Carlson School to launch nationwide print ad campaign

The campaign seeks to attract students outside of the Midwest and to increase national rankings.

by Dan Haugen

In an effort to boost the Carlson School of Management’s national standing, the business school will launch its first-ever nationwide print advertising campaign this month.

A series of four advertisements will appear in magazines, including Forbes, Fortune, Business Week and U.S. News and World Report between now and April.

“We’re sort of a best-kept secret right now,” said Jayne Dudley Jones, Carlson School marketing director. “We need to get the word out.”

Applications for Carlson School Master’s of Business Administration programs have been steady in recent years, and interest in the undergraduate program has surged since the mid-1990s.

One of the ad campaign’s main objectives is reaching potential MBA students from outside the Midwest. Seventy-seven percent of MBA students enrolled during fall semester were from the Midwest. Six percent came from states in the West, and 2 percent came from Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states.

“We want to seek out the best students from coast to coast,” Jones said.

The advertising space will cost the Carlson School $350,000, which officials said comes from private donations, not state funds or tuition.

Jones said she believes the ads could raise the business school’s reputation and possibly help it in national rankings.

The school will try to measure the results by looking at application numbers, Web site hits and calls to its 1-800 number over the next several years, she said.