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Invitation to Tender for Marketing and Communications support for the West Midlands Combined Universities

Birmingham City University, Coventry University and the University of Wolverhampton joined forces in May 2016 to launch the West Midlands Combined Universities (WMCU) initiative to meet the demands of devolution.

The partnership brings together the institutions’ applied research and skills development to shape workforces and foster innovation across the region in support of the West Midlands Combined Authority.


To restate the purpose and aims of the partnership by raising the profile of WMCU to target external and internal audiences over the next 12 months differentiating WMCU as the “go to “conduit into the three anchor institutions of the West Midlands; three universities who all have a focus on place enabling economic growth, skilled communities and heathy populations.


  • To create a “brand toolkit” including guidelines, PowerPoint and e-zine templates, personality and purpose narrative including key messages and tone of voice. Key messages should be included which speak to the external and internal audiences articulating the impact the three universities have on their locality and their importance in place shaping.
  • To devise a 12 month PR and engagement plan for both internal and external audiences with clear and measurable outcomes aligned to WMCU objectives, underpinned by an influencer map based on funding opportunities, policy, individuals and place base priorities.
  • To implement and project manage the plan which should include:

- Three sector led events focused on Health, Automotive, Construction or Digital. (An integrated channel plan should be connected with all three including press and digital). One of the three needs to have national reach and act as a significant catalyst with all three incorporating a launch or project outcome, for example, linked to the key messages.

- Ongoing student volunteering activities again with a PR plan each.

- Regular internal communications and engagement channels with staff.

Target Audiences 

Internal audiences identified as:

  • Senior staff
  • Wider staff base
  • Governors

Externals audience identified as:

  • WMCA ( Mayors Office and Executive team )
  • West Midlands Growth Company
  • Local Authorities across the West Midlands
  • Three West Midlands LEPs
  • Sector specific businesses
  • Current students
  • Health bodies
  • Office for Students
  • National Government

Measurable outcomes 

To include:

  • Digital reach
  • Press coverage
  • Event attendance for target audiences
  • Volume of student volunteers
  • Business engagement for specific sectors
  • Internal engagement




2-13 July 2018

Tender open for submissions

w/c 16 July 2018


w/c 23 July 2018

Interviews and award decision

31 August 2018

Completion of brand toolkit including key messages

September 2018

Devised and agreed PR and Event plan with client

October 2018 – July 2019

Plan implementation

Monitoring and reporting 

The successful organisation will be expected to:

  • Meet at least fortnightly with the Director of WMCU
  • Produced monthly monitoring reports for the Vice Chancellors’ group
  • Attend quarterly review meetings with the Director of WMCU and the Marketing Directors for the three universities.

Contract Value 

The contract can be tendered for as a whole package or split into two lots:

  • Lot 1: Brand Toolkit and Key Messages

Value - £5,000- £10,000 (including VAT)

  • Lot 2: PR and Events

Value - £20,000- £25,000 (including VAT)

Please note consumable costs associated with activities such as catering and venue hire are not included in the contract value however must be agreed in advance with the Director of WMCU.

Supplementary information:


Please direct any questions to:

Wayne Langford

WMCU – Director

M: +44 (0) 7956 640412



Please submit your tender by noon 13 July 2018 to:

Angie Sheasby

West Midlands Combined Universities

c/o Black Country Consortium Ltd

The Deckhouse

Waterfront West

Brierley Hill


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