Loughborough University is rated among the top universities in the UK, appearing in the top 10 for all three of the UK’s main league tables (the Times & Sunday Times, Guardian and Complete University Guide), as well as being in the National Student Survey Top 20, and achieving a Gold ranking in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

We were appointed by Loughborough University in 2018 to help raise the profile of the university among key decision makers and influencers, including funders, politicians, think tanks and civil servants.

Tactics

The university was keen for us to leave a legacy that the communications department could take forward in the future. Our approach was therefore a mix of empowering staff to expand their skill base through training & development and helping to build internal capacity by establishing what the university had which would pique the interest of key decision makers and influencers.

Campaign Collective worked with the university to identify a number of research areas where it was particularly strong, including youth crime and transport technology.

We undertook extensive audits of key influencers in each research area and developed a series of stakeholder maps to support a coordinated approach to each organisation/individual.

For each output, we also delivered a training session for the communications team to help them develop and deliver their own stakeholder strategy in future. As part of this, we also wrote a 37-page guide on developing a stakeholder strategy and working with politicians and civil servants, as well as stakeholder mapping templates and a guide to how Parliament works.

Results

The work we did has changed how the university approached stakeholder engagement, with the communication team incorporating it in other aspects of their work and appointing someone in the team to look after all stakeholder engagement work. Academics at the university also recognised the benefits in using this approach to help get their work noticed by influencers.

Our analysis helped identify a range of organisations and individuals that the university hadn’t had any contact with previously, as well as provide a strategic way for engaging organisations with whom they had a relationship already.

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