Academic & Education



Writtle University College is one of the oldest specialist educational institutions in the UK. Located in Chelmsford, it offers a range of land-based, environmental, animal, design and sport courses at various levels of academic study. It has extremely high levels of student satisfaction, and the campus is set in a 220 hectare estate, providing a home away from home for students from all over the country.

Writtle University College approached Mackman to provide an empowering student recruitment campaign. The brand messaging needed to enhance brand awareness amongst their key audiences and reinforce the university’s brand position in a competitive market.

Brand Facts

  • Writtle College was established in 1893 and was originally known as the County Laboratories.
  • In 2016 Writtle College achieved University status and officially became known as Writtle University College.
  • Writtle is the leading provider of land-based, animal, environmental, design and sport education in the United Kingdom.

Project Facts

  • Writtle needed an empowering message that could encourage key audience groups, such as current and prospective students, to engage with the brand.
  • Through a process of collaborative insight sessions, we established the unique attributes for the University that would enable us to develop a powerful campaign.
  • We created a student recruitment campaign that increased applications by 9% against the previous year and enhanced brand awareness for past, present and future students.


Producing future leaders and innovators

After opening its doors as a college in 1893, Writtle University College gained university status in 2016. Proud of their new recognition as a university, Writtle were ready to share the news.

Although Writtle were comfortable with their market position, they had great characteristics and prestige that were not being communicated. Writtle are known for being a leading provider of land-based, animal and environmental education. However, they also offer courses in other niche markets too. It was important to promote these as well as Writtle’s design and sport education programmes.

The Challenge

Writtle’s campaign needed to speak to a variety of key audience groups. From prospective students and parents to staff and current higher and further education students, the message needed to resonate with everyone.

Our Process

Creating a brand for the future

Working collaboratively with Writtle’s in-house marketing team, we needed to create a campaign that would:

  • position Writtle as a University to encourage drive and ambition
  • grow awareness of Writtle’s courses, beyond horticulture, agriculture and animal science
  • increase student applications at the university

Writtle’s use of language and tone of voice was similar to other Higher Education institutions. We needed to find a way to set them apart from their competitors, and promote confidence and inclusiveness.

Understanding the audience: Meeting with key stakeholders

With our experience of working in the education sector, we undertook workshops with key people at Writtle to identify the unique attributes of the university. This gave us the building blocks to create a campaign that illustrated what Writtle University College stood for.

  • Who do you work for?
  • What are their needs, expectations?
  • How do we talk to them?

Engaging the audience: Creating a strong message

The core principle of our design was to create one strong campaign message that all the key audience groups could identify with ‘We’re Ready: Are You?’ The campaign message asks a simple question that is memorable, straightforward, cuts through the noise of other university messaging, and:

  • Speaks directly to prospective students
  • Is confident and empowering
  • Challenges the audience
Writtle University College - We're Ready. Are You? Campaign

What does this mean for Writtle University College?

From working with staff and students, we really got to know the people, how they deliver the courses they do, and why people choose Writtle for their education.

The Results

The campaign’s message has versatility and longevity. The university continue to use it in their everyday marketing. #WrittleReady is still being used across social media by staff, as well as current and prospective students. Following our work with Writtle, they saw 10% growth in undergraduate traffic on their website. This highlighted the success of the brand awareness campaign amongst a key audience group.

In addition, a 15% growth in further education traffic on Writtle’s website meant that they had positioned themselves amongst a competitive market, and were encouraging visits to the site from prospective students. Finally, there were 9% more applications to Higher Education courses than the previous year. Nationally, there was a 4% drop in the sector year-on-year, giving Writtle a total of 13% more applications against the national average.

I have worked with Mackman on a number of large-scale marketing projects at Writtle University College and they have delivered excellent results for us. The team are very knowledgeable and are a joy to work with.

Craig Emery, Head of Marketing – Writtle University College