University Innovation Alliance

A bold new alliance breaks out

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The Challenge

Higher education is steeped in notions of competitiveness, so when eleven large research universities formed an alliance to increase the number and diversity of U.S. college graduates through collaboration, it needed to ensure its messages would find the right audience of change makers and influencers. Another challenge was how to create a coherent voice for the group—one that would break through and be distinct from all the individual players involved.

The Solution

The University Innovation Alliance needed a true thought leadership level approach, so DoubleKnown got busy defining the various personas it would need to reach, then designed a brand journalism and social media program that would speak to them. A robust cadence of content highlighted the brilliant work the organization’s trailblazers were doing to remove boundaries for low income and first generation students. DoubleKnown also began to feature the students themselves more strongly, bringing a resonant emotional element to the work, especially around graduation time.

The Results

In the first seven months of DoubleKnown’s work for UIA, its social media audience grew organically over 800 percent and its weekly impressions on the social web spiked by nearly 200 percent. DoubleKnown helped to attract a vibrant audience of higher ed change makers and proactively secured verified status for the UIA. All this brought a 90 percent jump in the number of tier one journalists among the UIA’s followers including reporters from USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Politico, and US News and World Report.

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