DVD to promote a college

Q: What are the key aspects should I include in a corporate film to promote my college?

Student Services Manager
West Country Further Education College

A: Using a corporate DVD or video to promote a college of further education is very different to promoting to a university as you’re dealing with a much wider range of students than a university.

Courses at a college of further education can range from A levels to apprenticeships, adult vocational courses and adult leisure, which is quite a mix, and not confined to any one student sector with similar aims and ambitions, such as you’d find at a university.

This suggests that you’ll need an interactive DVD with sections for each of your major student groups. You could also use an interactive multimedia cd-rom with video to achieve the same.

Trying to lump all students in one single video programme wouldn’t work, as what appeals to adult leisure learners won’t appeal to potential A level students. Each audience has to have a separate section.

Interactive DVD obviously solves this as you could have a College Overview & Intro module, followed by separate modules for each of the major audience.

For example, for A level students you’d be promoting good results as a stepping stone to university. But for apprenticeships you’d be promoting the fact that students would gain key work skills while being paid by an employer. On the other hand, adult vocational course students are looking for a better higher paid future.

Hopefully you can see the need to address each of these different groups in terms of their own aspirations.

Once you’ve clearly established the aspirational needs for each of your distinct student groups, then whatever information you wanted to provide for them would be framed in these terms.

A college DVD or multimedia is also an opportunity for the college to say what it’s looking for.

For example, I did some promotional work for a college of further education in London.

Their biggest problem was the student drop out rate among A level and apprentice students. Many of the students weren’t keeping up with the work, and were quitting, especially in the first year. It was a case of too much messing about by immature young people, fresh out of school.

We tackled this problem by firmly stating that the college was looking for students who wanted to succeed. We went further by stating that the college was no place for those who weren’t committed to working to succeed.

In some ways this was quite a tough message, but it worked well. It earned the college respect from the students, rather than put them off. And it prepared them for real life at college.

Actual content of the interactive promotional DVD would focus around the facilities, courses and special features or service you offer, perhaps in many ways similar to your existing brochure or prospectus.

So my main response to the original question would be:

> focus on each different student group

> use a modular approach whether interactive DVD or multimedia cd rom

> don’t be frightened of appearing tough and saying what the college expects from each group.

On our video marketing gallery you can see clips from a promotional video we made for a university in London

Good luck with your promotional video

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