This non-arts case study demonstrates how to effectively engage the school leaver/young student market. It tells the story of how in 2012 MediaCom Edinburgh and Teesside University set about to increase student admissions in the face of double digit declines across the competitive set (post-1992 universities in the north of England). With Teesside University having a smaller budget than many competitors the activity had to be smart. Research defined key audiences to be not only potential students but parents and influencers and this short paper gives a brief outline of the activity that took place (including a fascinating overview of their online strategy). The campaign was a tremendous success with Teesside outperforming the market by more than 10%.
Defining our communication priorities
To achieve our goal we needed to do much more than simply set out Teesside’s credentials in traditional broadcast media. We needed to get our audiences’ excited about attending Teesside, excited about the career and job prospects a degree from Teesside would create, the life skills and university experience that it would deliver; and in doing all that, ensure that it stood out from the wealth of other options they were considering. But the specific communication priorities we set were very different for the prospective students and their parents/influencers, tailored to each target audience to ensure that we selected not just appropriate channels, but created effective communications which would enable us to fulfil their different motivations and address their concerns in the most engaging way.