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University of Bath

Digital marketing and communications skills project

A project to enhance staff knowledge and skills to make better use of the tools, platforms and technologies available to achieve our digital marketing goals.

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Digital marketing skills programme

Digital platforms and services are critical to our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest students, engage future business and research partners, communicate our research power and help staff and students to complete tasks online, reducing business costs.

The digital marketing and communications skills programme will help to enhance the practical skills of staff in charge of planning and executing marketing communications and engagement activities using digital tools and techniques.

As part of the programme, they will get the opportunity to:

  • refresh their existing knowledge
  • learn new skills

The programme will develop the practical skills and knowledge needed to enhance online reputation, drive student recruitment and conversion and support the delivery of an outstanding student experience.

How the programme will be delivered

We have partnered with Pickle Jar Communications, a company who specialise in education marketing and communications. They were chosen because of their experience of delivering this type of programme and the benefits this can bring.

The programme will be divided into two parts. These are a self-assessment questionnaire and blended learning through a personalised training plan.


The goal of this programme is to enable staff to make more effective use of tools, platforms, and practices based on digital technology to:

  • enhance reputation
  • drive recruitment and conversion and
  • support the delivery of an outstanding student experience,
  • build stronger staff engagement.

Choosing a supplier

7 AUG 2017  to  15 SEP 2017

In August and September of 2017, the University sent out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to suppliers. This RFP asked suppliers to propose how they would provide a University-wide digital marketing and communications skills programme to enhance the skills of staff to make effective use of digital platforms and tools.

Our chosen supplier

Following the RFP process, Pickle Jar Communications have been chosen to provide expert support and training to the wider University digital community. Pickle Jar are education marketing and communications specialists and have experience in delivering this kind of programme.

Selecting eligible staff and pilot

2 JAN 2018  to  10 JAN 2018

The programme is open to marketing and communications professionals or colleagues who are required, as part of their role, to regularly create and edit digital content for use on the University website or social media channels.


Working with Pickle Jar we will pilot the self-assessment questionnaire with a range of marketing and communications colleagues to make sure that is fit for purpose.

Completion of self-assessment questionnaire

15 JAN 2018  to  15 FEB 2018

The first phase of the digital marketing and communications skills programme will take the form of a self-assessment questionnaire. The questionnaire will be a short survey and not a test. As part of the process, staff will answer a series of questions that will help them to assess their digital marketing and communications skills and knowledge, including:

  • planning digital projects
  • audience insight and targeting groups
  • platforms
  • content production
  • promotion and measuring performance

Skills audit and creation of personalised training plans

19 MAR 2018  to  31 MAY 2018

Pickle Jar will analyse the data from the survey and identify training requirements and personalised training plans, which staff can use to improve digital marketing and communications skills.

An aggregated data set will be used by the University to help inform planning. It will not be possible to identify individuals from this data.

Delivery of blended learning

26 JUN 2018  to  22 AUG 2018

Participants will be provided with a personalised blended learning plan based on their responses to the self-assessment questionnaire. Digital will work with line managers to make sure staff are given time to pursue their individual training plans. These plans will enable them to benefit from a combination of methods such as:

  • face to face training, led by Pickle Jar
  • online learning
  • peer mentoring
  • knowledge sharing

As staff work through their personalised training plans they will be able to use their enhanced skills and knowledge to make more effective use of tools, platforms and the latest digital technology to drive recruitment and conversion and to support the delivery of an outstanding student experience.