Driving Inbound Media Inquiries Through a Faculty Thought Leadership Blog

Driving Inbound Media Inquiries Through a Faculty Thought Leadership Blog

Driving Inbound Media Inquiries for MIT Sloan

Client: MIT Sloan School of Management


MIT-Sloan-Logo_NEWSituation Analysis:

The MIT Sloan School of Management partnered with Schneider Associates to promote its Faculty Experts Blog and establish it as a resource hub for journalists worldwide. Additionally, MIT Sloan also asked SA to develop a social media program that:

  1. Promoted blog content;
  2. Drove engagement with followers;
  3. Increased traffic to MIT’s expert sources; and,
  4. Expanded the blog’s readership.

To meet MIT Sloan’s needs, SA developed an integrated methodology called Media LEAD, designed to reengineer the media relations process by driving inbound inquiries through content marketing and real-time social media engagement.

Using Media LEAD, SA sends weekly blog topics about timely or relevant news and issues topics to MIT Sloan. The director of media relations reviews the topics and either has SA draft the content or has the appropriate professors draft the blog posts on these subjects.

To secure coverage, SA develops a series of Tweets aimed at particular reporters and editors at top tier global traditional and online media outlets. Once a placement is secured through social media or by way of traditional pitching that is executed by the MIT media team and is then published on the media’s website, each blog post is summarized on the experts blog. All blog posts are promoted again through Twitter and LinkedIn over the course of the following two weeks (based on the popularity of the topic). By targeting specific reporters and editors, these blog posts provide a catalog of topics that MIT Sloan professors can discuss. Often this process results in ongoing inbound media inquiries for the school.

In effect, the MIT Sloan Experts blog has become a newsroom in its own right, populated with articles about trending news topics that showcase the wide range and variety of MIT faculty expertise.

After nine months, SA expanded the program to include video posts. Journalists are not only looking for sources but are eager to use content on air from experts that can be obtained through Skype, Google Hangouts and traditional video segments. The MIT Faculty Experts Blog now features a library of expert commentary that can be used for online news coverage, b-roll for broadcast segments or sound bites for podcasts.

Objectives:

  • Establish the MIT Sloan Experts Blog as a hub for national media seeking expert sources.
  • Establish MIT Sloan professors as thought-leaders in their respective fields.
  • Source MIT Sloan professors as thought-leaders for top-tier national news outlets.

Strategies and Tactics:

  • Conduct weekly news scans to identify topics related to the school and expertise of its faculty: accounting, climate change, corporate strategy, economics, energy, entrepreneurship, finance, health care, human resources, information technology, international management, labor, law, leadership, marketing, operations management and statistics.
  • Generate five (5) weekly blog post ideas. Send topics to the MIT Sloan media relations team for review. The MIT Sloan media relations team then identifies and secures professors willing to write blog posts on these topics.
  • The MIT Sloan media relations team sends the faculty blog posts to national media outlets for placement, while the SA team supports the effort through targeted social media engagement.
  • SA publishes the blog posts on the MIT Sloan Experts blog once they run on these national news outlets.
  • SA promotes the blog posts on Twitter and LinkedIn to drive traffic to the blog.
  • SA uses Twitter to reach national media, encouraging them to follow the blog and use MIT Sloan professors as expert sources.
  • SA optimizes posts for search and manages all back-end functionality of the blog to ensure continued content optimization.

Measurement and Results:

SA’s development and promotion of blog topics resulted in notable media placements in national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Forbes, FortuneTechCrunch, Yahoo! Tech, Wired, Fast Company,Financial Times, Xconomy, MarketWatch and Quartz.

Since the inception of the Media LEAD program, media placements featuring MIT Sloan faculty increased by 76 percent from 204 to 361 over the span of one year. Additionally, 71 of the 155 topics SA developed were placed in top tier media outlets, while the entire effort has increased inbound media inquiries by 40 percent. Lastly, the MIT Sloan Experts blog is the second largest driver of referral traffic to the entire MIT Sloan website and the volume of media coverage outpaces that of MIT Sloan’s Ivy League counterparts.

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