Zoom call

On 20 March 2020, colleges and universities across the UK were closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. @LeicesterColl was no exception and since then, with the city of Leicester moving into new tiers and different lockdown restrictions, the College has faced a number of challenges, primarily with the changing delivery of courses but also with the way in which it communicates with existing and potential new students.

The College’s Marketing department has achieved great success in recent years through a combination of traditional and digital marketing activities to promote the College’s range of courses to new students.

However, a new education landscape that has been forced by the onset of Covid restrictions and the increasingly competitive further education sector. This has meant that the Marketing team has had to differentiate its digital marketing strategies and utilise more innovative digital marketing techniques to attract prospective students.

Transforming to a digital campaign

Whereas the College would usually employ traditional events such as open days, school visits and also distributing printed course materials, during lockdown, the Marketing team has focused on a number of key virtual activities to inform interested new students.

These have included a strategic programme of events and activities including:

  • Key recruitment/retention online events
  • Tour videos
  • Live streaming cross-College functions
  • E-communications with students
  • Careers advice online
  • Summer communications
  • ‘Discover LC’ campaign
  • Pre-recorded presentations and resource packs for local schools
  • Virtual marketplace
  • October Open Day

Examples of marketing success

These activities and events achieved several significant successes in promoting the College offering to new audiences.

The October 2020 Virtual Open Event recorded 319 pre-event registrations with an additional 8,152 views of the videos on Facebook and YouTube after the event. The November Virtual Open Event saw an increase of registrations to 452, with an additional 2,300 views on the day of the event and 3,816 on Facebook and YouTube afterwards.

The Marketing department also prepared and distributed a number of ‘keeping warm’ emails from February to August 2020, each personalised to particular subject areas. There were 2,568 recipients of these emails and overall open rates reached an admirable 76 per cent.

A comprehensive Digital Resources Pack was produced and sent to schools, colleges, stakeholders and partners. Feedback on the pack was excellent including Simmi Patel from Soar Valley College who commented that the ‘content was great’ and that it was ‘shown during tutor time where they featured a different college each session. Leicester College was one of the first featured colleges as it was sent with plenty of time in advance’. There was ‘lots of info, good presentation and virtual tours’ and ‘students were pleased with the information’.

Gerarde Manley from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) added that they ‘forwarded on to schools in their network’. Gerarde commented that it ‘looked fantastic, just what they needed’. They ‘particularly liked the support offer’, with its ‘short and sharp information’.

Figures boosted by marketing activity

Marketing activity during the pandemic has helped to drive traffic towards the website where there was a significant increase in enquiries received online – up from 948 in 2019 to 3,870 in 2020. Requests for applications also increased from 17,529 to 21,135, whilst 2,800 completed an application in 2019, 3,837 did so in 2020.

Highlights of positive feedback on online events:

"It looks amazing."
Jessica Catherine - November Open Event

"Thank you so much to the panelists. You represent us so well. It is people like you that make Leicester unique and special. Peace and blessings."
Pauline Matturi - Black History Month live stream

"Massive thank you."
Wiktor Cyboron - Careers live stream

"This is definitely going to lead to a high paying job."
fefi - YouTube childcare stream

"Really interesting to learn a bit more about LaunchPad, particularly hearing from a student's perspective, thank you.”
Estelle Kynaston - LaunchPad live stream

"Good job, chase your dreams!"
DIXX - Careers Live stream


Marketing team builds strong platform

Hannah Georg, Marketing Communications Manager at Leicester College says: “Lockdown has necessitated a re-evaluation of how we, as a college, reach out to potential new students. Although we were already focusing an increasing amount of resources on digital marketing, the physical separation caused by the Covid restrictions has meant that we had to quickly and efficiently establish a new strategy to successfully communicate with students in a virtual way, using new channels.

“Given that they were also working in a decentralised way, our team has really come together and worked so hard to develop and implement a pattern of activity that has enabled us to extend our messaging through new and innovative channels.”

“Admissions for full-time 16-18 year olds in September 2020 were on target which we see as a success, given the climate in which we were operating and the fact that GCSE grades were exceptionally high last year. Many students would have had the option of a more academic route but still chose to come to us.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

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