Deploying the Power of Publicity to Increase Brand Awareness and Drive Student Enrollment

Traditional Public Relations
Stratford University

Situation: Stratford University, a small for-profit University with a location in Falls Church. Woodbridge and Richmond, VA and Baltimore, MD.

Objective: As Stratford was planning its expansion into new markets, the organization wanted to increase their presence on a local, regional and national basis by securing editorial coverage to accompany their existing advertising efforts.

Approach: BWF strategized a plan to leverage the works of the University’ Culinary Arts and Hospitality, Health Sciences, Nursing, Business Administration, and Information Technology departments to develop creative story pitches. These pitches were targeted to television, radio, newspaper and online publications.  BWF worked with various university department heads and instructors to match classroom curriculum with relevant news and lifestyle issues. BWF also positioned the staff and faculty as industry experts, available to offer professional-level commentary on timely issues. The BWF team also developed publicity campaigns surrounding all of the universities’ newsworthy event and major announcement as a way to gain exposure. For example, when Stratford announced in August 2011 their merger with Baltimore International College; BWF worked with the Baltimore Sun, ABC News and the Baltimore Business Journal to secure coverage. BWF was also instrumental with Stratford’s rebranding efforts in 2009, and helped to develop the new tagline “Just start it, we will help you finish.”

Results:Since our engagement in 2009, BWF has secured thousands of influential media hits. Some standout items included a cooking segment with NBC’s TODAY show, a radio segment with Martha Stewart Radio, a piece on the school’s Kids In the Kitchen summer camp in USA Today, and an article with the nursing department on choosing safe holiday toys for AOL Latino.

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