Bright “Ideas”—MSB’s Newsletter Gains Traction

COURTESY/MSB The Ideas newsletter has garnered over 500 subscribers outside of the Georgetown community

COURTESY MSB
The Ideas newsletter has garnered over 500 subscribers outside of the Georgetown community.

The McDonough School of Business’s newsletter “Ideas,” which aims to broadcast top research from school faculty to an audience both within and beyond the Georgetown University community, has amassed over 500 signatures since its launch in July.

The newsletter was released July 25 after several months of listserv database compilation and delivered by email to deans and prominent faculty members of peer institutions. The newsletter has accumulated about 550 subscribers outside of the Georgetown community.

The brainchild of the Assistant Dean of Communications of the MSB Teresa Mannix, the newsletter is an enhancement of an existing media promotion campaign for the school.

For the past three years, the MSB has featured a monthly press release highlighting the research of select faculty members for distribution to at least three top-tier press outlets and for display on its website’s newsroom. Mannix explained the newsletter, which features the previous six months of these releases, compiling this popular content into a new form for a targeted audience.

“So the idea for ‘Ideas’ came along because we have this great content, that’s about faculty research published in top publications that are of interest to practitioners as well as academics,” Mannix said. “Because the media side of it has been so successful, we’re like ‘Hey, there’s a demand for this content, why don’t we take them all and put them in a newsletter and do it twice a year.’”

July’s newsletter featured a number of studies carried out by MSB professors. One entry detailed a report led by associate professor Chris Rider. The study, still in the peer review phase, found that a white coach on an NFL team is twice as likely to be promoted to a coordinator position over an equally qualified minority coach.

Also featured was a report co-authored by professors Simon Blanchard and Kurt Carlson which made the counterintuitive claim sellers have an easier time moving discounted products when they ask buyers for an additional favor.

The MSB follows other business schools in creating this type of newsletter. Institutions such as The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and INSEAD, an international graduate school with campuses across three continents developing similar publications in past years.

Mannix expressed one of the primary goals of the newsletter as creating an accessible platform for MSB professors’ research to inform leaders in business.

“We’re hoping to slowly get it out to people who actually do work in business, so people who would actually use the research to do something, people who would use the research to impact what they do in the business world,” Mannix said.

Mannix expressed her hope the newsletter will inspire future academic collaboration between featured MSB professors and readers of the newsletter from Georgetown and from other universities.

“Let’s say a professor at another school looks at one of the pieces of research and says, ‘That’s really interesting, I want to go do research with that professor—like, my next paper should be a joint initiative with them,’” Mannix said. “That would be a great outcome of it.”

Other benefits of the newsletter, Mannix noted, include increasing the general visibility of the school and enhancing faculty recruitment by attracting PhD students to the MSB.

“It’s raising our visibility, which is one of the goals of our office,” Mannix said. “And of course, we might get PhD students looking at it saying, ‘Wow, I want to go teach at Georgetown so it might help our faculty recruitment as well.”

Rider said the newsletter makes the work he completed with his colleagues more understandable to a general readership.

“I will also add that this newsletter is a great opportunity to make our research more accessible to people who wouldn’t necessarily have the time or the interest to go through the details of our study like an academic would,” Rider said.

Nate Ruby (MSB ’17) said the newsletter appeals to him because it presents the academic achievements of MSB professors in a convenient arrangement.

“I think for people who may not have the time or the energy to constantly keep up reading these articles, it may be more digestible just to send these all at once,” Ruby said.

Christina Graziano (MSB ’17) said the newsletter could allow MSB students to connect with professors about research opportunities that relate to their interests.

“I think most professors don’t really spend any time talking about their research projects and they pretty much separate what they’re teaching in the classroom and their research,” Graziano said. “So it’s possible that the newsletter will raise awareness to students.”

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