“Sherman Communications has provided excellent ideas to promote our institution. It is a high-energy company that has listened to our needs and goals. Jason and his team are a pleasure to work with. They have produced several high-impact media stories for the Academy. We remain a very satisfied client.”

Duncan Webb, academic dean, American Academy of Art

 

Background

Founded in 1923, the American Academy of Art (http://www.aaart.edu) has trained and educated some of the nation’s most prominent and prolific fine artists and illustrators. It offers four-year, accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs in nine disciplines. In the summer of 2008, the Academy hired SCM as its PR agency of record to help tell its story to key audiences, leverage existing news and activities, and elevate its image.

 

PROBLEM

The Academy had done very little media outreach prior to hiring SCM and was either not well known and/or it was thought of as “that old art school” by area news outlets. It also competes with more than five other Chicago-based art schools.

SOLUTION / ACTIVITIES

We conceived and executed many projects, ranging from developing foundational PR media materials, creating a launch strategy for a new photography program, spearheading a major PR push around the annual distinguished alumnus award winners, writing and editing many dozens of stories

for the Academy’s e-newsletters and annual print newsletters shared with 30k+ recipients, promoting achievements of individual students and graduates, helping to conceive and launch an e-newsletter to regularly engage all key audiences, creating a strategy for more effectively reaching and engaging high school students, and much more.

RESULTS

We have secured two, six+-minute profiles on public television WTTW Ch. 11’s primetime show,

Chicago Tonight; many feature stories and mentions in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, RedEye, Daily Herald, Pioneer Press; and stories in several dozen national art magazines, online sites and blogs. Recruiters and academic advisors now have multiple, valuable tools at their disposal. The Academy’s reputation has received a boost among key audiences due to our efforts.

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