How We Did It

A national women’s advocacy group turned to Cogent for help calling attention to a case of sexual harassment, cover-up and retaliation at a prestigious, mid-Atlantic business school. Our team reviewed affidavits, hearing transcripts and investigative reports and then interviewed the victim – a well-regarded researcher who had been harassed by one of the school’s senior professors – to hear her story firsthand. In addition to developing key messages and talking points, we conducted mock interviews to prepare her to tell her story effectively and in her own voice.

Our team then contacted reporters, pitched the story, arranged interviews and made follow-up calls to ensure stories would be on point. The resulting news coverage exposed a long history of tolerance for sexual harassment at the school, shed light on serious problems with accountability and transparency at the highest levels of the school’s administration and helped the victim achieve closure.