Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education funding bodies to provide world-class leadership in the innovative use of ICT. Speed was briefed to run a national PR campaign to support the Jisc Digital Festival 2015 which celebrates everything that’s new and exciting about digital technology.
In its second year, the festival organisers were keen to build on the success of 2014’s event – increasing attendance and growing awareness of the festival itself. They also needed to drive home the role of technology within the UK’s position at the forefront of higher education globally.
Given Jisc’s role at the forefront of technology in education, it was essential that we created a programme that would work across digital channels. We also knew that we needed to create content that would connect with the target audience of HE professionals on both an emotional and rational level.
To achieve this, we worked closely with the in-house marketing team at Jisc to develop a creative campaign that highlighted the impact technology has on student life – from robot tutors and MOOCs to lecturers’ use of social media to stay in touch with students.
We also ensured we had the nuts and bolts of campaign activity all tied up – from announcing keynote speakers, to running the press room at the event – hosting, briefing and hand holding where required.
To create some additional engaging content for Jisc’s digital channels, we asked attendees when they arrived who their dream lecturer would be – and promoted the top ten results throughout the rest of the event over social media and online.
The campaign smashed KPIs, generating 30 pieces of in-depth, tier one coverage in total – including key titles Times Higher Education and Guardian Teacher Network. In addition, we were able to secure ongoing regular guest blogger spots for two target education titles.
Education journalists attended the event, and provided content and commentary in the days afterwards plus the #digifest15 hashtag was used over 7,000 times in two days, and over 2,000 people updated their Facebook status with information about the Festival.