Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

The Client

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, an MBA program designed for mid-level professionals and taught by working executives.

The Challenge

In the Chicago metro market, there is immense competition among universities offering MBA programs, as well as various graduate level certificate programs in management. As “one of many,” Lake Forest Graduate School of Management had no truly distinct message to lift them above the fray and position them with the students they needed to attract. Recruitment and enrollment goals were steep. General awareness among targeted populations had to play a critical role in CBD’s plan to deliver a fully integrated solution to Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

The Fix

CBD’s PR and social media teams worked in collaboration with our marketing teams to provide Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and its Corporate Education unit with a holistic approach to gaining awareness in a saturated market.

  • Storytelling played a big role. We linked Lake Forest stories with trending topics; A Lake Forest professor talked to TV media about his views on a study about marketing branded food products; a married couple attending the school were interviewed on TV about their investment in education in a recessionary climate.
  • We publicized a unique “Write Your Own Future” contest that gave away a free MBA to a needs-based student who had been laid off
  • Speaking engagements for the president and key staff, publicizing author visits and recruitment events
  • Launching a new iMBA program rounded out the PR engagement spanning several years
  • Created international business events and secured sponsorships from BusinessWeek and other premium partners

The Results

  • Two new marketing campaigns helped deliver stellar enrollment results, even during a down economy—a 33 percent jump in MBA preview participation and a 15 percent increase in enrollment
  • Millions of earned media impressions from news stories, features and other PR initiatives supported and enhanced every marketing objective
  • Migration of international business event participants to MBA candidates surpassed leads from regular open house events in both volume and quality

CBD PR & Social Media services:

  • Media relations (consumer and higher education/business media)
  • Media training
  • Press conferences
  • Press kits
  • Press releases, including distribution
  • Feature stories in metro and community news
  • Case study content
  • Social media consulting
  • Event planning
  • Trade show support
  • Tracking and ROI reporting