Shandwick lands UK education PR

The first brand campaign to promote British further and higher education abroad has been awarded to Shandwick public affairs and its sister advertising agency, McCann-Erickson.

The first brand campaign to promote British further and higher

education abroad has been awarded to Shandwick public affairs and its

sister advertising agency, McCann-Erickson.



The British Council, which is running the campaign, also shortlisted

WPP-owned sister firms Hill and Knowlton and JWT, and Omnicom-owned

Interbrand Newell and Sorrell. Fees for the PR element of the campaign

run into six figures.



The British Council, the Government agency which promotes British

culture abroad, has initially briefed McCann-Erickson and Shandwick to

devise a single brand for British universities, further education

colleges and independent schools.



The second stage of the three-year contract involves promoting the new

brand abroad to attract foreign students to British institutions.

Overseas fees are worth more than pounds 7 billion in invisible exports

for the British economy.



The first task for Shandwick is to ensure the messages devised for the

new brand fit in with the Labour Government’s agenda. Prime Minister

Tony Blair is believed to be keen to promote British education overseas.

Shandwick will also communicate the campaign to educational bodies and

the media.



The implementation phase starts next year and will cover key countries

in south Asia, the Middle East and eastern and southern Europe.

Shandwick’s overseas offices will be brought in at this stage.



Shandwick’s account is being led by public affairs chief executive Colin

Byrne, with consultant Ian Moss acting as his number two.



Byrne will work closely with the account team at McCann-Erickson and

report to Allan Barnes, the British Council’s education counselling

service director, who is responsible for promoting British education in

the 108 countries the council is active in.



Barnes said: ’We’ve never tried to create a coherent British education

brand before. We work with 270 institutions from Oxbridge to small

further education colleges and independent schools. It’s very difficult

to promote that many products.’



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