Despite having most of our large campaigns up and running the team remain hectic with all sorts of different projects. When I first started over two years ago this was the time of year when we could have a bit of downtime from the daily pressures of student recruitment and concentrate on things like developing our website content or some campaign planning. There's no such luxury these days but I also seem to be my own worst enemy by talking on more work external work.

The first of these was taking up Inside Government on their invitation to present at their 'Enhancing the Standards and Quality of UK Postgraduate Education' event. I had presented for them before and was obviously deemed good enough to be asked back. Therefore in order to keep my skills up to date (and seek a challenge) I decided to try out some new online presentation software in the form of Emaze. Whilst I found it a little buggy (it kept switching to presenter mode when I was adding text) it was an excellent tool for collaboration with some lovely templates and minus the roller coaster sick inducing transitions of Prezi. Apparently I used it so well that Emaze featured me on their homepage and gave me this little badge to use!
The conference itself went really well despite me feeling a little intimidated after reading the delegate list (Deputy VC's, Directors and Heads of Faculty). It was clear I had some work to do as I was the only person tweeting on the hashtag as well - it was pretty lonely in there! I stuck to time and got some lovely comments from some other universities on the issues I raised. My topic was Digital Transformation so check it out for yourself (I used our current campaign artwork for the slides):

Another big project with which we've just gone live is a total revamp of our 'Student Life' section on our website. We've now titled it 'Student Experience' as this is a big part of our strategic plan and the remit was to author new content to better sell what it is like to be a student with us. The idea was to re-order pages based on input from our Student Union and also by using our analytics to highlight what users engage with most. We also re-wrote all top level content to better showcase the student voice (and embedded videos where possible). This was also a great exercise to tell us where we were missing video content so we're getting editing immediately to plug those gaps.

Another more fun and festive project has been launched this week too - Bedsmas! The idea of this is that we will post a Christmassy photo from one of our campuses via social media each day of December and encourage people to do the same using the hashtag #bedsmas14. These will then be added to a Tagboard which is embedded on our website to show what a vibrant place the University is at this time of year. The winner will then get a £50 Amazon voucher - just in time to spend in the sales! So why not head over yourself and get posting?!

Finally, I just wanted to do another shameless plug for this blog where I have been shortlisted for another blog award (this time for 2015). This time it's in the PR, Marketing, Media and Comms category so if you'd vote for me I'd be extremely grateful. Especially as last year's ceremony was my favourite awards night I've attended (although being able to celebrate my win with a glass of gin and tonic with my wife may well mean I am biased!)
Hands down the best time to be on campus (and for our social media sentiment!) is graduation. Smiling faces and proud loved ones fill every corridor and as members of staff (marketing or otherwise) we can be proud that we've all have made some sort of contribution to their future path.

On Friday I had the opportunity to switch sides by celebrating months of hard work at the IDM (Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing) graduation at the Royal Geographical Society in London for my Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing. This was the culmination of months of hard work by all 200+ graduates and was a reward for all of the study hours that we had to in to be there. As already documented, my particular challenge was to find the time to fit in the amount of work needed to write two 5,000 word assignments and sit three 3 hour exams.

With three children and a demanding job (I never leave the office on time - but then who does nowadays?!) this was the biggest struggle but I managed to motivate myself and start early giving up big chunks of the weekend to budget planning! by going back to studying again I found out a lot about myself (and so did my wife) as I swung from the highs of "This diploma is easy - I'm going to pass no problem", to the lows "Why did I do this? I'm never going to pass?!"

Thankfully I passed with flying colours (surprisingly I'm actually pretty good at exams - who knew?!) achieving a credit and some new letters after my name. Therefore, this graduation was the perfect excuse to take some time out with a day out in London with my wife away from the children. We decided to make the most of it and crammed in as much as we could including a ride on the Emirates Air Line, a visit to the Tower Poppies and (following the ceremony) a meal out for just the two of us.
It all went according to plan with a great ride on the cable car - despite the high winds and the threat of closure, and a breathtaking visit to the Tower Poppies - very busy but worth the trip alone. It was then time for the main event in what was a lovely venue crammed full of Digital marketing experts. I couldn't help but look around and think that these are the people with whom I'll be competing I ever go for an interview for another job!

Seeing my course mates again was great as everyone looked so relaxed (and smart!) It was also nice that our significant others could get chatting about the trials and tribulations of being married to a digital marketer and they said the ceremony helped them understand better what it is we all do for a living.

All of the IDM class of 2014 - including me!
(top left, just under the clock)
After 45mins solid clapping all of the awards were handed out and there was a great atmosphere which was added to by some excellent guest speakers. Overall, I'd recommend the IDM to everyone as the tutors really understood the market and I feel this opportunity has really allowed me to think more strategically about the work which my team undertakes. Now I need to find someone to hang the certificate in pride of place at home...!

Finally, in other news we've just got back from the Prospects Postgraduate Awards in Manchester. We were shortlisted for best Campaign for our cinema advert which we unfortunately didn't win. However, Sarah in the marketing team had written an entry for a Postgraduate Sport campaign which we all worked on last year which was a massive success and easily exceeded our targets. It is great then that this hard work was rewarded with a Gold in the Best Faculty Campaign Category! Excellent work for our final ceremony of the year and a real kick to get us working on our submissions earlier ready for the 2015 round of award ceremonies!
Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home