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This week we’ve been taking about branding and messaging for Further and Higher Education colleges.

We’ve talked about whether a college or university is a brand. And we’ve shared great advice on getting the message right and reaching your targets.

We thought it would be worth sharing one of our own case studies, in which we worked with one of the leading places to study A Levels in North London, Woodhouse Sixth Form College.

Drawing students from 150 schools across North London, their consistently high performance in exam results every year speaks for itself.  However, they had never had professional marketing support before but recognised that their marketplace was changing and growing ever more challenging. We carried out a Messaging and Branding Review (view the brochure) in the first instance and then worked on some individual projects as well as looking after all their PR and communications for an interim period, until the college recruited a suitable in-house marketing team.

The work included:

1. Working through a messaging and brand process to help them understand target audiences better and establish a clear style of communication and key themes.

2. Setting out a revised mission, vision and values for the college.

3. Producing a year 1 set of objectives and marketing strategy – then turning this into a practical  tactical plan.


4. Redesigning the college prospectus, commissioning photos and producing all written content.

5. Day-to-day PR campaigns including announcement of results, regular releases of ‘good news’, open day campaign and ongoing work to secure higher enrolement numbers.


6. Social media strategy and monthly content plan.

7. Setting up and managing social media communications across all platforms (except Twitter, which was looked after by a very savvy principal).

8. Production of ‘need to know’ downloads for the website.

9. Redesigning the college website.

10. Setting up and launching a college alumni programme.

11. Support with marketing the open day through organising advertising.


…So what was the outcome?


The college experienced its biggest admissions process ever, receiving nearly 5,000 applications for just 700 places. The open day in November was also the best attended on record. Increased views to the Woodhouse website and more interaction of their social media pages suggest more interest in the college overall.

Positive press coverage was achieved in a wide range of publications both printed and online, and covering a wide catchment area around North London, including Barnet, Haringey, Islington, Enfield and Edgeware. Overall the college had a coherent brand across all its marketing literature, both online and printed, and was sending out the right messages to all the right people.

Take a look at our Messaging and Branding Review brochure. Next month we’ll be releasing two brand new packages perfect for schools, sixth forms and colleges without in-house marketing teams. The Content and PR package will include writing content for your blog and website, pre-scheduling social media posts and creating and sending press releases to the media to help raise your profile. Email for more details.