of local business stories.
  • Conducted media tours in New York City and Washington D.C. to introduce Katz to the national media who produce regular business school rankings.
  • Introduced Katz experts to SA’s national print, broadcast and online media contacts to position them as valuable sources for upcoming stories and future trends.
  • Secured a monthly guest blogging opportunity for Dean John Delaney with the Huffington Post, a first for the business school.
  • Developed a monthly editorial approach that featured strong pitch angles to fit within the context of larger business stories so that Katz’s programs were featured and faculty were leveraged as sources.
  • Conducted a social media audit of all Katz competitors that showed the school where the opportunity was to engage with prospective students and became the genesis of our community management strategy and content marketing campaign.
  • Provided a robust monthly publishing calendar to boost the school’s visibility across seven social media properties on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, collectively.
  • Created a community management guidebook to help the internal marketing team have a better understanding of how to manage their social media channels in a manner that impacted brand awareness, enrollment and engagement with top-tier media.
  • Provided ongoing strategic counsel relating to social network changes such as the launch of University Pages for LinkedIn and the use of Instagram as a visual engagement tool for existing students.


In the first 90 days, SA secured a monthly guest blogging opportunity for the Dean on the Huffington Post and media coverage with top-tier outlets, including Forbes and CNBC. Additionally, we secured coverage in Katz’s local media, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review andthe Philadelphia Inquirer. Additionally, SA coordinated desk-side, in-person media briefings with Bloomberg Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal for Katz Dean John Delaney.

SA secured more than 178 million total impressions through traditional media relations and social media for the business school in the first 90 days of our engagement. Not only did we enhance Katz’s digital presence, we began telling its story as a leader in experience-based learning and business acumen, both locally and nationally.

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