East Sussex County Council

Marketing research leading to an integrated social marketing campaign using print, web, street theatre, social media and iPhone Apps

What we delivered

Focus Groups
Strategic Planning
Marketing planning
Social Marketing
Leaflet design and print
Social media advice
iPhone App design and build


"Raising The Participation Age" is a government initiative designed to improve the skills of teenagers most likely to drop out of education early. The programme offers a variety of routes by which kids are able to remain in education or training until they are 18 (rather than the current 16). East Sussex County Council was appointed as one of the early pilot areas for the scheme and approached Preview to develop a broad communications strategy capable of reaching the hardest to reach children, and to manage all aspects of the marketing of the plan.

"Stay on at school longer" was potentially an unpopular message for some children and their parents. The challenge was both to explain the changes in education and training provision in a way that engaged them and that encouraged both groups to think early about changes that was superficially still two years in the future for them. The client had a clear priority to engage with the hardest to reach children who may be irregular school attendees already.

How we helped

The client asked us to manage the total project budget on their behalf, including negotiations with third party suppliers. Working with the programme manager and members of the clients' marketing team, we developed a communications strategy and presented it to ESCC's steering committee to get buy in from all the organisations dealing with the target audience (including schools, colleges, social workers and youth groups). This was based on market research focus groups that we undertook with parents and children to understand reactions to the messages and the best media to reach the audiences.

The project used a variety of media such as leaflets, websites, youth theatre and street leafleting, and social media integration. We developed the creative approach and key messages, and then briefed external suppliers such as the theatre groups and ESCC's own web team to ensure consistent, coordinated messages reached the target audience. An interactive leaflet was designed and 15,000 copies distributed via schools, street canvassing and through partner organisations.


Reaction to the pilot has been such that that East Sussex County Council was granted further funding to develop the project and our client has been asked to speak at best-practice conferences about the programme. Since completing the 'Raising The Participation Age' project East Sussex County Council have approached Preview to produce an iPhone app that encourages kids between the ages of 14 and 18 to think about the types of careers they could pursue after leaving school or college in a fun and engaging way. The Careers 4 U app is currently in development testing and will be hitting the app store shortly.