What We Do
RW Jones is a full-service public relations firm dedicated to serving the needs of education. Whether we’re offering strategic counsel or navigating a crisis, we put our clients at the center of consequential conversations about the ideas that are changing the world.
Colleges and universities are complex institutions doing remarkable work. Faculty members are making research breakthroughs, students are driving innovation and institutions provide the spark—and space—for success. At RW Jones, we want to be part of that. Here are some of the ways we serve clients.
Strategic Planning & Change Management
Our strength is supporting key officials to move institutions in a new direction and to ensure their teams are championing these efforts along the way. As strategists, we help leaders effectively inform their various stakeholders, inspire excitement among their teams and influence positive change within their organizations. Whether it’s driving a strategic plan or developing a change management strategy, we use strategy and communications to help clients think deeply about the work that will transform their communities. In short, we use our superpower as strategic consultants to drive transformation on campuses and within organizations to meet the demands of an evolving higher education landscape.
RW Jones works with clients to develop strong media relationships by mentoring university presidents on thought leadership campaigns, placing op-ed pieces in high-profile outlets and earning coverage for the research and expertise found on campus. Our clients’ stories and experts have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The TODAY Show, CNN, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, NPR, TIME, the Associated Press and many others.
Beyond our roles as counselors and strategic thinkers, we pride ourselves on ensuring clients have useful tools and resources for their media relations planning. We provide two monthly resources to clients. The Education: Issues & Media newsletter features interviews with major news writers, editors and producers. The Lede Edition provides a monthly media planner of proactive pitch ideas and social media conversation starters.
Issues Management & Crisis Communications
RW Jones regularly helps clients successfully navigate rough waters while building trust and confidence with stakeholders. Our team is adept at developing engagement and communications strategies, both proactively (through crisis communications plans and digital platforms) and in the moment. Our insight into education allows us to help clients identify and avoid inadvertent missteps and to think deeply about how their words reflect the values of their communities. In advance of a crisis, we offer training to university leadership and communicators through mock-crisis workshops that help clients anticipate threats to their reputation and relationships.
Pre-approved by United Educators, our experienced team proactively manages crisis situations, training and guiding university leaders and communications staff while providing both counsel and tactical support in situations that demand more involved communications assistance.
RW Jones offers context and counsel as strategic advisers to senior communicators, executives and board leadership. Our unique perspective comes from years of work within the education space and an ongoing experience with education leaders. We work with clients to identify and operationalize best practices, tailoring recommendations to each institution’s circumstances.
RW Jones assists clients in identifying and mobilizing champions from within their ranks. Communicating with internal audiences is essential as we consider how the broader changes in education and specific changes at an institution affect its constituents. Giving students, faculty and staff the information needed to speak and act from a position of knowledge and confidence in the work of the institution.
RW Jones understands complex and multifaceted education institutions. This allows us to partner with clients in developing messages that ring true to the broader community while highlighting areas of distinction and prominence. Whether in response to a specific situation or as a foundation for a comprehensive communications strategy, it is essential that messaging is rooted in an institution’s values.
RW Jones advances clients as leaders in critical conversations that are reshaping human understanding. Clients are participatory in these conversations through speeches, op-eds, articles and advocacy work. We partner with institutions that serve as conveners, creating forums for a variety of voices to discuss, debate and develop emerging ideas. Our work with clients in this area is built on institutional values and seeks to expand education’s role as a force for social mobility and prosperity.
RW Jones believes effective external and internal communications campaigns are most successful when clients are listening to and acting on feedback from their audiences. That’s why we offer strategic social listening and media monitoring services to our clients. We can drill down into key messages and compare on-line conversation against competitors. We use best-of-class monitoring software to provide clients actionable insights and board-ready dashboard reporting.
When clients find themselves in immediate need of seasoned communications leadership, they turn to RW Jones. Our team has worked with institutions to provide temporary leadership during team transitions to help ensure consistency and strategy. Additionally, our team has played a central leadership role in helping clients envision and lead new communications roles in their communities. Our breadth of expertise and deep bench of professionals allows us to dedicate seasoned leaders to support all aspects of communications leadership.
Research & Media Audits
RW Jones develops customized comparative media analyses for clients who wish to make data-informed decisions that improve their national media visibility. Media audits provide an in-depth look at an institution’s coverage in select outlets and compares it to coverage earned by institutional peers. Our analysis includes details on share of voice, prominence, virality, tonality and story type. In addition to the complete dataset, we provide a written report summarizing the data and offering recommendations.
Workshops & Trainings
RW Jones conducts communications workshops and media training to help university leaders and scholars inform the public, advance dialogue and create meaningful change. In addition to on-camera media training, we offer a popular workshop introducing faculty and key staff to best practices. We have also developed and delivered a year-long curriculum of workshops, lectures and networking opportunities to cultivate faculty and staff skills in messaging, media interviews, op-ed writing, advocacy, social media engagement and fundraising.
Reputation Risk Management & Mitigation
It’s best to prevent or mitigate reputational issues before they become a crisis. RW Jones works with our clients' senior leadership and boards to identify and audit their reputational risk areas. We develop reputational risk management toolkits which outline your response plan, talking points, tactics, audiences and influencers for each subject in your reputational risk matrix.
Enrollment Communications & Marketing Counsel
Our team understands the pressures facing higher education communicators and their peers in the enrollment division. We work with clients to ensure their marketing and enrollment teams are effectively collaborating to achieve their recruitment goals. RW Jones has the capability to review and audit admission and recruitment marketing materials. We advise teams about email marketing plans helping them introduce personalization and segmentation in their communications plans. We also offer advice on digital and social media advertising best practices.
Advancement Marketing & Communications Counsel
Alumni, parents and supporters are some of the most important audiences for colleges and universities. These groups have elements of both internal and external audiences and they can be an institution's biggest promoter or detractor. RW Jones works closely with client advancement and development teams to create customized communications and marketing campaigns tailored for fundraising and friendraising purposes.
Board of Trustees Consulting
RW Jones is often called upon to provide communications and marketing counsel to governing boards of higher education institutions. We work closely with board chairs and committees on issues of brand strategy, reputation management, crisis communications and significant institutional announcements.
Our team also works extensively with boards and search firms to coordinate public announcement and transition plans for presidents and chancellors, as well as other senior campus leaders. We coordinate detailed communications plans and elements such as copy, photography and video, which can be delivered to the internal communications team for quick implementation.