In December 2017, The de Ferrers Academy, in Staffordshire, were granted permission from the Department for Education to take on the former UTC building in Burton on Trent as a new sixth form centre.
The £8.6 million-pound building was originally developed as a University Technical College in 2015, but had remained empty ever since.
The challenge for de Ferrers was in quickly communicating the news of the takeover, and attracting an increased number of students to attend the sixth form centre in September 2018.
Pickle Jar Communications were appointed in December 2017 to support the Academy with marketing advice and recommendations to ensure the recruitment targets are met. The key recruitment period for the sixth form was throughout January and early 2018.
With limited time and budget, Pickle Jar Communications carried out some light-touch discovery work including a review of current activity, competitor review and stakeholder calls to make recommendations primarily focussed on:
– Improving the content and information available to potential applicants and their parents
– Developing a new information architecture for the sixth form area of the website to provide enhanced information, supporting recruitment
– Making strategic social media recommendations for improved content, engagement and advertising
As well as an over-arching recommendation report for marketing activity that tackled the above issues, we also delivered:
– All copy for the newly proposed webpages
– Sample social media content and images for use on owned social media channels
– Implementation of our social media advertising recommendations
Ali Bickle, Senior Vice Principal at the Academy with responsibility for the sixth form, said:
“With very tight deadlines the team at Pickle Jar Communications responded very quickly and with clear direction as to suggesting strategies to improve our current marketing. Thanks goes specifically to Ellie who gave honest and concise feedback and recommendations to support the transition to a third campus.”