Going global: organic social traction with the University of Law

Join us for this week's episode of Most Clicked where we discuss how The University of Law's PowerPoints and pop-up banners are making the news in India!

The University of Law cracked the code on media coverage for a seemingly (routine?) overseas recruitment trip to India. 8 local media companies interviewed the uni’s delegation, covering topics like work placements and scholarships. At first, I thought “this must be paid media,” so I reached out to the University’s Director of Recruitment for clarification – but no, everything was due to the recruitment team’s networks and joint effort pounding the pavement. Fair play. Look

Nathan Monk
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Most Clicked. I’m your host Nathan from SMIL. And this week we are talking about the University of Law. Every week I am joined by Kyle from the Education Marketer, Matt Lees from SMILE. And yeah, Kyle over to you. What have the University of Law been up to?

Kyle Campbell
This is this is great this. So I was on LinkedIn. And I noticed that someone from the University of Law shared footage from an international recruitment trip they were doing. But it wasn’t a normal sort of stuff or take on a smartphone thing. It was actually a media organisation covering the trip. And if you work in that, that sort of area, you’ll know that typically the sort of activity you do for these sort of things, you might do a few promoted posts before you go out, try and reach the audience that you’re you’re speaking to overseas. But this is an example of a trip going overseas and having enough sort of resonance in the local sort of media that it got covered.

But it didn’t just get covered once I spoke to the recruitment director, and he was telling me that he actually got covered eight different times from like eight different media organisations. And I don’t think it’s an amazing secret sauce here to get this to happen. But there are a few things that this director mentioned to me. And it was leaning into this idea that you have a team who builds connections in the region over time, no shock to people. But this, this department had been actively looking at which media organisations were interested in them, they know who to speak to. And because they kept going back to the same venue, there were times when events they get that reputation. And this time, something’s just struck, I guess, and you know, one, the organization’s cover it and another one’s picking up as well. It’s just something I’ve never seen before in that international recruitment space. Normally, it’s very paid media orientated. This is completely organic, based on what the media organisation with the cover and the teams work in those sectors.

Matt Lees
So, Kyle, you kind of wrote in your newsletter that you thought it might have been paid coverage here? What’s the norm? What normally happens with these things, then? Because this is obviously this is breaking the mould a bit, I guess?

Kyle Campbell
Yeah, not this. I mean, usually, international recruitment is in my experience all about official partnerships, essentially. And sometimes in those partnerships with agents or organisations, you have a paid media offering. So you can get promotion of your event through various channels, which isn’t news to anyone. Or, you know, normally, the international recruitment team will share with like the marketing team that are going overseas in these certain areas. And then you’ll do like paid campaigns to support that activity, usually starting a conversation before you go. So you can follow up when you’re there. And these tactics are used for a number of years. But this, you know, I’ve never seen an example of organic media picking up off the back of a recruitment trip.

And it’s, it’s so strange to watch a video about an international recruitment trip and the video starts, and then it cuts to a pull-up banner, and some guy delivering a presentation to quite an engaged room. And I think, Wow, this is now at the core of it, this is literally like a pitch for the school. But it’s getting coverage like it’s a point of interest. I just find that fascinating. And it goes to show that the university is offering something that the people in that area genuinely are interested in.

Matt Lees
You talked about tactics there as well. What kind of thing do you think the University of Law have done to build those connections to create such an impact?

Kyle Campbell
Yeah I mean, I’m, I’m not an international recruitment officer. But I do genuinely feel that this team, I get the sense that they can work in that region for a while. And I don’t think that’ll be a surprise to many Higher ED marketing teams. But it seems to me that they’ve probably gone to sale events consistently over years, they’ve got a decent return from it, and because, you know, they know essentially who to speak with, they’ve gotten a reputation. So when they are going overseas, they can mention that going and then the people who are interested in covering that sort of stuff will connect with them.

I mean, it’ll be interesting to hear from University Law. I did speak with their director, that as far as the detailer got it was he was just mentioning that it’s because of the relationships that team have built individually as recruitment professionals over time, because in that sort of business it, you know, sometimes it’s easy to equate it with sales. But it’s much more about partnership management and building those quite exclusive pipelines. It’s a real skill. It’s, it’s an art of a profession.

Nathan Monk
Feels more like sales, doesn’t it than anything else? It’s a little bit of a departure, I guess, from our usual topics of broadcasts. You know, I don’t I don’t feel particularly qualified to talk about this sort of stuff if I’m honest. But it would be really interesting to hear because I mean, who knows? Maybe there’s, there’s talks about it and stuff, but we don’t see them, because it’s not in that marketing realm, I guess. But the takeaway, I guess, from this week’s episode is to build out those relationships early, would you say, Kyle,

Kyle Campbell
I would and you know, especially for someone who works in like partnerships, international recruitment, I mean, sharing that expertise, openly. Consistency is always a good thing. And I think, in the past, it’s been very easy to only talk about a trip a month or so before you go and run campaigns to that end. And what I’ve been seeing more from commercial brands now is that rather than just running campaigns, highlighting expertise, and you know, what, what someone can offer, they just have it always on, you know, they’re always talking about various channels about what they can offer. And, you know, sharing the point of view and building that base over time.

Nathan Monk
I can definitely draw parallels with that. Like, for us, it’s clearing rolls around every year. And every year, people leave it to the last minute to say, hey, let’s do this thing. And so I know it’s going to be, you know, pretty difficult for us sat here on a Monday morning to go with the takeaway is start building relationships and do it early. And in a couple of years, it’ll really pay off, probably not what anybody wants to hear first thing on a Monday morning, but I guess in some abstract sense, the takeaway is to think about anything earlier than is comfortable, you know, if clearing is three months away, it might be too late to already start thinking about that. And sure, you can pull something off. But I guess my takeaway is to look ahead and plan things as early as possible and build into those plans, yearly plans, maybe even I suppose.

Kyle Campbell
Yeah, I got on board with that. I mean, we won’t look at it this way. Like if you’ve got an international recruitment expert in a certain region, and that person has been sharing, you know, relative content for the audience they’re trying to recruit for six months in advance, just organically. And then it comes to a student choosing who to speak to who have never heard of someone or versus someone who has been clearly sharing advice and helping them along that way. I mean, you know, who you’re going to choose, and yeah, that’s not like saying overnight turn, isn’t it? I mean, the content marketing stuff, like 6 to 18 months, isn’t it for you to start seeing results, but you’re right earlier, you know, it’s cheaper as well, if you think about it if it was organic. So there are just so many things to be thinking about.

Nathan Monk
Yes, yeah. And where are we now we’re in what May? April/May. So yeah. If you’re not starting to think about clearing, think about clearing now. That probably wraps up today’s episode. Thanks, Kyle. Thanks, Matt. I do want to ask for a like, follow or subscribe, please drop it down below. Until next week. Have a good one. Bye.

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Elliott Barnicle

Lead Designer