Western Governors University

THE OVERVIEW: The private, nonprofit Western Governors University uses an online competency-based learning model, allowing its students to learn from anywhere. WGU is serving 3,376 full-time students in Virginia and has more than 7,000 alumni in the Commonwealth.

THE CHALLENGE: WGU partnered with AccessU to establish community-based connections in Virginia and develop new channels for interacting with local and industry media. There also needed to be more awareness of WGU’s programming and partnerships with Virginia businesses, hospitals, and community colleges to position their experts as thought leaders in the education space, especially as it relates to the digital divide, workforce shortages, and equal opportunities for all learners to succeed.

THE RESULTS: In our first three months of engagement, AccessU interviewed WGU’s students and leadership to develop enterprise story ideas and was able to secure four unique and diversified media placements through developing news releases, thought leadership articles, and personalized pitches to journalists covering for print, radio, and television outlets in multiple markets. These relationships further solidified WGU’s experts as thought leaders and go-to sources for broadband access and accessible education stories, and helped leadership realize its value in sharing student success stories with their community in Virginia and Washington, D.C.


The AccessU team provides excellent strategic counsel to earn TV and radio media placements, as well as amazing results. For our goal of increasing brand trust and awareness, they came up with story ideas tied to current news, pitched news editors with whom they already have strong relationships, played the role of producer to help develop story segments, and even created video clips of our event to send in to TV news stations. All of these tactics secured high-quality feature news segments on radio and TV with audiences in the many millions. I highly recommend them!

Dulcey Antonucci, Regional PR and Communications Manager — Northeast

Challenge Results



A high-visibility placement on the role of community colleges as a vital transfer pathway in The Richmond Times-Dispatch, which garnered heavy readership and a personal note of gratitude from the Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

An op-ed addressing the need for expanded higher education options with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

An in-depth piece on Southwest Virginia’s broadband limitations and opportunities, featuring Dr. Watts in Cardinal News.

WGU’s first TV broadcast placements in Virginia and Washington, D.C., highlighting WGU’s Teacher College and the inspirational story of a D.C. public school educator and WGU graduate.