The Alumni Factor, A New College Ranking Platform Launched in September 2012

The Alumni Factor, A New College Ranking Platform Launched in September 2012

Client: The Alumni Factor, a new college ranking platform launched in September 2012


  • Create brand awareness (through traditional and social media) of The Alumni Factor’s new college rankings platform and its value in helping students select a college.
  • Launch The Alumni Factor as a major player in the college selection space by positioning the company as a go-to source for data and insights into college and university performance.
  • Generate national media coverage about The Alumni Factor.
  • Support The Alumni Factor’s business goals by driving website traffic.
  • Distinguish The Alumni Factor among the already highly saturated college ranking marketplace, which includes established and aggressive players U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review.
  • Build credibility for The Alumni Factor which was a startup and compiled its data anonymously.
  • Prepare for the potential refutation  of  The Alumni Factor’s surprising rankings by colleges and universities that placed uncharacteristically high or low.

51r5LXm+CML._SX387_BO1,204,203,200_Strategies and Tactics:

  • Social Media: To drive traffic directly to The Alumni Factor’s website and introduce the college rankings system, SA created and implemented an aggressive publishing calendar, fueled engagement and empowered early “endorsers” via a Facebook page and Twitter handle, initiated by SA.
  • To increase interest, SA put a unique spin on college football games and the 2012 election races.
  • Content on the social media platforms included “Football Face-off,” which compared game day results to The Alumni Factor’s rankings to see if the score would be different if based on alumni feedback.
  • Leading up to the 2012 election, SA also shared predictions of the race winners based on a candidate’s alma ranking on The Alumni Factor.

Media Relations:

  • SA’s main strategy was to engage early on a select number of prominent higher education reporters/editors and offer a “semi-exclusive” opportunity to cover The Alumni Factor prior to its launch.
  • By convincing an influential and respected media representative giving The Alumni Factor consideration, the college ranking system gained credibility.

Launch Timing:

  • SA was proactive and preempted the release of other rankings by launching The Alumni Factor weeks before competitors published their annual lists.
  • By doing so, The Alumni Factor received standalone attention instead of sole coverage in college ranking round-up stories.


  • The campaign drove 92 percent of traffic to The Alumni Factor website.

Learn more about our launch services here.