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Generating Media Coverage & Positioning Thought Leaders Through a Multifaceted PR Campaign

American University's Kogod School of Business

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Generating Media Coverage & Positioning Thought Leaders Through a Multifaceted PR Campaign
The Opportunity 

The Business & Entertainment (BAE) program at American University’s Kogod School of Business, launched in 2013, has become one of the business school’s fastest-growing and most successful programs. BAE graduates have gone on to successful careers in film, television, and music at entertainment giants like Paramount+, The Daily Show, NBC/Universal, SONY WMG, and more. 

The BAE program is anchored by top-notch faculty comprising distinguished academics and renowned industry experts. In 2023, the BAE program also proudly celebrated its first graduate to be included in Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 for Music, a testament to the exceptional quality of this unique program and its leaders. 

To celebrate the remarkable achievements and undeniable success of the BAE program, Kogod wanted to increase the program’s public profile and footprint—which many at the school felt didn’t fully match the program’s excellence. This presented a unique opportunity to communicate the BAE story more effectively, especially amid a historic year for the entertainment industry and the BAE Program’s milestone 10th anniversary. We also learned in October that Kogod’s BAE program was going to be recognized by Billboard Magazine as a 2023 Top Music Business School. Collaborating with the Kogod marketing team, we carefully crafted a strategy encompassing public relations and integrated marketing. This approach aimed to not only amplify the program’s visibility but also highlight its exceptional faculty, initiatives, and tangible student outcomes.  

The Strategy 

Our approach involved a thorough discovery process, followed by a complex strategy comprising proactive media outreach, engaging storytelling, and strategic content distribution, ensuring that our client’s achievements, innovations, and industry insights were prominently featured in high-visibility publications. 

As a key part of our discovery process, we familiarized ourselves with the BAE faculty, gaining a deep understanding of their expertise, passions, and professional backgrounds. Simultaneously, we immersed ourselves in the business and entertainment news cycle, continuously monitoring trends, breaking stories, and forecasting larger industry opportunities.  

Recognizing such a pivotal year in the entertainment business, we created opportunities to insert the Kogod BAE faculty into trending narratives, thereby generating exposure for the program, positioning faculty as thought-leaders, and overall increasing international awareness for the brand. Our objective was to promote Kogod’s unique expertise in entertainment business education and enhance the reputation of the BAE program among key stakeholders like prospective students, prospective employers, alumni, and entertainment industry figures. 

We identified several key narratives that would serve as the crux of this campaign, including Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, the WGA strike, and record-breaking box-office premiers. Coupled with thoughtfully curated profiles of the talented BAE faculty, we developed compelling pitches to key reporters and media outlets, offering fresh perspectives from industry veterans on headline stories. With carefully targeted media lists and personalized outreach, our team connected the Kogod BAE faculty with leading reporters and outlets, securing impactful and far-reaching media coverage.  

The Result 

Over the course of the year, this multifaceted campaign generated a significant amount of coverage, attention, and praise for the BAE program. We generated dozens of stories, which led to more than $3.3 million in Ad Equivalency Value, and more than 5,000 engagements on social media posts sharing the original story from these news organizations and publications. 

By positioning the BAE Program and its faculty as thought leaders and innovators in entertainment education, Kogod has cemented its strong and lasting reputation among key stakeholders in the entertainment space. The coverage that we generated for the BAE faculty members has tremendously expanded the program’s media presence, reaching new audiences on a global level. We secured opportunities for Kogod faculty in prestigious publications such as USA Today, the L.A. Business Journal, and The Current, pushing their insights and the Kogod brand to millions of eyeballs. We also tapped into other media avenues, placing faculty on prime-time news broadcasts and even in a Snapchat episode series. After the Billboard ranking was announced, we facilitated national media coverage and arranged an exclusive interview with BAE Program Director John Simson and a prominent news station in D.C. to discuss the program at a high-level. 

This has been a monumental year for the Business and Entertainment (BAE) Program at American University’s Kogod School of Business, with continued increases in enrollment, new and accomplished faculty members, and a prestigious Billboard Magazine ranking. By combining all this news under the umbrella of the program’s 10th anniversary, we delivered a comprehensive narrative that resulted in more meaningful, impactful and consistent coverage, stakeholder engagement, and brand awareness.  

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