Oxford Brookes: Case For Support


A thriving and highly successful modern university, Oxford Brookes University is looking forward to an ever-more successful future, and calling on support to help them to achieve this.

In Autumn 2015 Oxford Brookes University launched the University’s first formal support strategy and case for support materials to communicate this approach.

Designed to attract support to this exciting university, from financial gifts to volunteering and providing workplace opportunities or work experience to current students, the University’s case for support needed to convey a number of messages to a wide audience base from business leaders to young alumni.

Pickle Jar Communications was commissioned by the External Relations team to help them to develop the brand concept for the case for support and associated messaging.

Following initial stakeholder interviews and a review of existing messaging documents that the University had been developing, we produced four messaging concepts for the campaign materials: storytelling, quietly confident, imagination and bold, with an outline for how each concept would manifest itself when turned into working content.

Following internal review and feedback, these concepts were revised and became three propositions: storytelling, bold and the “secret ingredient”. For each of these, the ideas were bought to life with sample copy and messaging statements that the University then used to test the concepts on representatives of the target audience groups.

The “bold” route was the strong favourite, with elements of storytelling also appealing to many of the audience representatives and internal stakeholders.

With further work to turn this into a final campaign messaging approach, the “Brookes Because” concept was born.

From here, we worked with the University to produce wireframes for the new campaign website with a working prototype for them to test. We also produced copy for the campaign print brochure and website in line with the Brookes Because messaging approach that we had developed, and in line with the University’s corporate style.

Time was tight to pull the materials together, so two members of the Pickle Jar Communications team worked on site at the University to intensively focus on this campaign. This was coupled by our use of GatherContent to make content production a more collaborative process with our clients, and to manage a tight workflow process involving many contributors.


Image by Pierre Marshall / John Henry Brookes building front, February 2014 / CC BY 4.0

  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Autumn 2015

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