St Patrick's Technical College

The situation

St Patrick's Technical College provides a trade focused SACE education for Year 11 and 12 students. Its mission is to have a positive impact on the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of young people and the wider community in the Northern Adelaide region.

St Patrick’s Technical College needed to increase enrolments to achieve its objective of attracting over 340 new students in a single year. A major barrier to achieving this was a lack of awareness among potential students and parents, the local community, local schools and industry about the college and the range of opportunities it has to offer.

The college needed a communications campaign that could quickly and effectively engage with these target audiences in order to boost local interest in the College ahead of its Open Day.

In response, Hughes PR developed a communications strategy, which included a strong digital and social media component.


Objectives

The key objectives of the digital and social media strategy were to:

  • Raise awareness of the college among key stakeholders including current and potential students and their families, local community, industry and local schools.
  • Position St Patrick’s as the trade training experts.
  • Encourage discussion of and endorsement for St Patrick’s among key stakeholders, particularly among current students who provide the most new student referrals.
  • Establish credibility among the families of current and potential students that St Patricks is providing the best pathway to kick start their family member’s career.
  • Drive enquiries to the college and traffic to the college’s website and social media channels.

Elements

To achieve these objectives, Hughes PR provided St Patrick’s College with:

  • Advice on the design and development of social media channels including a new St Patrick’s YouTube channel and Facebook page
  • Redesign of the college’s printed Blueprint newsletter into a  e-News bulletin with a sign up page integrated within the Facebook page
  • Guidance on Search Engine Optimisation
  • Recommendations for a staff policy on the use of social media and online communications
  • Training for key staff on social media risk management and record keeping
  • A practical tone and style guide for communicating online

Testimonial

"St Patrick’s Technical College engaged Hughes PR to assist us in developing a Social Media strategy as part of our Marketing and Communications program designed to drive enrolment enquiries.

"Since the implementation of our new program, enrolment figures to the middle of this year are up 300% on last year and 135% on our best previous year with most enrolment enquiries noting an interaction at some point prior to lodging an application with at least one element of our on-line presence or a Social Media channel."

"As a bonus, our Facebook presence in particular has provided a channel for College graduates to re-engage with our school and in so doing for us to be able to share in and celebrate their post-school successes."

Patrick Kelly, Business Development Manager



The St Patrick’s College social media channels are now being regularly monitored and updated by staff and demonstrates a high level of interaction between the college and its students, their families and alumni.

Its YouTube channel features a variety of videos created by staff and students, the Facebook page is now a major communications channel for the college, the college website features a regular Principal’s blog and the redesigned Blueprint e-News bulletin is distributed to over 100 supporters of St Patrick’s College.

The increased local interest in the College as a result of this campaign is reflected in the high level of media coverage leading up to and following the Open Day which included articles in the Adelaide Advertiser, Bunyip, Guardian, Messenger, News Review Messenger and Southern Cross newspapers.