“We couldn’t have asked for a better agency to help with this campaign! They’ve been perfect”

Phoebe Maxwell, Marketing Manager, Access Creative College


Media & Influencer Relations, Event Management, Social Media, Stakeholder Communications


Access Creative College has been delivering creative education for over 25 years. Operating as England’s largest private training provider, the college delivers creative education at campuses in seven cities – from Bristol to York.

With plans for the creation of a new campus and the expansion of its creative course provision to include Games and Media in Bristol, AMBITIOUS was appointed to launch Bristol’s first digital campus for the national college.

Following a rebrand from Access to Music to Access Creative College, the campaign needed to deliver on a number of project criteria, including:

  • Put Access Creative College on the creative industries map in Bristol
  • Secure a minimum number of student sign ups
  • Raise the college’s profile to help deliver student recruitment, connectivity with the creative industry & engage strategic partners for its future success
  • Showcase the Access Creative College campus whilst under development and present an attractive proposition, so more students benefit from its expertise and experience in helping with future employment prospects and for the college to be viewed as a strong vocational path to Higher Education
  • Identify & engage a minimum of ten creative industry leaders & innovators – to support credibility, collaborate on projects, teach, & mentor students

From our experience of working within the education sector we understood many of the challenges faced in presenting creative industries as a career choice. Specifically that it is often seen as ‘second choice’ or as a ‘back-up’ for students who were unsuccessful in gaining qualifications for more academic subjects. And, not fully understood by parents and carers as a high growth sector with employment. We needed to address this and build credibility by showcasing successful employer partners.

Our strategy was informed and underpinned by industry, audience and geo research. It included five strategy strands:

  • Engage– well respected employers & creative industry networks for support & partnerships to build credibility
  • Create– inspiring events that get students motivated to sign up
  • Secure media credibility – to support parent buy-in through generating media relations activity, paid media opportunities & securing mentoring partnerships
  • Go hyper local –target community newsletters for paid for opportunities, ensuring reach into broad range of inner city communities
  • Beyond press coverage –identify online, social & broadcast opportunities with regional press to target the youth audience

The campaign activity was rolled out into two ‘term’ phases, including:

  • Autumn Term: Stakeholder & Influencer Programme
  • Spring Term: Student Recruitment:

Our results included:

  • Smashed student sign-up targets – prospective students signed up as direct result of PR
  • Secured partnerships & collaborations with 20 key city stakeholders including gaming, social media & video production companies, media and creative industry networks
  • A Minster’s seal of approval – personal address from the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries for the launch. The video address was played at the official opening and also featured heavily as part of the press coverage

The campaign far exceeded expectations by delivering the results, including:

  • Blanket coverage across regional media in and around the city announcing the £5m campus investment, creating the foundations for showcasing ACC’s new capabilities later on in the campaign around the opening and raising the college’s profile in the city
  • Autumn – 11 pieces of coverage were achieved on the run up to Christmas with a combined audience of nearly 400k
  • Spring – 12 pieces of coverage including radio broadcasts with BBC Radio Bristol:

AMBITIOUS was asked to work with Access Creative College on a national campaign for 2020 and beyond …