Stefan Drew is a marketing consultant

Most providers obtain good media coverage on topics as diverse as student successes, new builds, Honours List surprises and student trips.  This is laudable; but does it demonstrate expertise in all the other things providers excel in?

The problem is that this type of coverage supports the perception that providers only work with young people.  Even the occasional story on a ministerial or Royal visit does little to demonstrate providers’ expertise in everything from arboriculture and catering to environmental sustainability, video production and viticulture.

Ask yourself, when was the last time the BBC phoned and asked for an interview on a non-education topic?  They regard FE as expert in NVQs and the delivery of apprenticeships but they rarely ask FE providers to comment on contemporary stories or to be a panellist on a phone-in on customer service.

Yet providers are one of the richest sources of expertise in town!  If a journalist wants to interview someone on English wines, Motorsport or Blacksmithing there are providers that have some of the finest expertise in the UK.

The question is, do journalists know this?

A recent survey of journalists leads me to the conclusion the answer is no.  Sadly, many journalists still see providers as delivering courses for school leavers and nothing more.

Why demonstrating expertise breadth is important

Before going on to explain how to ensure the media knows about your expertise, a word on why this is important.

If we want employers and others seeing beyond your 16-19 provision you need to inform them that you have a wider expertise and offer.  Clearly you can advertise, but this is expensive and limited by the number of people that read or hear the short advert.  A 3-4 minute interview on radio or TV is much more likely to grab attention and is much more authorative.  Repeat that via contemporary interviews on a range of topics and you have the opportunity to demonstrate a breadth of expertise.

Informing the media about your breath of expertise

One excellent way of doing this is to write a media release entitled “Ten things you don’t know about Xyz College” and circulate it very widely.  In this type of media release, you don’t need to limit yourself to one side of A4; write several pages if you wish.

Each topic needs a catchy headline and compelling copy that explains your expertise.  Be bold and don’t hold back.  If, like Plumpton College, you run a business called Wine Skills, mentor industry leaders and have graduates running vineyards in NZ, Australia etc., say so very clearly.

If, like Tresham College, you have a centre at The Silverstone Circuit, make sure every journalist that writes about cars and racing knows.

Most providers have expertise in many areas of industry.  In many cases their expertise is market leading.  Yet we still see too many providers being reticent about letting the media know that they are experts … hence the industry employers also lack that knowledge and the providers loses out.

The remedy is easy.  Shout your expertise.

This is just one way in which you can demonstrate expertise. There are several more; explore them and become the journalists first port of call when the next story breaks.

Stefan Drew is a marketing consultant, and was previously director of marketing at two FHE colleges. He now works with providers throughout Europe and the US. Visit:

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Since the call here seems to include Mind the Quality,
in which ways should quality be defined and...

Abertay has published a new article: How do I qualify as a First Aid Trainer? yesterday
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter yesterday

The latest podcasts from FE News for 10/16/2021 -
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page