Media Relations Campaign Promotes University President’s Trip to White House College Summit

Media Relations Campaign Promotes University President’s Trip to White House College Summit

Media Relations Campaign to Promote University President White House Visit

Client: Bay Path University

Situation Analysis:

Situated in Longmeadow, MA, Bay Path University is an all-women’s university known for its innovative approach to providing educational opportunities for women nationwide. Bay Path’s mission is to help women advance their education and achieve their goals regardless of economic status, age or outside responsibilities. Bay Path’s inventive approach to learning can be seen in its development of the One-Day-a-Week College, which allowed women to earn their undergraduate degree at their own pace by taking classes each Saturday. This model made Bay Path realize the importance of providing educational opportunities to the 76 million women without degrees. Bay Path, in its quest to pioneer revolutionary approaches to women’s education, launched The American Women’s College (TAWC), the first all-women, all-online degree program in the world. The technology at the heart of this new online degree program is an adaptive learning model  called  Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL), which uses learning analytics to give students real-time feedback on their academic performance. SOUL attracted attention from the Department of Education, which awarded a $3.5 million “First in the World” grant to Bay Path University. The national attention earned by this grant allowed Bay Path to secure a highly coveted invitation to the White House College Opportunity Summit. The Summit had a mission of finding ways to get more students enrolled in, and graduating from, college. This is a mission Bay Path shares. President Obama, Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the Summit, which SA leveraged to promote the grant and bring regional and national media attention to the school’s mission of empowering women through education.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the White House College Opportunity Day of Action summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the White House College Opportunity Day of Action summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Objectives:

  • Position Bay Path as a leading institution of higher learning and online education not only in Massachusetts, but across the U.S.
  • Establish Bay Path University President Dr. Carol Leary as a thought leader and expert source to discuss the summit and its implications for women-only education.
  • Cultivate relationships with education reporters, using the summit as a way to introduce Dr. Leary and her expertise on issues relating to women’s education to local, regional and national media.

Strategies & Execution:

Schneider Associates took part in a White House press call that detailed Summit content and logistics. At the Summit, Dr. Leary was joined by education thought leaders and influencers from universities around the country. SA then developed and distributed a press release and media alert to 26 national print, online and broadcast media outlets. SA pitched the media leading up to, during and after the Summit, offering Dr. Leary as a source to discuss her experiences and share how educating women can have a multi-generational positive impact on families. As a result of our media relations efforts, which took place following the White House issuing its press release, SA secured and coordinated three media opportunities for Dr. Leary with local print and broadcast outlets, achieving the goal of positioning Dr. Leary as an expert voice on the Summit and on the topic of educating women. In each of these opportunities, Dr. Leary was the only college president from Massachusetts who was interviewed.

Results:

SA secured 15,172,972 online impressions and reached 3 million homes via broadcast through the coverage surrounding Dr. Leary’s White House College Opportunity Summit visit:

With just four days to develop and implement a media relations plan for the Summit, SA produced results that not only positioned Dr. Leary as a national thought leader on women’s education, but also provided Bay Path with the long overdue recognition the university deserves as a powerful force in higher education.

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