Academia Case Study

The Client

 Established in 2003, Academia supplies software, hardware and training to the education and not-for-profit sectors. Working in partnership with a wide range of vendors such as Adobe, Apple, Quark and Microsoft, the company’s rapid growth is down to its competitive prices, value-added service and staffs’ in-depth product knowledge.

In October 2008, Academia, along with 11 other suppliers, was awarded a Becta / OGC framework agreement to supply specialist academic software and hardware to education institutions in Britain.


  • To raise the profile of the work Academia is doing with schools, focussing on a single vendor (Apple).
  • To position Academia as the premier supplier under the Framework Agreement ahead of BETT 2010.
  • To drive traffic to the site and generate business leads from other London schools.

The Strategy

TopLine recommended a targeted, strategic approach, starting with a single case study constructed around a trial at a school in London. Academia partnered with Brentford City Learning Council to supply iPhones to 35 students at Gumley House Convent School in November/December 2009. The trial was designed to produce information on how iPhones can facilitate learning in pupils from Year 7 to Year 13, and was based on two years’ worth of study carried out by education expert, Professor Michael Gibson.

The PR project included the following elements:

  • Development of Tier 1 and Tier 2 target media lists.
  • Detailed case study of the project, including comments from Academia, Brentford CLC, teachers and students.
  • A media release based on the case study distributed to Tier 1 and 2 publications as a news story.
  • Media interviews with key education/ICT and public sector focused journalists

The Results

The campaign generated over 40 pieces of coverage including prominent positioning in the BBC, The Daily Telegraph and, The Mail On Sunday and The Mirror websites and Government Computing Magazine. The case study was also featured on the BETT 2010 website in the lead up to BETT 2010. The story generated a high amount of blog coverage and heavily featured in social media as a consequence, as well as a wide range of Mac-focussed publications. It also realised global coverage with recorded hits across Europe and East Asia.

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