West Midlands Combined Authority

How PLMR helped West Midlands Combined Authority establish a national further education profile.


West Midlands Combined Authority


Services provided

The Situation

Before our support, very little was known nationally about The West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) strong track record of leadership in FE and skills delivery.

PLMR worked closely with the WMCA’s productivity and skills team to position not only the Combined Authority, but key strategic leads within it, as thought leaders in FE.

What we did

Without any existing media profile to leverage, our consultants commenced by developing valuable media relationships for the WMCA with key editors and reporters, gaining momentum to secure national coverage and commentary opportunities. Our political and media monitoring enabled us to identify key opportunities for the WMCA to add to the conversation with its fresh perspective, leading to interviews with the Financial Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph.

Understanding the importance of the WMCA demonstrating its influence amongst its peers in FE but also the various sectors it operates in, such as health and social care, digital and construction, our team also worked to secure regular op-eds in key trade publications. Unlike the national outreach which was predominately shaped around the political and media landscape and is quite policy-focused, this outreach was more closely aligned to promoting the WMCA’s internal priorities, allowing us a greater degree of flexibility in more overtly discussing its initiatives. We also worked closely with some of the WMCA’s key employment partners to secure and draft editorial case studies which provided valuable third-party validation, thereby boosting the profile of the Combined Authority in a way that carries greater credibility.

The Result

The success of this comprehensive, joined-up approach resulted in a regular stream of media coverage with key trade press including Local Gov, PBC Today, The Care Home Environment, Tes and FE Week – the latter of which was read by a key policy advisor in No10, prompting a meeting about the Government’s FE policy and digital skills rollout.

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