Fellowship is the most distinguished membership category of the Institute of Physics. Historically the fellowship community has been dominated by individuals in academia, so IOP wanted to change this by moving closer to an inclusive and equal membership that was more representative of the physics community.
The IOP asked us to develop a multi-channel campaign to increase the uptake of fellowship, and particularly to increase applications from those in business and industry.
We set out to re-position fellowship as an aspirational target for all members, remove all known barriers to application and to make the fellowship membership category feel elite but attainable.
From initial research we found that the theme of ‘Recognition’ was the most important aspect of fellowship. We therefore began by creating a unique brand for fellowship, leading with the strapline ‘Achieve greater recognition’ along with a mission statement and set of four key values.
We developed a strong, illustrative eye concept which was an impactful visual, making a statement about what fellowship signified but that would also speak to different audiences, eliminating sector, gender or age biases.
Campaign Brand implementation
Careful consideration was given to all campaign touchpoints and we developed a full suite of materials including:
- Personalised, targeted print mailer inviting applications for fellowship
- Email invitation to webinars and events
- Postal letter to current fellows to ask them to become ‘IOP Ambassadors’ and promote the campaign
- Overview recruitment leaflet for distribution at events
- PowerPoint presentation to aid webinars and company visits
- Video showreel hosted on the website and shown during presentations
- Promotional web-banners and pictorial application flow chart
The campaign was an overwhelming success, and, for the first time in IOP’s history, applications from business and industry exceeded the number from academia.
IOP experienced a 33% increase in applications with 60% coming from outside of academia (compared with 44% in 2017). There was a 49% increase in traffic to the fellowship landing page, and 32 applications were from non-IOP members (compared with 14 in 2016).
However, perhaps the most rewarding evidence of the campaign’s success was the positive feedback received from current and prospective fellows.