GL Assessment is one of the country’s leading suppliers of assessments to schools in the UK and overseas. GKP was appointed to raise awareness.
The bedrock of GL’s business rests on robust data. GKP’s first priority was to discover what data GL had and assess which would be most appropriate for communications purposes. We then articulated that data into a series of thought-leadership papers which were supported with media relations, social media outreach, podcasts as well as being distributed at key events. All of the activity was developed in partnership with school leaders, opinion formers and policy makers to ensure it resonated with key audiences.
GL’s brand tracking rose during the course of the year and the company’s social media numbers also saw a significant uplift. Twitter, the main social tool deployed by GL, saw follower numbers increase by 82%.
Sky Careers Lab is a project that aims to encourage youngsters to think about what careers they would like to follow. Although the programme had been established for several years, Sky felt that education opinion formers were unaware of it and that even those teachers who knew about it tended to think it was only an ambitious CSR programme. Sky approached GKP to increase awareness of Careers Lab among educationalists and teachers.
GKP recommended focusing on the fact that Careers Lab acts as an introduction to several hundred work-experience placements, apprenticeships and graduate traineeships at Sky. We placed full-length features in specialist education publications setting out exactly what youngsters and teachers could expect. We also organized a student panel on the main stage at Wellington Education Festival to explore what youngsters felt about career, university and apprenticeship advice.
The bulk of our work, however, consisted in reaching out to prominent figures in the education world and inviting them to visit the Careers Lab. Among those who visited were Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, Ann Mroz, Editor of the TES, Lee Elliot Major, Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust, Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, and Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges.
North Bridge House
North Bridge House Canonbury (NBH), part of the Cognita schools group, is a relatively recent offshoot of the established North Bridge House family. The school did not have a track record of achievement because it had only been open a year. Cognita appointed GKP to create awareness of the new school, drive admissions and lay the ground for an expansion of the intake from Year 9 to Year 7.
GKP recommended that NBH should promote itself as experts on teenagers, with the implication that teaching them was distinct in subtle ways from teaching other children. We developed an integrated programme to show how well NBH understood teenage behaviour and how they adapted their teaching and the school day accordingly. The activity included a series of ‘Understanding Teens’ talks to prospective parents by specialists in neuroscience, teenage behaviour and mental health; the creation of a ‘Heads Supper Club’ where feeder schools could discuss the issues around transition from primary into secondary school; and ‘Meet the Mums’ events where prospective parents had the opportunity to speak directly to existing parents and hear that the school really were teenage experts.
The impact of the activity was ultimately measured in terms of numbers of school applications. By the end of the year, the school had received 36 applicants for Year 9 applications (almost double the previous year) and three applications for each of the 34 Year 7 places it was able to offer. This campaign was shortlisted for a CIPR Excellence Award.
Oxbridge Applications (OA) is a private tutoring company whose name reflects exactly what it does, help students prepare for the Oxbridge admissions process and support them across all areas of their application. The company felt that its online marketing activity was not delivering high quality enquiries for the premium services it sold and GKP was appointed to help address this.
During our period of discovery with OA, we noticed that previous editorial publicity within the news pages of the Daily Telegraph had led to a marked increase in Google searches for the business. We used this insight and worked directly with the Telegraph Media Group to create a bespoke Oxbridge Applications information ‘hub’ that would sit within the Telegraph’s website. The hub contained a series of editorial features about the Oxbridge application process (with OA providing expert advice) and a data capture registration form for readers who wanted to receive more information. The hub was promoted across the Telegraph’s main website through interstitial traffic driving 'native' adverts with a guarantee of 4,000 click-throughs staged around key Oxbridge enrolment dates.
Natural search meant that the Telegraph’s Oxbridge hub received over 24,000 unique visits with 8,000 people clicking through to OA's website for additional information. Over 200 people made direct enquiries to OA regarding its premium service ensuring that the initiative paid for itself several times over.