- The Erudition Schools Trust (Innovation School Stoke)
To officially launch a new concept in nurturing vulnerable young people who have become disengaged with mainstream education, in Stoke on Trent.
Innovation School Stoke (ISS) is part of The Erudition Schools Trust (EST), a not-for-profit organisation that combines traditional teaching methods with access to cutting edge technology. ISS caters for some of the most vulnerable and challenged young people in and around Stoke on Trent. The alternative education provider nurtures a holistic, inclusive, personalised and progressive learning culture to improve life chances, life skills and career prospects for its students.
Following the success of an initial pilot, and with a need to raise the profile of the offering to prospective service users and external agencies, The Erudition Schools Trust enlisted the support of Papillon PR.
Strategy and tactics
Tasked with raising the profile of the fledgling school to existing and prospective stakeholders with no additional budget; Papillon PR set about drumming up press and broadcast interest in the official launch ceremony. Key messages for ISS and EST were distilled into clear, considered and impactful written and verbal communication.
After identifying key regional print, online and broadcast media contacts, a dynamic press release was drafted and issued announcing the opening of ISS and conveying the key messages, aims and objectives of both school and sponsor. The PPR team liaised regularly with media in the run up to the launch event to encourage attendance and secure placement of the story.
Papillon PR consultants attended the opening ceremony to facilitate media attendance and requirements, brief spokespeople and students prior to interviews, help host VIP guest, Lord David Puttnam, and co-ordinate photography.
A post event press release was also drafted and issued, including endorsements from Lord Puttnam, which provided ISS with a public parliamentary seal of approval.
On the day, three regional media outlets attended the opening ceremony, including ITV Central television; BBC Radio Stoke and The Stoke Sentinel.
ITV Central filmed throughout the day, capturing precious footage of ISS staff engaging students in learning, one to one interviews with ISS head of school, Emma Shutt and student Tom Morgan-Powell, the ribbon cutting speech made by Lord Puttnam and the special film workshop facilitated by the Oscar winning producer. The story was broadcast during the prime-time six o clock news on the same day, with an estimated 5,146,000 people turning in.
BBC Radio Stoke attended and interviewed both students and teachers, in addition to the VIP guest, and provided a well-rounded and incredibly positive view of the vision of the school. The programme aired during a drive time news bulletin and was listened to by an estimated 126,000 people within Stoke and surrounding areas.
One of the largest regional newspapers in the country, The Stoke Sentinel, also sent its education reporter, Kathie McInnes to cover the story. The story appeared as a full page and a half spread in the next day’s paper, which boasts a circulation of 37,481.
Lifestyle magazine, Staffordshire Living, also covered news of the event on the education section of its website.
The sentiment of all coverage achieved was hugely positive and key messages were conveyed clearly and objectively by all media. In addition, the advertising value equivalent of the exposure secured has been estimated at £9,578, which provides EST with a significant return on its investment with Papillon PR.
What the client said…
“Many, many thanks for all of your help with the organising of everything for the official opening by Lord David Puttnam of our Innovation School Stoke on the 15th January. It was a great success!”
Karen Mackay, managing director, Erudition Schools Trust and surrounding areas.