Impacting Rankings for Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh

Impacting Rankings for Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh


The Challenge: Increase Katz Business School rankings through raising awareness of programs and positioning of faculty as thought leaders

The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh (Katz) recruited an agency partner to help improve their position in business school rankings by increasing the school’s visibility 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 its various audiences, most important of which was local, regional and national media.

Our Approach: Leveraging SA’s unique approach to editorial planning, we developed an integrated media campaign that was designed to insert Katz, the Dean and the school’s faculty into the national business school spotlight

Traditionally, the conversation and coverage about business schools focus on either West or East Coast schools. As the Dean put it, “People fly over Pittsburgh” and we want our administration and faculty to be not only be part of this dialogue, but positioned as experts within their respective fields.

SA hosted a series of editorial planning sessions where we interviewed the Dean and faculty, discussing their specific areas of expertise and research. SA used this intelligence, combined with our knowledge of how the media works, to establish these experts as sources for exclusive pitches. Instead of pitching one story to a variety of outlets, SA developed personalized pitches for specific outlets which are often times geared toward individual reporters. The idea was to provide our local, regional and national media contacts with original content that was timely and relevant to their focus area.

This reverse newsroom approach resulted in a continuous stream of media opportunities, feature articles and guest blog post opportunities for the Dean and the faculty.

Financial-Times-7.11Results: Secured over 1 billion media impressions in multiple national and local media outlets, increasing the ranking of University of Pittsburgh and Katz Graduate School of Business in multiple media outlets

To date, SA has secured over one billion media impressions for the Katz School of Business. Coverage includes The Wall Street JournalFortuneForbes and CNBC as well as stories in Katz’s local print and broadcast media, including the Pittsburgh Post-GazettePittsburgh Business TimesPittsburgh Tribune-ReviewNPR Pittsburgh and KDKA-TV. Additionally, SA coordinated desk-side, in-person media briefings with business school ranking outlets including Bloomberg BusinessweekFinancial TimesU.S. News and World Report and Poets & Quants.

The rankings for both the University of Pittsburgh and the Katz Graduate School of Business increased during SA’s engagement with the school. According to U.S. News & World Report in 2014, the University of Pittsburgh ranked as number 24 among U.S. public schools and number 39 overall, an increase from number 27 and number 47 respectively in the previous year. This increase is one of the biggest improvements of all the schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report. According to the Economist, the Katz MBA was first in the U.S. and fifth worldwide in return on investment with a 42 percent return after a year. The school also experienced an increase in rankings in the Financial Times.

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