Liberty Living is a major provider of student accommodation across the UK. It has 46 properties in 17 cities – hosting more than 17,000 students. They had ambitious plans to grow the business, doubling the size of the operation – following a change of ownership and the impending launch of a refreshed brand, presenting Liberty as a student accommodation partner. The UK student accommodation market is highly competitive, and having a positive reputation, and trusting strong relationships with universities is essential to Liberty Living’s success. It is therefore essential that they understand how they are perceived in the minds of their clients, prospects and wider stakeholders.
Communications Management designed a targeted qualitative research project to capture and analyse perceptions among the following groups: relevant contacts in existing partner universities, relevant contacts in prospective partner universities, representatives of intermediary organisations that are relevant to Liberty Living’s interests and that can influence the above communities. The interviewees were asked to make judgments on the following key criteria:
- The improvements made over the last five years
- How highly respondents rated Liberty Living against key competitors
- The extent to which they agreed with a series of prepared statements about Liberty Living.
Communications Management presented Liberty Living with a full report including the following
- The short, medium and long term implications of perceptions trends for Liberty Living
- A series of recommendations and a practical ‘steer’ for the communications and PR strategy and for immediate priorities
- The immediate ‘business’ opportunities (leads for Liberty Living to pursue as a direct result of the consultations).