I have a very similar chandelier at home
It wouldn't be the first few months of the year without another awards ceremony to go to and last Thursday's was the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards. This one was particularly prestigious, with the absolute cream of the marketing world heading up to the Grosvenor on London's Park Lane for a truly glittering (and expensive!) ceremony. Again, we were up for our Digital Clearing Campaign 2012 but this time in the Education category.

Beverley (Deputy Director of Marketing), Hannah and myself all rendezvoused at Kings Cross before jumping in a taxi with plenty of time to spare. However, due to some horrific traffic around Marble Arch we were forced to watch the pre-arrival drinks via Twitter! Thankfully, we arrived just in time to take our seats for the meal and who should be standing next to our table but the evening's host... Hugh Dennis!

After polishing off the five course meal and someone else's wine (that's another story!) the ceremony began. This was extremely well produced, as you'd expect from a venue of this type and with over eighty tables of guests we knew our chance of treading the boards on stage was pretty slim. We were just happy to be picked as finalists and were only one of three universities at the event.

Scrabbling for the best wigs and hats between
photos became quite competitive...!
Our category was up third and we were also excited to see Hannah's nominees video she produced up there on the big screen. Unforunately, on this occassion we were not winners (breaking our two year silver category streak) and lost out to Kirklees College for their 'Get Real Results' campaign. This was outstanding work by them in sponsoring Huddersfield town football club and building a campaign around it.

Despite not getting a result on the night we really enjoyed ourselves (check out the pictures to the right!) and came away feeling that the work we're doing is definitely being recognised at a higher level than ever before. Maybe we'll be back next year and these aren't the last of the awards we've entered for 2013 either...
So you may remember that in a recent post Paul more or less coerced (!) me into this particular contribution to our blog, and that in a less recent post I mentioned that I had been working pretty hard on selecting a film company to work with, organising shoots and generally trying to coordinate around 40 hours of filming!

Well, after five months, some dreaded spreadsheeting, a few sleepness nights and lots of driving between campuses (plus a lot of fun!) the new University of Bedfordshire film is here!

In the spirit of letting the video do the talking, I should probably leave it here - but I won't, basically because we're really proud of it and (as you can probably tell from our blog) we like to talk about our work!

The newly open PG Centre
On a practical level, the arrival of our new Vice Chancellor, Bill Rammell, in September, necessitated an update to the official film, and the insights Youtube analytics now provides gave us a great business case to make what were some crucial changes, initially in terms of our creative brief and then ultimately in terms of the final product.

The University has come a really long way in the last five years, with application figures increasing dramatically over that period, and a huge capital investment in our facilities (like the PG Centre, left) - which was another factor that pushed me to go to Paul last autumn and ask for some budget for a new film. We have a lot to show off, and I felt like we owed it to the students that have already chosen us to represent their university in a bolder, more confident - dare I say prouder? - way. There is a lot of highly-politicised media criticism of modern universities, but I would challenge anyone who questions the value of the kind of practical, hands-on, industry-relevant education you can see our students experiencing in the video.

At this point I need to give a huge shout out to Spectrecom, who have been the best production company I've worked with, hands-down. From the camera crew and directors, to the creative and production team and the editors, they have been a pleasure to work with from start to...well, no project with Bedfordshire is ever quite finished (more on phase two of our collaboration with Spectrecom from Paul soon!) In all seriousness, they have been brilliant.

So what have I been filling my time with now the excitement of the film is over? Well, as Paul will testify, I have a new found obsession with tracking and analysis and am trialling some pretty exciting stuff in terms of tracking the success and ROI of the video. We're planning a staggered release of the film via our website and social channels over the next few weeks, so once the stats start coming in, I'll give Paul a break from the blog and pitch in with an update on all that.

p.s If you like the music, check out more from Various Cruelties!

Due to an internal promotion (very well done Hannah!) We are currently advertising for a Digital Marketing Assistant to join our busy team in central marketing.

This is a brilliant opportunity for anyone who is relatively new to working in digital marketing to learn lots of new skills and get stuck into a wide variety of increasingly exciting projects (more on those in a future post!) So, if you're interested in joining us, then we'd love to hear from you (details below):

Digital Marketing Assistant
  • Marketing, Admissions, Recruitment and Communications (MARC)
  • Grade 5, £20,764 per annum
  • 37 hours per week
  • One year fixed term contract
We are looking for a Digital Marketing Assistant, with a passion for producing content optimised for the users experience and for the effective marketing of the University of Bedfordshire’s online presence. They should be experienced in using social media channels, CMS, Photoshop and HTML email software, and preferably have a strong understanding of other web technologies.

The successful candidate will be self-motivated and be able to prioritise work and meet deadlines. This post is based at the Luton campus and the post holder will occasionally be required to visit the other university campuses.
  • Closing date: 19th March 2013
  • Interview date: W/B 8th April 2013
As before, if you're interested in joining our award winning team then it would be great to hear from you. To apply and for more details just following the links above through to our website.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact me on 01582 743987 or email: paul.fryer@beds.ac.uk
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