Cultivating a National Brand for a All-Women’s University
Client: Bay Path University
Bay Path University, a private, nonprofit all-women’s university in western Massachusetts, wanted to develop a communications plan that integrated its traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, its One-Day-a-Week program for students working toward their degree at their own pace, and its online degree program, The American Women’s College. With so many programs to promote, message development needed to be a cornerstone of the communications strategy developed by SA. To launch the campaign, SA capitalized on three groundbreaking announcements that catapulted Bay Path University onto the national stage. Among these communiques was the University’s change of status from a college to a university. Bay Path also received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of a “First in the World” grant. Finally, Bay Path’s President Dr. Carol Leary received an invitation to the White House College Opportunity Summit to visit with President Obama, Vice President Biden and First Lady Michele Obama to learn more about their plans to attract more students to apply to and enroll in U.S. universities.
- Meet with Bay Path leaders to create messaging that clarified the difference between each of Bay Path University’s degree programs.
- Promote Bay Path University’s groundbreaking announcements through media relations and social media campaigns.
- Position Bay Path University President Dr. Carol Leary and faculty members as thought leaders relating to breaking news in their areas of expertise.
- Establish Dr. Carol Leary as an expert source on national education news, especially news related to all-women’s education.
Strategies and Execution:
- Arranged intake sessions at Bay Path University and developed a message guide and story ideas to use in promoting the school.
- Developed media alerts and press releases for Bay Path University’s three major national announcements.
- Developed 20 pitches and conducted strategic outreach to local, national and international outlets based on the news of the day and the ongoing events taking place at Bay Path.
- Secured six meetings with top tier national and Boston media outlets to introduce Dr. Carol Leary and the Bay Path story. These outlets included: Inside Higher Ed, U.S. News & World Report, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Globe, Good Morning America and The Wall Street Journal.
- Drafted and secured two op-eds on behalf of Bay Path University.
- Developed social media posts promoting each media placement.
The SA media relations and social media campaigns supported the innovative programs and initiatives developed by the Bay Path University executive team, ensuring that Bay Path continues to distinguish and differentiate itself on the national education stage. During the intake sessions, SA discovered Bay Path’s unique selling proposition: the university empowers women of all backgrounds to use education to improve their lives. SA wove this message of empowerment into all communications to set Bay Path University apart. The meetings with leadership and faculty provided SA with a better sense of what each Bay Path degree program offers, and made it easier to pitch media about each of these programs. SA was able to secure media placements promoting Bay Path University’s three major national announcements, and highlighting the expertise of its professors, in major media outlets including:
- The Associated Press
- U.S. News & World Report
- Bloomberg Television
- International Business Times
- The Boston Globe
- The Boston Herald
- New England Journal of Higher Education
Of the six media meetings SA secured for Dr. Carol Leary, two of these outlets, U.S. News & World Report andThe Boston Globe, have already covered Bay Path.
SA has secured 15 online and print placements totaling 72,349,361 impressions and 5 broadcast placements reaching over 363,000,000 households.
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