20 Tavistock Square
Following the success of last year's event, we will be running this national, one day conference again for 2018. Making an impact: marketing and communications in higher education will bring together communications, marketing, external relations and digital professionals to discuss the particular nature of university marketing and communications, to draw inspiration from outside the sector, and to examine case studies to help you progress and enhance your own marketing and communications strategy.
Marketing is evolving. The higher education sector is changing. The 24/7 access of social media is creating new challenges and opportunities for organisations. As university marketing and communications professionals, you need to keep up with both sector changes and increasingly demanding target audiences.
In recent years, universities have been under the spotlight both positively and negatively, and it is important that you are working to a communications model which reaches all of your stakeholders and results in positive actions which deliver your aims.
For these reasons, we are bringing together communications and marketing specialists from a number of sectors to help you build a holistic and adaptable strategy to ensure that you are able to be at the forefront of this ever-evolving digital world.
This conference will be useful for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in the communications and marketing strategy of their organisation. Relevant job titles include:
Nicky Old, Director of Communications and External Relations, Universities UK
Robert Perry, Head of Research at Pickle Jar Communications Ltd
Sian Griffiths, Education Editor, Sunday Times and Michael Thompson, Deputy Director of Communications and External Relations, Universities UK
This session will provide university communications teams with further insight into what journalists are looking for and how best to ensure that your institution's stories reach the public.
Kirsty Walker, Director Media Relations, University College London and Beth Button, Campaigns Manager, Universities UK
MadeAtUni is a coordinated campaign by UK universities to bring to life the benefits of universities for individuals, communities and society. Hear more about the context for the campaign, the research behind the rationale and how your institution can participate.
Charlotte Renwick, Associate Director - Marketing & UK Student Recruitment, Leeds Beckett University and Dana Rock, Marketing and Communications Manager, Oxford Brookes University
What is personalisation and why should you care about it? In this session, you'll hear about two different university's approaches to personalisation - Leeds Beckett University's customer segmentation and web personalisation, and Oxford Brookes University's #helloBrookes campaign which delivered individually personalised welcome videos. You will learn why personalisation is relevant to HE, the impact it can have, and the challenges it presents. Whatever your existing level of knowledge, you will leave the session inspired and take away key tips to help you develop your own personalised approach.
Tom Sheldon, Senior Press Manager, Science Media Centre, Claire Whitelaw, Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications, Durham University and Nicky Old, Director of Communications and External Relations, Universities UK (Chair)
Nik Higgins, Co-founder, Tap, and Rebecca Longhurst, Social Media and Content Officer, Tap
In the session, we will be exploring how universities are currently using Instagram to engage with applicants, and highlighting best practice from across the sector (including a deep dive on Sussex's 'Digital Guru' programme and their innovative use of UGC). We'll also be presenting insights from our recent Instagram research project and offering you a practical guide to avoiding common pitfalls. All attendees to our breakout session will receive a free copy of the research paper and 5-step action plan for supercharging your social content strategy.
Professor Philip Moriarty,
University of Nottingham and Will Marsh, Head of Media,
University of Bristol
Social, digital and traditional media all offer academics a wonderful opportunity to get their message and research 'out there' to connect with, educate and inform the public. But what happens when their research work, or even their point of view on an issue, leads to a backlash. Is it as simple as just 'not reading the comments' or do communications and marketing teams have a duty of care? What can the university do to support the individual researcher in this scenario? And what could a researcher do to help ensure the university is not blindsided? How can we work better together to protect both the reputation of the researcher and the university?
In this interactive session you will hear from both sides, academic and comms professional, who will use real case studies to talk through what does and doesn't work and what each should expect from the other to get the best from the relationship.
Ollie Leggett, Managing Director and Brand Consultant, IE
Rebranding your university can be a risky business. Without due care, there's always a danger of upsetting your students and alumni – the very audiences you need as your advocates.
Ollie will take a look at the university rebrands that have elicited protests and petitions, and the lessons you can learn from them to avoid your own backlash. He’ll draw on multiple examples of rebrands – good and bad – and a more detailed case study to illustrate how to take your stakeholders with you on the journey.
Jonathan Tinnacher, Chief Customer Officer, UniBuddy, Emma Froud, Head of Business Development (UK), UniBuddy and Paul Woods, Associate Director, Marketing and Student Recruitment, Middlesex University
This session will look at how to harness peer-to-peer throughout the student journey. Research shows that speaking to other students has the most influence on a prospect's university choice. We'll guide you through how opening this up to students on their terms can transform the student journey, inform your marketing strategy and reinforce your brand.
Polly Bridgman, Director of External Relations, University of Suffolk
This session will look at how to implement and deliver a successful marketing and communications strategy in an ever changing environment, utilising your institutions budget in the most effective way to secure a return on your investment, what ever size of team you may have. This session will demonstrate how you can still do great work, run successful campaigns, and build your brands identity and presence in this busy market place, without having an endless budget and whilst facing a range of internal and external challenges.
Emma Gilmartin, Head of Social Media, University of Glasgow and Tasha Quinn, Social and Digital Media Officer, University of Glasgow
Winners of the 2018 THE Leadership and Management Awards for Outstanding Marketing/Communications Team
Nicky Old is Director – Communications and External Relations leading the in-house communications and external relations team which covers UUK's media, government and political affairs, social media, digital and campaigning activities.
Before joining Universities UK, Nicky was Chief of Staff for the CEO and Head of Corporate Communications for the Education Funding Agency, part of the Department for Education. She also led on public affairs for the Building Schools for the Future programme. Before working in government, Nicky was a Head of Press and Information for the University of Oxford. She originally trained and worked as a print journalist.
Robert is Head of Research at content strategy consultancy Pickle Jar Communications. He works on behalf of clients in the education and charity sectors, where he is responsible for all aspects of information-gathering, audience research, user testing, and general data geekery. Clients who have benefited from Robert's expertise include UCL, Goldsmith's, University of London, the Open University and Bocconi University in Milan. Before joining Pickle Jar, Robert worked on social media and digital communications in the aviation industry.
Michael Thompson is Universities UK's Deputy Director of Communications and External Relations. He heads up the organisation's media, digital and campaigning teams, and helps to develop its overall strategy for promoting the positive impact of universities.
Michael has more twenty years' experience dealing with complex issues in a variety of communications and public affairs roles with The National Lottery, The Law Society, Metropolitan Police Service and the Portman Group, whose members are the UK's largest alcohol producers.
Charlotte joined Leeds Beckett four years ago to head up student marketing and recruitment, digital, market research, and AWP. She is passionate about user experience and has led on the development of an award-winning website, website personalisation, Clearing chatbot, market segmentation and new CRM strategy.
She has worked in marketing and communications for over 16 years, spending eight years in marketing and PR agencies working for clients such as Arla Foods, the BBC, Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Building Society, before moving to the University of Bradford in 2009.
An award-winning digital communication specialist with a passion for Higher Education, Dana's career has been focused on running communication campaigns in higher education and the charity sector. When she's not cooking up campaigns, she's running training courses and sharing her love of data, insight and innovation with colleagues.
Tom Sheldon has degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics. He joined the Science Media Centre (SMC) in 2008 as Engineering Press Officer and is now the Senior Press Manager. Before he joined the SMC, he was studying for a PhD in protein structure prediction but didn't finish writing his thesis because he had three children and ran out of money. He never managed to use his coding skills to solve the protein structure problem but did use them to generate extra difficult Sudoku puzzles to fill a couple of books (still available from Amazon, get your copy now before they are pulped due to lack of sales).
Claire is head of communications for Durham University, leading the corporate and research communications teams, and has won numerous industry awards for campaigns. She was previously media relations manager for Durham and Newcastle universities. Claire is a qualified journalist and spent the early part of her career as a researcher for national BBC TV and as a reporter for regional newspapers in North East England and Yorkshire.
Nik is Tap's Co-founder. He spends his time getting to know university teams and students, building partnerships within the sector, and learning about the challenges that student recruitment and marketing teams face. Before founding Tap, along with partners George Olesen and Dominic O'Neill, Nik worked in FE, where he helped young people to apply for university. He read English Language and Literature at St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford; and Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Theory at King's College London. Nik is an avid runner and is running at least 5km every day this month to raise money for Young Minds Trust.
Rebecca is Social Media and Content Officer at Tap. Before joining the team Rebecca was a founding member of the University of Sussex's pioneering 'Digital Gurus' team, representing her university as a student content creator. She's a social media expert and read English Language and Linguistics at The University of Sussex.
Philip Moriarty is a Professor of Physics at the University of Nottingham. His research interests lie in what has occasionally been described as "extreme nanotech" in that he works alongside a talented bunch of nanoscientists to prod, poke, push, pick, and pull individual atoms and molecules in order to explore forces and interactions down to the single chemical bond limit.
Moriarty also has a keen and long-standing interest in science communication/public engagement and has written for a variety of traditional and online media including the Times Higher Education, Physics World, The Guardian, The Economist, and The Independent. He is a member of the Sixty Symbols (www.youtube.com/sixtysymbols ) team that was awarded the Institute of Physics Kelvin prize in 2016 for "innovative and effective promotion of the public understanding of physics".
While he doesn't share his infamous namesake's fascination with the binomial theorem, Moriarty enjoys exploring the maths-music-physics interface including, in particular, the deep and fundamental links that exist between quantum mechanics and heavy metal music (a theme discussed at length in his recent book, "When the Uncertainty Principle Goes to 11"). He blogs at Symptoms Of The Universe.
Will Marsh is the Head of Media/Deputy Head of Communications at the University of Bristol. He has over 20 years of experience as a PR, comms & marketing professional including nearly a decade working in Higher Education and eight years with Avon & Somerset Constabulary. Will is in charge of team that leads on press, PR, social media, international communications and crisis communications.
Driven by a desire to stand alongside values driven organisations and to make a difference through the power of brand and digital, Ollie founded IE in 1994.
Ollie's notable clients include Queen Mary University of London, Cranfield University and the universities of Aberdeen, Aston, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Reading and University College Dublin. His charity clients include Christian Aid, Teach First, Young Enterprise, FPA, and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.
Always a popular speaker at industry events including CASE and AGCAS, Ollie is a Visiting Industrial Fellow of Aston University, and a business school assessor for the Association of Business Schools. He recently graduated with an Executive MBA from Aston Business School.
Jonathan has worked in student recruitment and marketing for over 20 years, most recently as Director of Student Recruitment at Imperial College. He joined Unibuddy as Chief Customer Officer in 2017, helping the newly established peer to peer platform grow to working with more than 70 partners across the globe.
With over 15 years' experience in higher education, Emma has been a member of the Senior Leadership Team at a number of universities, most recently as Head of Student Recruitment and Widening Participation at Oxford Brookes. Having moved from academia into professional services, Emma's background brings a unique understanding of HE. She joined Unibuddy as Head of Business Development earlier this year and has seen the company rapidly expand to have more than 70 partners worldwide.
With more than 12 years' experience of marketing and international student recruitment across three universities, Paul now leads the student recruitment team at Middlesex bringing peer-to-peer to the forefront of their recruitment activities.
Polly has worked at the University of Suffolk since 2006, when it was originally University Campus Suffolk prior to gaining independence in August 2016 and becoming the first independent university in Suffolk.
As Director of External Relations, Polly has been responsible for creating both the University of Suffolk, and previous UCS, brands; developing and leading the university's marketing and recruitment strategy; leading a number of successful marketing and recruitment campaigns; raising the profile of the University regionally, nationally and internationally; and is responsible for achieving student numbers. The post of Director of External Relations is responsible for the areas of: marketing and communications, press and PR, events and conferencing, student recruitment (UK, EU and International), widening participation and outreach, admissions, the NCOP, and community engagement.
Prior to joining the University Polly worked at Writtle College in Essex, marketing their higher education and further education programmes. Previously Polly worked in events management at the Millennium Dome, large outdoor festivals and in regional theatre. Polly holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies.
Since joining the University of Glasgow in 2013, Emma has revolutionised the way the University approaches social media, putting its students and staff at the forefront of its activity. As head of the award-winning team, she oversees its strategic vision and digital content planning. She has unified the university's online presence and led an overhaul of UofG's social output and brand – using emerging channels and live platforms to tell the UofG story, breaking world-changing news and research and growing community engagement with all things #TeamUofG. Emma was responsible for directing the social campaign for the University's 2016 Gravitational Waves Discovery that saw record levels of engagement and resulted in awards from CIPR, HEIST & PRIDE and was part of the team to win 'Outstanding Marketing and Communications Team 2018' at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards.
Read UofG's social media blog ( https://www.uofgsocialmedia.com/ ) or follow Emma on Twitter @embrooksy8
Tasha joined UofG in 2014 as the Internal Communications Officer before moving into the University's social media team in 2016. The primary focus of her role is creating engaging and varying digital content that appeals to UofG's audience locally and abroad. In 2016 Tasha was part of the team that won CIPR, HEIST & PRIDE awards.
Tasha's proudest work moment is producing UofG's most watched social media video with Emma Gilmartin (it's of a pipe band rocking out to the Proclaimers in the University cloisters!)
Follow Tasha on Twitter @tashaquinn19