Changing attitudes to empower young minds
Longley Park Sixth Form College does a brilliant job of creating training and educational opportunities for young people. But despite this, societal prejudices about its ethnically diverse and economically challenged catchment area, left the college struggling to attract the desired number of students. They needed an effective and engaging recruitment campaign.
The challenges of an inclusive approach
Located in a highly diverse and, in parts, financially deprived community, Longley Park Sixth Form College accepts students of all abilities to pursue a wide range of courses ranging from A-levels to BTECs and other vocational training. However, such an inclusive and positive approach also has the effect of lowering overall results. All of this contributed to negative perceptions of the institution and so the college was finding it difficult to recruit students.
Putting students in the driving seat
Our starting point was to gather deeper insights into what makes existing students, parents and staff so proud of Longley Park. We invited groups of them to our Born + Raised offices for two workshops, where we used a number of different techniques including a card sorting exercise and Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circles’ which helps brands to explore their central ‘WHY’ to communicate their vision to their audience. In addition to this being an enjoyable and useful exercise, we were particularly impressed by the enthusiastic and invaluable input of the students themselves.
An inspiring project for us too
These valuable insights informed our creative exploration of potential campaigns. The resulting theme is both empowering and inspirational and lifts the college above its competitors, with all the sophistication of a much larger scale university campaign. ‘Project You’ has inspiring and aspirational imagery of genuine, current students at its heart, and positions choosing Longley Park as the next, important step in taking charge of your own future. The accompanying copy is grown up, highly supportive and firmly focused on explaining to prospective students how the college can help them achieve their objectives in life, whatever they may be.
Working with Born + Raised helped us to shine a light on all the great things about Longley Park. ‘Project You’ reinvigorated our approach to student recruitment, giving our students, parents and staff something they could be really proud of. Having our students at the heart of the campaign meant we could showcase their academic achievements, while celebrating their individuality and personality. The results speak for themselves – thanks to our partnership with Born + Raised, we exceeded our recruitment target by 5%, helping us secure an additional £75K in funding and giving us a fantastic ROI. We’re looking forward to building on our great relationship with Born + Raised in the future.Maria Rudden
Marketing and Communications Manager