The College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph believes business can and should create economic value, while improving life, society and the environment. As educators of the responsible business leaders of the future, the College has adopted a uniquely active and transformational approach to its learning environment. In order to progress and amplify its vision for a sustainable world, the College enlisted the services of Yulu PR.


The Challenge

The College of Business and Economics champions sustainability, promotes ethics and equity in business, and advocates for business schools to stay progressive and ahead of the curve in this next wave of responsible business. . At a time when the majority of business schools in Canada and across the world are investing in more sophisticated and engaging communications campaigns, the College needed to strengthen its identity, narrative and effectively illustrate how and why it is doing things differently in order to build its credibility as a leader in the area of developing sustainable leaders.

The Strategy

In order to gain an in-depth understanding of the College of Business and Economics, its challenges, opportunities and current perceptions, Yulu’s strategist spent time on the campus, interviewing a number of stakeholders. Insights from these interviews, along with benchmarking industry best practices, informed a strategic communications plan in which we developed and refined key messages and positioning strategies, areas of thought leadership and advocacy for the College along with key communications priorities.

It was agreed that Dean Julia Christensen Hughes would advocate for business schools to become more progressive and talk on a global scale around what needs to be collectively achieved. Multiple faculty members across varying departments were also identified as subject matter experts for media purposes, and are currently being pitched as part of the College’s sustainability strategy. Outreach plans to support the unique College initiatives and timely announcements that illustrate its commitment to sustainability, such as the increase in female applicants to MBA programs, investments in gender equity and active learning, and the increasing interest in sustainably focused programs were also prioritized.

The Results & Impact

Through collaborative work and a strategic approach, Yulu created a comprehensive set of refined key messages which the College now uses across all facets of communication, both internal and external. This consistency in messaging has been key to building a strong reputation for the College as a champion of sustainability, in local and national media

Our carefully crafted messaging on sustainability and equitable and responsible business education has also informed speaking opportunities addressing Chambers of Commerce, as well as guest editorials, interview opportunities, website copy and social media content. Through targeted media outreach and thought leadership pitching, the College has achieved media coverage in The Globe and Mail, Financial Post, The Conversation, and multiple publications in Guelph and its surrounding areas. Coverage has included commentary on trends in business and education, as well as interviews around specific innovative initiatives at the College, such as a recent investment in active learning and gender equity.

The College of Business and Economics is now a primary resource for media looking for expert commentary, with top Canadian journalists approaching us for expert collaboration on a variety of subjects. Thanks to its heightened reputation, the college has recently secured a historic $21-million donation, the largest single donation in the history of the University, that will significantly boost its faculty, programming, and student scholarships.