Harvard Graduate School of Education

Recruiting A New Class: The Harvard Ed.L.D.

How do you inspire 500 extraordinarily talented, experienced, and motivated candidates to apply for 25 spots in one of the world’s most innovative education leadership degree programs?

Start with one program (the Harvard Ed.L.D.) and one ad.

A new program created to change things in the American Education System.

And an ad to reawaken the desire to reform education, targeting bright and passionate professionals across diverse backgrounds in education, policy, and business.


It was time for another class. A new group willing to uproot their lives, their careers, and move to Cambridge for 3 years, all for a challenging, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a network of people with the influence to transform children’s futures across America.

So we called on them.


The approach? Create an aggressive digital & inbound marketing strategy that put current students at the center – because they are the story. They’re the ones making the difference. So prospective students needed to identify with them and imagine being part of it too.

Include a targeted digital campaign to focus in on specific demographic and psychographic profiles and obtain a broad range of applicants. The goal of the ad: reignite the drive and desire to change education.

What happens post click? Drive prospective students to an engaging web presence to interact with and re-invigorate their passion, making the degree and its mission relevant and memorable.


A blog, The Ed.L.D. Speaks, to add transparency and give future students a glimpse into a day in the life of an Ed.L.D. Student. A blog to not only showcase what they work on, but also how they manage family/work balance, what makes them tick, and drive traffic to a two-way conversation.



A conversation on the blog and on Twitter, to engage and converse with prospective students and showcase the innovation bred on Appian Way.



Create all of this with one goal in mind: to exceed the number of qualified applicants and increase awareness about the program.

Along with the creative team at db&r, I achieved that goal and positioned HGSE as the leader in education reform, creating a new class, THE New Class, with the energy and intensity necessary to transform education in America.

In the 3rd year of the program, we refreshed the look of The New Class…HarvardScreengrabs_Home2

targeted a more diverse audience,

and captured the attention of a national audience via paid search.

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And another class will graduate, while yet another begins their journey at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I feel honored and proud to have played a small role in what will be a significant positive change in American Education.


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