A 360 Vision

Vicky Hayhurst, Revolution Viewing Commercial Director says universities must showcase their best assets and facilities to compete

1. Could you tell us more about Revolution Viewing and how you work?

Revolution Viewing’s primary mission is to create desire with prospective students to help them select their perfect university. We also work with universities to produce content which increases brand engagement or conveys key messages to specific audiences in communications which reach beyond student recruitment.

We do this by specialising in creating rich media content – videos, 360s, virtual tours and virtual open days – which tells a compelling story about what universities have to offer and showcases their very best assets and facilities.

We are the only agency that can supply this suite of solutions with our growing in-house team and all our solutions work across multiple devices, browsers and platforms. Since we were founded in 2004, we have worked with 66 universities and the number grows each year. During that time we have become experts in delivering innovative and engaging content that is right for the sector and also in working with university professional staff, academics and students. We have learned a great deal about the sector as a whole, as well as the behaviours and expectations of target audiences.

2. Could you explain the process of how you work with universities?

Whilst almost every project we work on is bespoke due to the nature of our solutions and the need for every university to be distinctive, we constantly strive to make the process of working with Revolution Viewing as streamlined and as effective as possible. This means that there is more time to focus on the quality and impact of the supplied solution.

From taking a detailed and informed brief, to providing a robust project plan approach and generating creative solutions, to delivering with professionalism and flair and then taking time to debrief with the client at the end of each project, we set out expectations at each step of this process. We explain who is responsible for what and when and we never miss a deadline. These are just some of the things which are really appreciated by our clients and for which we gain consistently positive feedback.

Ultimately we do everything that we can to make it easy for universities to work with us. We understand their challenges and we have the experience and competency to overcome these.

3. In your opinion, how have university attitudes to student recruitment changed in recent years?

With the continually changing and unpredictable funding environment and increased competition between UK universities and from institutions overseas, there are more universities taking marketing and student recruitment more seriously than ever before.

Just one area where this shift is visible is in the increasing number of marketing professionals that are being recruited into the sector as well as the remits and positions of senior marketers climbing up the hierarchy – there is still a way to go with the latter however! And you only have to look at how competitive Clearing & Adjustment has become to see that it’s not just the Post-92 universities that are spending big money on recruitment, the Russell Group are having to think more carefully about being active at this time too. This certainly wasn’t the case back in 2005.

In times of decreased government funding for all universities, regardless of league table positioning or research prowess, more students equal more income. So why shouldn’t all universities be investing more in activity that will result in more students?

4. How do you see Revolution Viewing growing and developing in the future?

Our future growth and development will be mostly led by what universities need in terms of rich media content that will engage with their key audiences and by what those audiences desire. This means that we will continue to keep abreast of sector trends and policy as well as researching and measuring content that will have the biggest impact on prospective students.

Over the past 12 months we have had great success in working with universities in a more strategic and consultative approach which adds huge value to whatever solution we produce. Much of this work has been based on the findings of cutting-edge research that we did – overseen by academics at Leeds University Business School – which has looked at how influential rich media are at key points in the student recruitment cycle. Building on the impact this research has had for over 30 universities so far, we will be expanding our commitment in this area so that we have the most up-to-date insight into what prospective students need and expect from rich media content. We will then work with universities to transfer that insight and develop the best possible content for the specific needs of each university.

There’s a real buzz around, and intrigue in, rich media content in HE at the moment which we expect to increase over the coming years. We’re very excited to be playing a leading part in it! 

W: www.revolutionviewing.co.uk

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