College scoops national award for X Factor drive

A promotional drive which secured unprecedented UK and international media coverage for a Bishop Auckland College music course has secured a national industry award.
By: Bishop Auckland College
BISHOP AUCKLAND, U.K. - Dec. 2, 2013 - PRLog --  

A promotional drive which secured unprecedented UK and international media coverage for a Bishop Auckland College music course has secured a national industry award.

In January the college launched an evening class designed to prepare budding performers for auditions such as ITV hit show the X Factor. The aim was to use popular culture as a hook to attract young unemployed people to enrol at the college for the first time.

Students who enrolled on the 17-week programme, which ended just in time for the 2013 auditions for the show, received technical tuition in singing and performing and coaching on how to project themselves confidently.

The idea behind the unique course stemmed from the college’s previous work with X Factor winners – in summer 2012 Joe McElderry and James Arthur both performed at the Bishop Auckland Music and Arts Festival.

The first course of its kind to directly link the NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Music to TV talent shows, news spread quickly with coverage across most national newspapers and many regional radio stations across the UK.

This included a live broadcast from the college’s main campus on ITV’s Daybreak programme, and North East regional television, radio and press coverage.

International media interest included the Hollywood Reporter in the US, Australian press and titles across Europe, which led to enquiries about the course from as far afield as Malta. In all, there were 129 items of print, broadcast and internet media coverage worth over £400,000 in equivalent advertising terms with the potential to have reached 30 million people.

The media storm put the spotlight on efforts by colleges across the country to engage young people who are not in employment, education or training, known as NEETs, to the delight of the Association of Colleges and the College Marketing Network.

It also led to thousands of extra hits on the college website that week and dozens of course enquiries.

Last Monday night the college received a Silver Award in the PR campaign category at the College Marketing Network’s FE First Awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in Warwick. Describing the course promotion as "excellent", judges said: "The team should be very proud of this entry and their campaign. It sets a standard for future campaigns and award entries."

Kevin Burns, Head of Marketing and Schools Liaison, said: "We were astonished by the level of media interest in this course, which helped us successfully recruit a group of students, some of whom have since progressed on to higher level full time courses.

"You need to be innovative in the further education sector to engage young people who are not in work or training and using popular culture in this way can lead to accusations of ‘dumbing down’. But we were delighted at the success of this course and very pleased to receive this award."

For more information on courses at Bishop Auckland College, visit or email or call 01388 443000.

Peter Davies CBE, Interim Chief Executive of the Education & Training Foundation, presents the award to (l-r) Chris Jennings, Kevin Burns and Christina Munn of Bishop Auckland College.

Media contacts
For more information or interviews contact Chris Jennings at or on (0191) 340 8422.

Chris Jennings
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Tags:National Award, PR, Bishop Auckland, College, X-factor
Industry:Education, Marketing
Location:Bishop Auckland - Durham - England
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