Helping Top Asian B-Schools Earn A+ In North America
Four of Asia’s top business schools (China Europe International Business School, Shanghai; HKUST Business School, Hong Kong; Nanyang Business School, Singapore; Indian School of Business, Hyderabad) wanted to increase applicants from North America. All are taught entirely in English, have been attracting faculty from top B-schools worldwide, and have had a steady increase in foreign students. All are ranked among the top 30 in the Financial Times rankings of the Top 100 Business Schools in the world. Despite all of these advantages, the schools are relatively unknown in the United States. Despite the competitive nature of their relationship, the four business schools joined together to try to change that situation and created a joint marketing entity, which they dubbed, “Top Asian Business Schools.”
Bridge was hired for a time- and budget-limited public relations project prior to a recruiting trip to North America planned by the four-school team. Bridge’s role included developing the strategy and plans for a “Top Asian B-School” PR campaign, positioning the schools (Asia’s Ivy League), and media relations. We decided that the best use of our time would be to focus most of our media outreach attention on top media outlets, because they wield a huge amount of influence and are able to create a great deal of online buzz. We arranged media interviews with deans, faculty, students and alumni of all four schools.
The results: long and positive feature articles were published in several influential media outlets, which were then widely discussed and linked to by other news outlets online and by blogs about applying for business school. In the short term, the media coverage and buzz helped drive excellent attendance at the four schools’ North American recruiting events. We expect the media coverage will have lasting long-term impact on the reputations of the four business schools in North America.