Higher Education PR Experts

For ten years, Kohnstamm provided outside PR counsel for the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, a time in which the b-school's national rankings climbed every year – from 44 to 24 (US News & World Report) – one of the most consistent gains of any top business school in the country, in part due to a robust PR program. Kohnstamm used PR to leverage the school's business expertise and generate national attention. Feature stories increasingly appeared on CNN, CNBC, BusinessWeek, Financial Times with regular coverage on public radio and in local dailies and regional business magazines. After seven years of PR, the news media was running 243 stories a year featuring or including the Carlson School in its coverage - a number that continued to climb to 356 stories by year ten. Dean David Kidwell, who described the public perception of the school when he first arrived as "Egg-head U" due to its insularity from the business community, credits the consistent and proactive public relations program during his tenure as key to improving its reputation, rankings, donor base and perceived accessibility.

The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business has similarly benefited from Kohnstamm's efforts, with PR playing an important role in bolstering the school's image. On a recent media tour for its Dean, Christopher Puto, Kohnstamm arranged interviews or meetings on the topic of business ethics with The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Conference Board editors. Having served more than four years for St. Thomas, Kohnstamm has arranged speaking events with YouTube founder Jawed Karim, Apprentice finalist Rebecca Jarvis - even Bill Gates who participated in the grand opening for the school's entrepreneurship school.

Another example is the award-winning annual report created for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that effectively illustrated the educational system's economic impact to the state, showing a quantifiable return on investment to its supporters.


Aaron Berstler, account director, has led all of Kohnstamm’s higher education accounts over his 13-plus years with the firm. Aaron’s higher ed PR won numerous awards for work done for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. He has earned trust and built exceptional relationships with each of the firm’s education clients including the University of St. Thomas, Carlson School of Management, College of Continuing Education (U of M), MNSCU and others. Aaron’s attention to detail, focus on planning, media relationships and ability to move numerous client marketing initiatives forward simultaneously have generated consistent media results — and client praise.

Josh Kohnstamm, president, founded Kohnstamm Communications, and has won numerous awards for speechwriting and strategic counsel for higher education clients. A speech written for the dean of the Carlson School, “Has Minnesota Lost its Blue Chip Status?” created such a stir that an “Economic Summit” was called by the Governor to rally business leaders to create a unified national business strategy for the State. Josh was formerly a PR executive with Hill & Knowlton International Public Relations prior to founding his own agency.


The Chronicle of Higher Education, Biz Ed, The MBA Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNBC, Forbes Magazine, The Conference Board.


  • Message development and positioning
  • Media materials that work for business and higher ed reporters
  • Faculty resource media guides
  • Media briefings
  • Editorial board meetings
  • Press conferences and press briefings
  • Leverage breaking news stories and trends with school experts
  • Tip sheets
  • Special events
  • Track editorial calendars and pitch stories accordingly
  • Feature business profiles
  • Media training
  • Regional and national media tours
  • Schedule and write speeches
  • Book talk radio and television appearances
  • Write bylined articles
  • Use media results to generate buzz
  • Annual reports
  • Web and online content development
  • Corporate recruiter, prospective student and alumni events
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