I’ve noticed this for years but having an 18-year-old with ‘A’ level results really has brought it to the fore… University comms.
When I was heading to higher education, it was the phone and some disappointing results that secured an eventual place.
Today, UK Universities have really nailed the idea that their students need help online and through a raft of different places. Why not? Each student brings with them the best part of £30,000 in fees.
It’s a UK industry that sees 2.5 million students studying at UK institutions and more than 20 per cent come from abroad with an income of £39 billion a year. You can see why in a crowded market comms is at the forefront.
In 2022, my son got a place elsewhere but I decided to take a look at Keele as tghey’ve created some really good content over the last few years. They were also named best University in a student satisfaction poll.
Here’s what I learned from the University of Keele’s comms on A level results day.
A website that’s geared up
There’s nothing worse than a disjointed campaign where the socials are on fire and they point at a website that tells you nothing. Keele have their web home page geared up for clearing where students with A level results but no course find a port in the storm. Having quick to find information at this moment in time is valuable.
Scrolling through Twitter, the University spots tweets that mention it and they respond with a word of celebration. It’s beautiful human comms. What does it show? A University that rates the human touch in what it does.
Celebratory video asset
What tickled me was a short clip shot in landscape that worked across several of their channels of students celebrating next to a sign showing they’d got the grade for Keele.
In this link they’ve posted to LinkedIn but it was in several places. Next year, I’d expect to see a portrait as well as a landscape version for TikTok and Instagram.
A timely Facebook Live that helps students with clearing
Here, Keele broadcast live from Newcastle College in nearby Newcastle-under-Lyme. It celebrates those who have a place but also talk through the clearing process.
Why Facebook? I’ll bet the fact that parents of children looking to navigate clearing may be one reason.
But as with most effective live broadcast the timing is everything. This advice is gold on the morning of A level results. In December, it’s not worth much at all.
A back story of TikTok videos
On the day, they didn’t go all in on TikTok and by the looks of things the channel is something they’re exoperimenting with. What they’ve created so far gives a sense of what Keele is about.
Instagram live gives a tour of the place
Over on the ‘Gram the pivot to video hasn’t fazed Keele University. They give a point of view (POV) tour of the campus that lasts more than an hour to give a sense of the place. “Many, many squirrels,” as their bio boasts.
Given international students are such an important part of the audience, there’s bespoke content.
Firstly, they have a presence on Chinese social network Weibo.
Beyond this, the website has clear pages for different countries.
Overall, University of Keele are using their channels in an intelligent and co-ordinated way. They’re creating a fair amount of content bespoke for each channel, too.