Case Studies, Education & Edtech

Client: ISDI Digital University is an in-person and online graduate school program in Silicon Valley focused on the digital transformation of individuals and organizations. Founded and taught by some of the top tech and digital minds in the world, in just nine months, students receive a Master’s of Internet Business – the only of its kind in the country.

Background: The first challenge was launching and announcing ISDI Digital University as an education entity and boosting enrollment numbers for the first in person class. The second challenge was almost 12 months later, announcing the online program.

Strategy: Team Ditto met with the founders of ISDI Digital University and spent a significant amount of time understanding their unique offering and how it should be explained to the media. From traditional master’s programs to coding bootcamps to corporate training, ISDI was offering something unique in a crowded space and how we defined and differentiated them would make or break this launch. Team Ditto’s approach involved developing messaging, content creation, launch events, media relations and social strategy.

Content Creation – Team Ditto worked closely with the founders to develop key messages and write bi-monthly op-eds that would be published in Forbes as well as the ISDI Medium channel. The content themes tied directly back to ISDI’s mission. Each contributed article was then socialized to create maximum impact.

Media relations – Bay Area media was the most important market for the launch of the in-person class, while the launch of the online program focused on a more national audience. Ditto executed a plan that targeted both local Bay Area media, which included local daily newspapers and local broadcast channels in addition to national outlets.  Ditto was able to secure coverage across outlets by targeting  industry beat reports at mainstream and local business, tech and education publications, offering ISDI as experts to discuss the company at large, current events and trends across the various verticals and sectors.

Launch events – Team Ditto worked closely with ISDI on a launch event in Silicon Valley, in addition to an ISDI Talks event that was filmed and broadcast live. Ditto used these opportunities to bring local reporters to the events and create long term relationships with key Bay Area reporters and the ISDI founders. Additionally, Ditto shared the filmed content with a national audience to secure mainstream media interviews as well.

Social and Digital Media – Beyond traditional communications, Team Ditto also initiated social strategy laying out detailed plans around engaging with key influencers, increasing overall engagement and content plans for the company, the founders and academic board members.


In 2017 ISDI’s initiatives and Ditto’s outreach resulted in both trade and mainstream coverage through executive positioning of ISDI’s leadership around topics such as the digital transformation, professional future-proofing, the tech skills gap, and the future of work. Ditto continues to deliver interviews with top-tier outlets and strengthening relationships between key industry reporters and the ISDI founders.  

Feature highlights included The MBA for the Digital World in Cheddar, The 6 Jobs Everyone Will Want in 2040 in MONEY Magazine, ISDI Digital University tackles tech skills gap in Mercury News, and Trends | Shift to a Digital Workforce in EdTech Digest and The Biggest Mistakes Young Jobseekers Often Make in Business Insider. Additional coverage included several interviews on Bloomberg TV- ISDI Focuses on ‘Learning Internet Business’ with CEO Amir Mashkoori, and Bloomberg Technology- The Future of Employment with Co-Founder and Head of Digital Transformation Steve Cadigan. Local TV coverage included KTVU: University for Internet business  and NBC Bay Area: Former Head of Talent LinkedIn.

Ditto’s Op-Ed efforts resulted in an ongoing contributor opportunity in Forbes with executive positioning pieces such as:  They See Lemons, You See Lemonade — The Digital World Is Sweet , How To Future-Proof Your Career In A Digital Economy, Is Talent Your Top Priority? Probably Not, But You Can Get There, Your Employees Aren’t In It For the Long Haul: And That’s A Good Thing.


Kevin Thrailkill

Education & Edtech