A vibrant student community in the student city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumbria University has a community of students to be proud of, and with a pride in their university.
A university’s community of current students is one of the organisation’s greatest assets. Not only does every student help to enhance the learning for each of their fellow students, but they also make significant contributions to the local community and – importantly for those of us working in marketing and communications – have the potential to be the university’s greatest advocates (or, sadly, biggest critics) and lifelong supporters.
Northumbria University has been taking significant steps to advance the student experience. A major part of this is to improve the University’s approach to corporate communications with the current student community, who span a wide range of demographics studying on multiple campuses.
Pickle Jar Communications was commissioned to conduct a strategic review and set a vision for the University’s approach to corporate student communications. Our work included:
– Extensive stakeholder research, including in-depth interviews, focus groups and surveys with staff
– Review of existing student communications across the university (and associated analytics), including online and offline communications. A highlight of our work was the campus walk, an activity to see communications with a “student’s eye” view
– Extensive research with the student community, including surveys and in-depth interviews
– Workshops with staff across the University to brainstorm a new approach and harness their creativity
– The production of a vision, with resource requirements and an implementation plan, for the delivery of a new student communications strategy
– Supporting the University with the recruitment of a new student communications manager.