Rochester Independent College (RIC) approached The Ambassador Platform with the idea of building a digital community for their school.
By placing a significant amount of trust in their students, and giving them a platform through which they could showcase Rochester’s unique student experience, they have found that they have become reliable and passionate advocates for the college.
40% of all prospects who used their TAP Feed went on to make an admissions enquiry directly with the college
RIC is an independent school in Kent. They have 345 students aged 11+, with a small year 7 cohort and a big sixth form. 30% of their current student cohort is international, and they recruit students from all over the world for 1-2 year or ‘retake’ courses. Having such a wide audience, they need to reach out simultaneously to lots of different and distinct communities.
RIC’s use of student ambassadors started in the early 2000s when they began to work with their current students in an effort to more effectively tell the Rochester story. They started by trying to portray the school using student testimonials, rather than by just using stats and figures, but they received feedback from their audience that it was unclear whether these were real or whether they were created by the college for marketing purposes.
This, ultimately, led them to partner with TAP as part of their effort to offer prospective students the opportunity to connect with their current students to get a real insight into what life at RIC is really like.
RIC also observed that, today, at sixth form level, prospective students themselves play a key in the school decision making process. School choice is no longer a decision made solely by parents. They were aware that students now do their own research, and share the results of this research with their parents. So, for this reason, the idea of working with A-Levels student ambassadors to showcase the student experience through content, and by allowing prospective students to ask questions online was a key reason they decided to embrace the idea of digital ambassadors. This approach has become central to their recruitment process.
Digital Ambassadors at RIC
RIC has built an incredible digital ambassador programme. Their ambassadors represent different countries and courses and they are doing a fantastic job sharing content about their studies, living in Rochester, any activities they are involved in as part of their studies or boarding life; thus allowing prospective students to get a real insight into what it is like to be a student at RIC.
Over the nine months RIC have been using The Ambassador Platform they have found that engagement from prospective sixth form students runs parallel to the formal admissions process. They would simultaneously be dealing with a prospective student as part of the interview process, school visits calendar, or roster of taster days whilst that prospective student was also chatting with one of their student ambassadors. However, the kinds of questions that prospective students asked their ambassadors were very different to those that usually come up as part of the admission process.
- 802 unique visitors to the TAP Feed
- 94 conversations between prospective students and ambassadors
- Average conversation length of 11 messages
- 469 posts have been published on the TAP Feed
- 110 cross-posts to social media platforms, including a video montage showcasing content created via the platform in 2021
- 1hr 36m average ambassador response time to first prospect message
- 25% of TAP conversations from parents of potential students.
- Balanced engagement between domestic 48% and overseas (52%) prospects