Establishing the UK’s leading liberal arts university’

Challenge

The creative industry in the UK is more successful than ever. Worth £76.9bn to the UK economy, it accounts for 5.6% of UK jobs.

As a centre of creativity, culture and enterprise, Bath Spa University plays an important role in feeding this thriving industry with graduates but it needed to highlight its creative credentials and build its corporate profile in line with the Vice-Chancellor’s vision of the university as ‘an influential and leading liberal arts university in the UK’.

Solution

Speed kicked off the campaign with extensive research among existing media contacts, recent graduates, and senior managers within the creative industries. One of the critical findings of this research showed that personality is key to the university’s reputation. Journalists told us they wanted opinionated personalities for media commentary, and people within the creative industries were interested in the high-profile lecturers that taught there – the authors Fay Weldon and Nathan Filer, and the artist Gavin Turk for example.

Speed’s strategy was to take full advantage of the host of creative expertise at the heart of the university, and translate that into a strong, opinionated media voice that reflected the creative ethos of both staff and students.

Results

Speed targeted key journalists to maximise opportunities to get Bath Spa experts in the media. As a result, share of media voice increased substantially, and Speed has had some great evidence from members of staff that the increased coverage levels have raised the university’s reputation across the creative industries. The Vice-Chancellor reported that she was approached at an event and asked why ‘your university is everywhere at the moment’.

10% increase in undergraduate applications35% increase in postgrad applications96% increase in international applications70 pieces of top tier coverage