‘Icons’ campaign launched

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The University is launching a new profile-raising campaign to help grow undergraduate applications for 2013 entry.

The new multi-channel ‘Icons’ campaign, launches its first phase this month with regional promotions focusing on some of the University’s key achievements. Over 30 staff from across the institution have been involved in a related photo shoot, with filming to follow in June.

2012 has been a challenging year for student recruitment – while international recruitment is buoyant, Home / EU Undergraduate applications have fallen by 12%, compared to 8% nationally and 7% within the Russell Group. 

Matt Smith, Head of Student Recruitment Marketing, explained: “The introduction of the new fees system and the removal of the AAB cap have created an extremely competitive marketplace in the UK.  We are seeing a real shift in students’ decision making behaviour, with young people and their parents displaying increasingly consumer-like tendencies.

“For us to thrive in this context, students need to be absolutely clear about what we offer, and what distinguishes us from others. Our campaign offers a fresh approach that sets us apart from our competitors.”

The year-long initiative aims to raise awareness of the University, increase recruitment to open days, grow market share in key regions of the UK, and enhance conversion activities.  It features staff, students and alumni as key advocates for the University, and whose stories will have a real impact on prospective applicants. 

A combination of digital and direct marketing alongside print and outdoor advertising will raise awareness of the University and attract students to campus-based events, starting with the Open Day on 22 June.

Research shows that 46% of students who attend open days go on to apply to the University, making this a key recruitment activity. 

The campaign uses key messages developed as part of the University’s brand positioning exercise, which was based on extensive research with key stakeholders.

Taryn Rock, Director of Corporate Communications, who has led the brand positioning exercise, said: “The Icons campaign is the first manifestation of the brand; SRAO has used the messaging to enhance student recruitment activities, whilst articulating what makes the University, and its people, exceptional.”

A series of presentations and workshops take place over the next few weeks to brief staff on the University’s new brand position, and provide practical assistance on how to further embed brand messages areas across the institution.  Sessions will include more details on the Icons campaign.

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