Brand Awareness: Presidential Debate at Lynn University

Lynn University was chosen to host the third and final presidential debate of 2012. As the university was given this unique platform, Bitner Group was retained to tell Lynn’s “story” in the United States and abroad. Bitner Group needed to create brand awareness for the school itself, highlighting the leadership of its staff, the expertise of its faculty, the uniqueness of its newly-developed curriculum and debate-related activities and the high concentration of international students.


  • Increase brand and name recognition nationally and internationally
  • Position Lynn University as a unique school with a high percentage of international students who would have a front row seat to American democracy in action
  • Establish faculty members and staff as experts in foreign policy, healthcare, economy, education and politics
  • Increase awareness of the school’s debate-related courses and events
  • Highlight the development and launch of the Lynn University 2012 Curriculum for Education, a free debate-related K-12 curriculum on iTunes U
  • Ensure a successful event through support of media covering the event.


Bitner Group organized targeted media lists and created a weekly debate-related “tip sheet” to provide media with story ideas. To secure pre-debate coverage, Bitner Group pre-selected international students and pitched them to media from their respective countries. Bitner Group also suggested and helped facilitate a media tour with the university’s president to Washington, D.C. and New York. To position faculty and staff as experts in their respective fields, Bitner Group offered story pitches tied to trends, studies and the current news cycle. In addition to providing on-site assistance at the presidential debate, Bitner Group secured media interviews on the spot with faculty and international students.


The presidential debate at Lynn University was a huge success, garnering more than $63 million in media coverage, increasing awareness of the university’s curriculum and diverse student population and showcasing the leadership and expertise of its faculty and staff. Lynn’s international students were featured in numerous publications including El Universal (Venezuela), Folha De S.Paulo (Brazil), Népszabadság ZRt. (Hungary), Slovenský rozhlas (Slovakia) and Inside Costa Rica. Lynn University has already seen an increase in interest expressed by prospective students.

The event brought massive media attention to Lynn University and the community. Media monitoring data showed the debate produced the following:

  • 33,208 total news stories
  • $63,724,378 in publicity value
  • 503,075,159 total news circulation/viewership
  • unprecedented amount of social media and web traffic