Based in the heart of Cardiff, St David’s Catholic College has been educating young people in South Wales for over 30 years. As the only 16-19 state funded sixth-form college in Wales, St David’s helps to nurture successful students through a supportive and stimulating learning environment.
St David’s was looking to ultimately improve its recruitment drive for the 2018/19 academic year, attract prospective students and guardians to its open evenings and raise brand awareness locally, as well as celebrating its 30th anniversary. Having previously outsourced media buying to support its student recruitment campaigns, St David’s Catholic College was initially looking for support with this element of the communications mix for this year’s student intake. However, the team was open to widening its original brief in order to achieve its goals.
– Alice Rawlings – Marketing and Design Officer at St David’s Catholic College
Everything we do for our clients is underpinned by understanding and insight. From going back to basics, to utilising online and market data to feed into a planning session, as well as carrying out positioning, messaging and audience workshops with their team, we were able to identify key audiences for St David’s and get a clear picture of what was needed for the communications strategy beyond the brief.
One of the biggest insights we unearthed was the support system the college provides in comparison to other colleges. This helped shape an overarching creative campaign ’30 years of nurturing you’ which also highlighted its anniversary year while focusing on its approach to education. By getting successful St David’s alumni such as Channel 4 weather presenter Liam Dutton; actress, Catrin Stewart; and SONY engineer, Jessica-Leigh Jones on board, we were able to maximise reach, demonstrate the diversity the college nurtures while bringing a personal touch to the campaign. This inclusive message allowed us to go ‘hyperlocal’, speaking directly to the people of Cardiff, including past, present and prospective students through carefully planned media buying, media placements, paid social media campaigns and PR.
We took a campaign-led approach to owned and earned media, allowing us to tweak messages for key audiences and channels, where appropriate personalising activity with bursts of paid activity around key milestones. We worked with key regional media targets to discuss open evening success, past/ present student achievements, whilst also addressing issues on the media agenda such as mental health awareness with a ‘Worry Less’ campaign. Our continued activity also saw us create student marketing roles to support activity in-house through social media and student blog content, helping to personalise communications even further.