A soap opera set in a business school may never take the place of Coronation Street or EastEnders , but it has won an award for the London Business School and increased its application rate.
Last week, the LBS won the Association of MBA's marketing and innovation award for a series of video diaries appearing monthly on the internet. The ten-minute films, available on the LBS website, aim to give potential students a feel for life on the MBA programme.
Julia Tyler, director of the programme, said the idea came up as a way to reach potential students more effectively. The two-year, £40,000 MBA programme takes 300 students a year. Applicants come from about 90 countries.
The diaries cover aspects of the programme from team-building exercises, the realities of moving to London, lectures, exams and the twice-yearly balls.
Gerry Griffin, business strategy director of Joose TV and a visiting lecturer at the LBS, said: "We wanted to make a candid study about what life is like at the school. We had to get beyond the brochure-speak."
Ms Tyler said: "It is in everyone's interests to be as open as we can about what it is like to be at the LBS. Well-informed applicants are likely to be happier (students)."
The diaries also helped students settle in to their courses quickly. Feedback after orientation showed that students had picked up much of the induction information from the diaries.
At its height, the LBS received 150 per cent more applications than the previous year. But staff were not overwhelmed because the diaries had reduced the number of student queries.
When the video diaries ran, visits to the LBS website rose almost 50 per cent. Joose said the diaries were seen by an estimated 20,000 people. Next year, Joose TV will film another project for the LBS.