Duke Business School Selects McKinney

ATLANTA The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University has hired mckinney.design following a review, the client confirmed.

The unit of McKinney + Silver competed against 10-year incumbent The Design Group of Greensboro, N.C., and Capital Strategies in Raleigh, N.C., according to Jim Gray, associate dean for marketing and communications at the school.

“We picked mckinney.design because the strategic thinking was well researched and understandable and on target,” said Gray. The shop’s impending move from Raleigh to Durham, N.C., next year was a bonus, he said.

Gray said the Havas agency looked at world trends such as an increased distrust of all institutions, including the stock market, and translated that into a strategy.

“The flaw in business schools is thinking they’re an academic enterprise,” said Parker Ransom, executive director of mckinney.design. “Our point of view was to think more about [Fuqua] being a business. Then, if you look at the fundamental issues, like trust, it will take you to a different position.”

Enrollment at the prestigious school has dropped, said Gray, with all three executive MBA programs down because of the economy. “We didn’t see the stereotypical jump in people trying to ride out the recession,” he said.

McKinney’s approach towards increasing enrollment involves seeking people who define themselves in terms of their work. “When you offer an education that enhances what they do, you enhance who they are,” said Ransom.

The group will handle brochures, trade show support and print advertising for the business school’s three executive MBA and traditional daytime programs. The advertising and design budget is just over $1 million, according to Gray.

The shop’s first work is a brochure for the day program and an ad for the school’s leadership and Coach K conference in October.