Case study

Creating a virtual community for University of Leeds innovation hub

The brief

The University of Leeds innovation hub, Nexus, is a thriving community of high-growth businesses, working in close collaboration with brilliant academic minds at the University and beyond. With the COVID-19 lockdown meaning the majority of those businesses are working from home, Nexus wanted to maintain vital engagement and interaction across the community.

Image of Nexus building

The delivery

MCG created a series of online communications routes for the Nexus website, including the chance for members to tell their own “lockdown” stories.

Many of those stories were also converted into news stories for regional business media, including AI-innovators Scaled Insights who are analysing thoughts and behaviours in the COVID-19 pandemic to help inform policy makers in the future and Itecho Health, whose digital platform creates a “virtual clinic” where chronic conditions can be managed through online communication with clinicians, relieving pressure on the NHS.

With “View from Here” we created an opportunity for key stakeholders and contacts to share their experience and give their advice during the lockdown – including the Regional Director of the CBI, Beckie Hart, Yorkshire Post Deputy Business Editor Greg Wright and KPMG Office Senior Partner, Euan West.

And with “Remote Notes” the Nexus Engagement Team were able to share their lockdown experience with member businesses and offer their guidance and support.

The results

In addition to regional business coverage for member businesses, the COVID Hub has proved a useful tool for Nexus, as the second most visited area of its website – after the homepage – throughout April and May, achieving a well above average session time.

“MCG ensured we could pivot from actual member business events to virtual support and guidance, with rich and engaging content, which was enjoyed and shared across the Nexus community and achieved valuable media coverage for those member businesses who are making a difference during the current crisis, both societally and economically.

“Like most organisations, COVID-19 has posed real challenges for our team in delivering our planned marketing and content programme for the last few months. It was important that we provided helpful and relevant information to our members and wider stakeholders throughout the crisis.

“MCG has provided invaluable ideas and content to help us achieve this and it really resonated with our audiences. They’ve also been able to help our members who are engaged in COVID-19 related activities to gain media coverage at this difficult time.”

Yvonne McBrearty, Head of Marketing (B2B) University of Leeds