North East England Chamber of Commerce

Giving businesses their say in skills provision

The North East of England Chamber of Commerce was asked by the Government to put together a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for the North of Tyne and Tees Valley areas. The LSIP is designed to put employers at the heart of the skills system by requiring Further Education Colleges or other training providers to tailor their educational offer to the requirements of employers.

Unlike previous initiatives to address skills and training issues, the Local Skills Improvement Plan is enshrined in law and providers will be assessed by Ofsted on how they adhere to it.

Cool Blue was appointed in December 2022 by the Chamber to create a campaign identity for LSIPs and build brand awareness in the early stages of the LSIPs project. Our objective was to reach businesses in the North of Tyne and Tees Valley regions, encouraging them to submit their views
on skills and training to the Chamber’s dedicated LSIPs research team.

We had a limited time frame in which to accomplish this goal since the Chamber needed to gather all feedback and evidence before the end of April 2023.

Our Approach

Through our inception meeting with the Chamber team, we established the key themes and activations for the campaign. It was important to tie the LSIPs creative in with the Chamber’s existing brand to give people that instant awareness that it was a Chamber-run campaign.

Following our initial meetings, Cool Blue identified media advertorial as the key marketing activation for this campaign, supported by local PR and social media content. Our recommendation was based on previous experience on this channel as the most effective way to ensure that the campaign message reached as many businesses as possible in a short period of time.

Results achieved within 12 weeks

>23,299,245

audience reach from advertorials and editorial campaign.

1,200

businesses directly engaged in the Tees Valley.

1,280

businesses directly engaged in the North of Tyne.

The Government is expected to approve the North of Tyne and Tees Valley LSIPs by summer 2023 so they can then be implemented. Figures from the North East England Chamber of Commerce indicates that its LSIPs campaign engaged up to 10 times more businesses
than LSIP campaigns in other parts of the country.

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Delivery

Our creative team worked up two potential creative routes for the look and feel of the campaign, presenting them to the team at the Chamber.
Once the preferred route was chosen, this was then rolled out into a series of assets including:

  • Logos
  • Social media profiles
  • Social media video content
  • Banners for events
  • An LSIPs survey
  • Eventbrite images

At the start of our campaign, we created a media launch to announce the campaign to the public and secured coverage on BusinessLive, which is a key title in terms of the geographical parameters of the LSIPs campaign.

Our media campaign set out what LSIPs are and encouraged local businesses to get involved with the Chamber’s survey to help build a blueprint for training and upskilling in the future. The piece also featured on BusinessLive’s morning news bulletin.

Media advertising was also identified as a key activation for this campaign. With the LSIPs campaign targeting North of Tyne and Tees Valley only, our approach to media advertising needed to be highly targeted in terms of where the LSIPs messaging was going and in which media titles. We ran an advertising campaign including 14 different advertorials/ads across seven different titles. All content was tailored to the regional audience of each specific title.

To further support the campaign, we set up social media channels on Instagram and Twitter for the North of Tyne and the Tees Valley sections of the campaign. Cool Blue created both static and video assets in keeping with the LSIPs branding. The channels acted as additional support to the advertorials and directed users to relevant links. All posts tagged the Chamber’s Instagram and Twitter accounts to help boost organic reach with a repost or post like.

In addition, we suggested and forecasted a paid social media strategy to highly target the campaign and boost engagement.

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