Agency: Linstock Communications
In a highly competitive environment, universities are constantly looking for new ways to ensure that their voices are heard. Newcastle University, a member of the Russell Group which represents the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, was looking to distinguish itself, boost its political profile and ensure its academic research was used to influence policy.
To differentiate Newcastle from other universities, Linstock focused activity on the three societal challenge themes under which the University’s research is grouped: ageing, social renewal and sustainability. We worked with the in-house communications team to devise and deliver termly programmes of targeted initiatives around these issues which included content development, media activity and stakeholder engagement.
One example of how Linstock ensured that Newcastle’s voice was heard on a particular policy issue was its work on the regional devolution agenda. In order to engage with policy makers, Linstock worked with academics from the University’s Institute for Social Renewal to produce a pamphlet of essays setting out recommendations on how to solve the challenges of keeping communities at the heart of devolution. Linstock then arranged a roundtable event at which the academics could discuss their ideas with policy makers and influencers, including business representatives and community campaign groups, as well as securing media coverage for the pamphlet’s themes.
The Institute for Social Renewal’s roundtable was attended by representatives from DCLG, PwC and IPPR and the pamphlet was covered in The New Statesman. It also provided a platform for Newcastle to host events at the Conservative and Scottish National Party Conferences where relationships were built with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the CBI.