Phil Smith, associate director (higher education) for Communications Management, explained: ‘Our job is to support the university’s profile and build its reputation around its specific strengths. The challenge is that at this time of year other universities are strengthening their comms efforts with recruitment in mind.’
Smith pointed to the clearing process that takes place as A-level results emerge in August as one particular focus for the three-month project.
He added: ‘Journalists are already starting to develop material around clearing, when you have a scramble for students. Work will be on reaching influencers such as parents, career advisers and teachers through both national and regional media, as well as students online through social media.’
Communication Management’s appointment follows the arrival of marketing and comms director Karen Smith from Coventry University, where she previously worked with the agency, in January.
A study by vice-chancellors' group Universities UK revealed that last year – the first year that student fees increased – England's universities recruited around 28,000 fewer students than expected