Education Yorkshire on Skillz

The brief

To promote Skillz Education and its work across Leeds supporting young people who display challenging behaviour, have learning disabilities or are not reaching their full potential in mainstream education.

Our approach

We had a number of goals with Skillz Education – working with the team led by the organisation’s founder Gemma Stow, we set out to raise the profile of Skillz both in the media and through different communications channels to the audiences they wished to engage with. This ranged from schools who decide to invest in sending some of their pupils to Skillz to parents who want to ensure the place their child is attending is serving them well.

Our media relations strategy included positioning Gemma as an expert in alternative education provision and trying to showcase some of the work of Skillz and the teaching it provides. We interviewed a new member of the team for a video case study which was then written up and distributed to the media, this aimed to highlight the qualifications that Skillz offers – one of the key differences between it and other providers.

We also worked with Skillz to develop their e-communications, both through development of their website and by regular e-mail newsletters to different audiences. When developing these we were aware of the need to reach out to and engage with distinct groups of people – from pupils to parents to teachers to the community.
Ensuring that Skillz, and its team, received the recognition deserved also important so we put forward founder Gemma Stow for awards for her contribution to improving the lives of young people. She was successfully nominated in the two categories entered and won one of these.

As our relationship evolved, we also were involved in the launch of a new social enterprise, Social Skillz. Based in South Leeds, this aimed to provide qualifications and support to young people, aged 16 years and over, who are not engaged in further education or training. We provided advice and support on the launch, developed a case study to showcase the pilot scheme which was taking place and developed the new Social Skillz website.

The results

By working with Skillz Education, Faith PR supported the organisation and its team with the development of ideas and provided a sounding board for the press and marketing strategies needed to develop a provider of alternative education and then a social enterprise. We also grew Skillz reputation through external recognition, including the award win for Gemma Stow.

In a challenging marketplace, we have provided Skillz with a range of case studies, press releases, video profiles, e-newsletters and a website which allow them to promote their work, which is ever evolving, to a range of audiences in the best possible way.

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