A Major University: Improving Ranking
Challenge: A nationally recognized university wanted to increase its U.S News and World Report rankings for its engineering graduate school, by increasing its peer review score, a subjective score based on knowledge of the school.
Objective: To provide input for the development of communications targeted at ranking participants (Engineering school Deans and department heads), ultimately to generate greater knowledge and familiarity within the university’s engineering school.
Solution: Two phases of exploratory research were conducted, including a first phase which focused on the top 100 Engineering schools, and a second phase conducted two years later which included an expanded audience of the lower 100 schools. Specifically, ranking participants were probed on key influencers/sources of information on engineering schools, perceptions of engineering schools in the marketplace, and the university’s strengths/messages that would drive a positive ranking/assessment of its engineering school.
Result: The study provided insight into the ranking process, and Plan-it made recommendations for communications strategies and tactics to increase awareness/familiarity and improve perceptions of the university’s engineering school among key influencers of the U.S. News and World Report ranking. As a result of the study, the engineering school’s ranking increased by 3 spots.