Best Practice from Cornwall College
A new course isn’t normally going to get the media ‘hot under the collar’.
We knew that this course topic had ‘national legs’ but we needed to make sure that this course was communicated as a plausible course, not a Mickey Mouse qualification.
We decided to release the information strategically using trusted sources to start with; the resultant, positive publicity is proof that planning works.
Campaign: ESPRESSO EDUCATION
PR Team: IN HOUSE:
Time scale: TWO WEEKS
Cornwall College is one of the largest colleges in the UK. The College has 7 campuses and incorporates Duchy College and the Falmouth Marine School.
Cornwall College Camborne is a general FE campus. It is sited in an area of social deprivation and competes fiercely with surrounding schools for post 16 students.
House prices in Cornwall are high and salaries are approximately 20 per cent below the national average it is therefore vital that young people get themselves qualified and that Cornwall builds on its reputation for the quality of products and service, thus offering Cornwall the opportunity to extend its season and offer more highly paid permanent jobs.
The Hospitality and Catering section of the college is an area of particular strength and is vital to the economic development to the area. 30% of the employment in the region is in hotels, restaurants and hospitality, making it key to the County’s economy.
The Camborne campus is sited in an area of economic challenge, where educational, social and professional aspirations are low.
How the campaign fits the College’s strategic plan
One of the college’s strategic objectives is ‘all age workforce development’ this means offering courses suitable to upskill people at all stages of their careers and working with industry to develop and deliver training and qualifications. The UK Coffee industry is worth over £1bn.
The College’s Marketing Plan leads all PR & Marketing activity, this campaign was a corporate campaign used to amplify the College’s voice regionally and nationally and increase its visibility, inline with the Corporate marketing Strategy.
To generate positive PR coverage for Cornwall College and to increase visibility of the Cornwall College brand.
To promote a new C&G 20 hour level 2 course in Barista Skills
Strategy & Plan
The Media campaign began on the 4th of September 07 with a feature piece that ran in The Guardian which told the whole story of the new qualification. The article mentioned the innovative partnership between the fair-trade coffee company Origin and Cornwall College
The next step was to place the story in one of the wider read ‘diary’ sections of a popular quality paper, The Times was targeted and the story appeared on the 6th September.
We chose The Guardian and The Times because the story could have been held up to flippancy and we wanted to tell the whole story first, and to an audience who we perceived would understand the ‘value’ of the course.
The education section of Guardian ensured that our stakeholders would be informed and their opinions canvassed.
Following on from the initial phase we wanted to create a bigger noise. We had laid the ‘sensible’ foundation and pushed the envelope further.
Measurement & Evaluation
Further coverage ran in national newspapers including The Sun and The Mirror and The Observer. Digital media included…The Times online, BBC News online and Guardian Unlimited. Regional Press included The Western Morning News and The Cornishman.
Broadcast media included Channel 4 News, BBC Radio One, BBC Radio Cornwall, BBC Radio Ulster and Radio 5 Live.
Channel 4 News Radio One
Radio 5 Live
The Sun (Hard copy only)
The Times The Guardian
The Press Association
Western Morning News
The North Scotland Press & Journal
The Sutton Coldfield Observer
The media coverage received by Cornwall College put the name in front of literally millions of people, raising awareness of the institution and undoubtedly increasing the visibility of the Cornwall College brand.
The College received over 250 inquiries relating to the new course and all news coverage was positive and suitably accurate because of the way that we had placed the ‘quality’ story at the beginning of the campaign; this gave journalists a ‘safe’ source of information when researching and writing the story.
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