Media Relations Campaign Helps a Leading Graduate College Earn Regional and National Media Coverage

Media Relations Campaign Helps a Leading Graduate College Earn Regional and National Media Coverage

Ending the Silence: Driving Awareness About Mental Health from a Leading College of Psychology 

Client: William James College, f.k.a. Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

Situation Analysis: 

The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) sought an experienced integrated media agency to help garner local and national media coverage for the school and faculty as well as increase visibility in the regional and national mental health community. Schneider Associates (SA) was retained as the agency of record and immediately went to work, introducing the school and pitching story ideas to the media. Additionally, SA was tasked with helping MSPP develop a media strategy and launch a program to communicate the change of the school’s name to William James College, in honor of the father of modern psychology. The name change signified the growth of the college as a leader in educating mental health professionals for over 45 years.

SA developed a comprehensive media relations strategy that featured pitches about MSPP timed to breaking news events; long-term story ideas reflective of the college’s focus on children’s mental health, diversity and veterans’ mental health; press releases about events hosted or sponsored by the college (including a gubernatorial forum of Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates); and assistance with drafting op-eds and letters to the editor about mental health issues.

The media coverage SA secured has led to heightened awareness of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, both regionally and nationally, and drove inbound inquiries from print and broadcast outlets looking for mental health experts. Additionally, SA was instrumental in the development and roll-out of the name change transition program to William James College.

Objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the mental health expertise of MSPP and its faculty through securing top-tier regional and national media coverage.
  • Establish MSPP faculty as thought leaders in the mental health field, both regionally and nationally.
  • Develop and execute a launch plan for MSPP to change its name to William James College.

Strategies & Execution: 

  • Conducted multiple discovery sessions with MSPP leadership and faculty to identify story ideas and trends in mental health.
  • Conducted four (4) media training sessions to prepare MSPP faculty for print and broadcast interviews.
  • Coordinated and staffed print, online and broadcast interviews for MSPP leadership and faculty to discuss mental health topics.
  • Provided live social media coverage of events including the MSPP gala and the Gubernatorial Forum.
  • Coordinated media coverage and supervised the media at events including the MSPP gala and the Gubernatorial Forum.
  • Drafted contributed columns and letters to the editor for school administration, faculty and students.

Results:

During the first nine months working with MSPP, SA secured 60 notable local and national media placementsin publications like: The Huffington Post, BBC.com, Today.com, U.S. News & World Report and the Chicago Tribune. SA also secured regional media opportunities with publications including: The Boston Globe, The Boston Business Journal, New England Cable News, Fox 25, WBZ Radio and the WBUR CommonHealth Blog. The overall program resulted in 75 million impressions in just over a year as well as created various inbound media inquires from reporters seeking expert commentary from MSPP thought leaders.

These placements helped MSPP establish its leadership, faculty and students as media-savvy thought leaders in the mental health field, capable of discussing long-lead and breaking news stories. The effort also helped keep mental health in the public dialogue and allowed MSPP to showcase its 45 years of success in training today’s psychologists to deal with the growing list of complex patient issues.

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