The Graduate Management Admission Council wanted to attract more undergraduate students in the UK to take the GMAT exam and continue their studies in business. They identified to do this, they would need to create more brand awareness by gaining coverage and links in mainstream press, as well as mass sharing on social media.
To achieve this, we decided to use GMAC’s data along with other sources to take on the issue of gender equality in business around the world. Our research showed this subject would interest their target market, as well as allowing us to position GMAC as a thought leader: unafraid to speak out and take a stance from a considered and responsible viewpoint.
We created an interactive piece which featured over 30 countries, highlighting relevant statistics for each. This included the number of women who took the GMAT exam, and the percentage of women in senior management. We also spoke to businesswomen in as many of the countries as possible, and added their opinions to the piece.
First things first: we got together in front of a whiteboard and came up with as many ideas as we could. Knowing what data GMAC had that we could use in the piece helped to steer us in the right direction. We narrowed all of our ideas down to the three most promising, and discussed these with the client to decide on the final one.
We had our basic idea down, but before we sunk too much time into designing or building the piece, we reached out to journalists and bloggers who we knew would be interested in the topic to get their opinions. We asked them questions like, “Would you publish this piece? How could we improve it?” With enough positive responses – and some really helpful feedback – we knew we could push forward.
With the piece built and tested, it was time to start making sure everyone knew about it! We got back in touch with the journalists we had premarketed the piece to, along with a list of relevant influencers we had researched during the build, asking them to cover it. We wrote these emails individually, too, personalising each one – no spammy bulk mailing to hundreds of people at once! We also picked up the phone to journalists we speak to on a regular basis.
Complimenting this outreach was a paid social campaign, which we ran on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This helped to give coverage on social networks a boost, encouraging more people to talk about it.