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May 2017

Using down time to keep things on the up

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Summer’s approaching. For universities this means students and academics are on holiday – at last, enough time to stop and think. The upcoming lull is a great opportunity to do things there just isn’t time for during the rest of year.  

So, here are our suggestions for how to make the most of the summer to keep your brand, marketing and communications fit and healthy.

  1. Stimulate your mind: time to think about thought leadership 
  2. Feed your marketing: gathering stories for the year ahead 
  3. Stay ahead of the game: fast-tracking your campaign for Clearing
  4. Ensure you’re ready: safeguarding for the post-Brexit, post-election reality
  5. Check your house is in order: carrying out a brand health-check
1. Thought leadership

You know your brand, marketing and communications would all benefit with thought leadership playing a greater role. Now you have time to think about it. Gather a small number of key colleagues together. Collectively brainstorm the upcoming issues that your audiences want to know about, and that you have a point of view about. Utilised properly, you only need two or three ideas. Utilised really well, you may only need one.

2. Gathering stories

There may be fewer people around, but gathering great stories doesn’t necessarily mean having to go far and wide. Be focused. Identify the key messages you want to major on in the coming year, and therefore want to evidence with proof points and stories. Now, who are the best 5-10 people to tap into to gather them, and what’s the best way to engage with them?

3. Campaign for clearing

Clearing is becoming an increasingly important process for universities and prospective students. And with 20% of Google Clearing searches happening in July – way before A Level results are announced – it’s critical to start early. If you don’t already have your Clearing campaign sorted, now’s the time to fast-track it and stay ahead of the game.

4. A post-Brexit, post-election reality

Life’s never been more uncertain. No-one knows what’s going to happen. But one thing’s for sure, by thinking through the potential implications for your organisation and having plans in place to deal with them, you will be better prepared and more confident – whatever the future holds.

5. Brand health-check

How well are your brand guidelines working for you? Are your communications as coherent and effective as they might be? How’s your brand performing in the eyes of your key stakeholders? Now’s a great time to take stock and audit what you have in place. Then use it to define how you could make things work harder for you – and to help you prioritise for the year ahead.  

Now’s a great time to take stock and audit what you have in place

 

 

Conclusion

Let’s not fudge it. There’s much that can be done over these summer months to help you stay ahead and ensure your activities for next year are stronger, more focused and more effective.

And there’s just enough time too. With a strategic yet pragmatic partner by your side, you can achieve a lot without it becoming unwieldy. So, why not call us to discuss how we can help you get more out of your summer?

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