With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia Business School sought to raise the profiles of its professors and the research they produce with top tier media outlets. With a prestigious reputation in business circles and industry-leading expertise within the faculty, the school sought to further elevate their thought leadership on COVID-19 and its impact on the economy within the top-tier business publications. Additionally, professors producing research on the pandemic wanted to make sure their insights were featured in outlets that shape their respective industries.
During the beginning of the pandemic, SKDK and Columbia Business School used the shift to remote work to adjust strategy – adapting to a primary outreach tactic of sending a weekly tipsheet that reached a press list of over 1,500 reporters and editors. The weekly report offered CBS professors as experts available to comment on current events and trending conversations – a key priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with reporters, SKDK connected professors who could provide important commentary on the consumer mindset, hospital efficiency, vaccine supply, and housing debt, among many other topics. As needed, SKDK also provided media training and tips to help professors to thoroughly prepare for media engagements.
Since the change to weekly tip sheet outreach, SKDK generated more than 250 stories and facilitated more than 400 CBS faculty interviews. Tipsheets featured more than 50 different Columbia Business School professors with different research interests and areas of expertise. During the pandemic, CBS amassed the second largest amount of COVID-related media coverage of any top B-school, and appeared in top media outlets including the Bloomberg News, CNBC, and Marketplace. Professor research was also featured on broadcast programs including CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and Marketplace and in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal and Axios.
Importantly, SKDK generated more than 50 interviews with reporters at Columbia’s top target outlets: The Economist, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Those interviews led to dozens of stories featuring expert commentary.