StuDocu recognized the well-documented problems with the education system. It could, at times, involve monolithic teaching methods that stifled creative learning methods, resulting in students simply reciting lecturer’s opinions back to them. Wanting to encourage growth, creativity, and collaboration within the education system, StuDocu set out to create a place for students to share study materials with one another. They wanted to promote a pluralistic learning experience through promoting the circulation of information among students.
Students felt the same way. An edTech company that once started as 4 students from Delft sharing a drive with their friends, bloomed. Hundreds turned into thousands and thousands turned into millions, and today over 15 million university students use their platform every month.
PRLab knew that StuDocu had an interesting story that appealed to the greater public, but integrating cohesion and consistency in their narrative to deliver in media interactions was imperative. Capturing the attention of the media would require PRLab to set StuDocu apart as a thought leader, emphasizing its importance in an antiquated system. To do this would require a thorough understanding of the education system, StuDocu’s services, and what angle would grab the attention of journalists.
In the fall of 2020, StuDocu endeavoured to turn traditional university rankings on their head, and cull criteria from the students’ perspective, rather than the monied interests dictating what school is superior.
StuDocu surveyed 100,000 students from 27 countries. For this launch to go off without a hitch, PRLab worked together with StuDocu and analyzed the data from the students - finding critical angles and novel information to share in the press release. Not only that, they needed PRLab to launch the rankings in 5 different countries.
PRLab had 5 days to assemble a coalition of partners in these markets, analyze the data once more to find the unique angles for each, and coordinate these European efforts from Amsterdam. PRLab helped translate the press release from English into - Dutch, German, French, Italian & Spanish for the penetration into the 5 markets was maximised. These rankings deserved to be noticed. And PRLab made sure that they did.
What were journalists looking for and what publications would be interested in StuDocu’s story? PRLab decided that the best approach would be a mix of stories using research derived from StuDocu’s users and evergreen content written in opinion pieces. Then, it was time to put the research into action.
PRLab wanted the first story they created for StuDocu to come out with a bang. The company needed to get their voice heard, and it needed to be done in the right way.
However, after an intensive few weeks of research, there was a sudden change in news values. School facilities around the world began closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, PRLab had already been scouring news outlets, so there was no adjustment period. StuDocu was ahead of the curve. The company was seeing a massive increase in usage following the closures.
This data was used in a story about how students were adjusting following the major change to their study life. As a result, Dutch News took the exclusive story and published an article about it.
As a company with aspirations of becoming a thought leader, it was important that StuDocu had some features in the OP-Ed sections of news outlets. But in order to do that, they needed to have a story to tell.
So PRLab interviewed Marnix Broer, the co-founder and CEO StuDocu, to understand his views and opinions. What concluded from this, was the idea that StuDocu wanted to become revolutionaries. For too long has the education system been stale and it was time for a change.
Using this idea as motivation, PRLab used their experienced content writers to get creative. Using Marnix’s ideas, they wanted to create content that was not only fresh, but also provided inspiration for change. This was a success as the articles ended up getting featured on Education Technology, Higher Education Digest, and FE News.
Any company that is looking to become a thought leader needs to provide new and insightful data. Your company can provide a platform with the potential to change the world, but if you don’t keep pushing for change, you can’t actually become a leader. PRLab understood the importance of this, and worked with StuDocu to create an industry report about the struggle students were facing while working from home during the COVID-19 crisis.
Research was conducted on the right questions to ask and after the survey was finished, it was sent to StuDocu’s users for answering. The results that came back provided a shock as it showed students as a group of people fighting distraction and rarely experiencing happiness.
While the data pointed to an unfortunate reality, it was highly relevant for an external audience. So it was important for PRLab’s content writers and designers to work in unity to create an industry report that could be distributed in a timely manner.
When the “Changes in student behaviour during COVID-19” report was finished, the world finally got a view of the data. Trouw, Het Parool, Advalvas, and USA Today all used the data to inform the public and push for change.
The results of PRLab’s thorough strategy were 5 translations of the press release, 46 pieces of coverage across all markets, an averaged domain authority of 66, and an increase of +600k estimated coverage views.