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World Challenge – Step ahead

Overview

As one of the leading global providers of experiential student travel, World Challenge wanted to accelerate its growth internationally over the next five years. To support this, the organisation needed to ensure that it maintained its credibility, secured its reputation and competed effectively against other education providers.

Communications Management was appointed to help World Challenge build its profile, reputation and credibility through media relations. As a commercial organisation operating within the education sector it soon became clear that a different approach was needed to reach their target audience of secondary schools, students and parents.

 

Strategy

Communications Management developed a strategy that would help to position World Challenge as a thought leader in this area. Working together with World Challenge we identified the theme of  ‘the real value of extra-curricular activities within the university application process’ as one they had a unique contribution around. To ensure that this debate was driven by genuine, independent insight we conducted qualitative and quantitative research on this issue to produce a 20 page, fully designed research report.

  • The research consisted of 52 one-to-one, in-depth interviews with representatives from HE bodies, heads of admissions and student recruitment at UK universities, heads of sixth-form and students either in their first year at university or currently applying through UCAS.
  • We also gathered quantitative evidence through online surveys of university admissions teams (63) and students (351). The process of conducting the research – by involving all target audiences – was in itself a way of engaging with key stakeholders and helped them build their reputation with this key audience.

 

Results

  • Our press release was picked up by 184 media outlets including national, regional, sector, online and radio titles. Example coverage includes The Times, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Press Association, Times Higher Education, Schools Week and SecEd.
  • Copies of the report were also sent to key stakeholders with personal responses from Director of Strategy at the DfE, the PUS for Childcare and Education and the Chief Executive of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
  • The impact of the report extends beyond the media coverage secured as a result. The research was uploaded onto the World Challenge website alongside a short online video produced by World Challenge which gives a summary of the results. Hard copies of the report were also shared with the sales team; feedback so far has been that this report has been an invaluable resource to help demonstrate the benefits of an expedition with more authority and credibility than a traditional sales pitch.