The Heist Awards has celebrated brilliance and innovation across education marketing for 29 years. The event is internationally recognized and seen as a premier awards program for marketing in education.
Although UK focused, the shortlist is a great reference for inspiring marketing projects launched by Universities and Colleges of all sizes, across the following categories:
- Alumni and Fundraising Campaign
- Low Budget Initiative
- Postgraduate or Specialist Prospectus
- Best PR or Communications Campaign
- Community / Business Engagement Campaign
- Undergraduate Prospectus
- Best use of Content
- International Student Recruitment Initiative
- Best Marketing Initiative to Promote Research
- Best Student Recruitment Initiative
- Best use of Innovation in Education Marketing
- Most Effective Digital or Social Initiative 2019
- Best Website
- Marketing Team of the Year 2019
This year's winners will be announced tonight in Manchester in the UK. And TERMINALFOUR is proud to announce that 7 out of the 9 universities in the best website category are built on the Terminalfour platform.
Our clients and friends at Keele University, Queen's University Belfast, Swansea University, The University of Derby, University of Stirling and University of Winchester have all been shortlisted following major website transformation projects this year.
A glimpse behind some of the entries and emerging themes
Each of the entries has been recognized for pushing the boundaries in technical implementation, digital design, usability, and content.
The University of Derby, for instance, migrated over 10,000 pages of content and developed a new site on the TerminalFour platform in just 9 months and became the first university to implement an integrated Content Delivery Network solution in the UK. Open day bookings and prospectus orders have increased by over 6% since launch.
Keele University wanted to develop an improved, consistent design reflecting the institution's unique brand and campus, with accessible and responsive mechanics.
As well as transforming the structure of the site, the university also simultaneously introduced a content strategy to drive engaging and dynamic content, as well as reducing the overall number of pages and CMS editors.
Direct website traffic has increased by over 20% since the launch and the team has already received a certificate of mobile excellence from Awwwards.com, with the site scoring 80% for mobile-friendliness and best practice, and 100% for usability.
Plymouth Marjon University is a small university punching above its weight, and very successfully. They launched the new website earlier this year as part of a digital transformation project. The project stands out for the collaborative work that went on behind the scenes and the new design features on the front end certainly make Plymouth Marjon University stand out from the crowd, a huge success.
Swansea University developed a new website built on a unique pod component system on the TerminalFour platform. The launch marked a step-change in terms of usability, content, digital design and structure and has made a major contribution to their student recruitment outcomes this year.
The University of Stirling launched a new site from scratch on the TerminalFour platform following extensive stakeholder research, in May 2018, to improve the way the institution could reach and engage with audiences.
With no legacy data in the system, performance has improved significantly with pages loading faster, and the full site publish time reducing by over 60%. The institution also created robust development workflows for the team including Git repositories, new staging environments, and Asana task management.
All of the components are built in a flexible framework which has enabled the institution to deliver a content reuse strategy and personalized content across key areas of the website, all of which have transformed the user experience.
Queen's University delivered an impressively smooth and seamless transition to the latest version of TERMINALFOUR's platform (Version 8).
The project was a complex re-development initiative and has been hailed a major success due to the technical implementation standards and extensive engagement with stakeholders and deep system and user acceptance testing which went on throughout.
The institution also overhauled its content and significantly improved the UI and UX across the site. The new website was launched with no negative impacts on processes or downtime.
The University of Winchester set out to recreate the vibrant community atmosphere of the University in a digital context. The priorities were to deliver an excellent user-experience across digital channels, display rich and varied content to a broad range of audiences, and to deliver a high-quality responsive site with cutting edge search functionality.
The new site has delivered on these pledges, is beautifully realized and has made a major contribution to student recruitment success this year.
Best of luck to all our clients involved in the Heist Awards!
All of the shortlisted contenders are already winners by demonstrating the transformational impact digital projects can have for an institution and for student recruitment, and the judges will have a hard time choosing between these stand-out submissions.
A huge "good luck" to everyone who contributed to the shortlisted projects and fingers crossed for all your teams tonight!
To see the full list of shortlisted entries click here. To follow events on the night, keep an eye on Twitter with the hashtag #heist2019.