15 December 2022 at 11:00 am

Looking back and looking ahead in India 

New Zealand’s activities this year to strengthen our positioning as a study abroad destination in the minds of Indian students and stakeholders have helped to keep the brand in the news, says the India team at Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ).

India PR Awards

“We’ve seen some successes and we also have some learnings to share with the sector,” says Jugnu Roy, ENZ’s Director of Engagement based in New Delhi. 

“With New Zealand’s borders remaining closed for the first half of 2022, it was certainly a challenge to sustain the Indian student pipeline into New Zealand for higher studies. We knew going conventional wouldn’t help, and so we amped up our PR efforts.”  

Aligned with ENZ’s approach of offering future-focused education, the team targeted learning opportunities for tertiary students under the umbrella of an integrated campaign – Unlock Potential for the New You. Using digital platforms as well as mainstream media, the strategy included a mix of suitable learning opportunities and unique ways of engaging with our stakeholders. This successful campaign won Gold awards at 2022 South Asia SABRE Awards, ETBrandEquity Kaleido Awards, STAKES PR & Communications Excellence Awards 2022; Silver at Adgully IMAGEXX Awards 2022 and a Bronze at Campaign India PR Awards 2022. 

Kick-starting the year with the first event of its kind, ENZ’s India team hosted the Women of the Future virtual event. To ensure maximum reach, we collaborated with leading digital platforms such as Femina India and Tweak India, among others, achieving more than 5.8 million impressions. More recently, the collaboration with popular Indian celebrity Soha Ali Khan is helping to create a stronger recall value of New Zealand among Indian study abroad aspirants.  

2022 was also a year of big announcements from New Zealand such as the global I AM New Campaign, the reopening of New Zealand’s borders, new scholarships exclusively for Indian students, and a series of visits from New Zealand universities to name a few. Supported by our PR agency, Ruder Finn India, these announcements all made headlines in prominent Indian publications and portals including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Financial Express, and Education Times 

“It’s always a challenge to be heard,” Ms Roy says.  

“Some types of stories are much more likely to be picked up than others. For example, stories about our borders reopening, new research on Covid-19, scholarships for Indian students, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are of interest, as well as stories about Indian students or academics. 

“Our team is always interested in success stories involving Indian students, and we look to New Zealand education providers to help us with sourcing these.  

“It’s also important for institutions to be selective about the timing of their announcements, so journalists have the space to focus on each story, rather than choosing between multiple announcements at the same time.  

“It's good to establish a single spokesperson for a given institution, and to ensure that Indian journalists seeking information get a timely response – if it’s a wide-ranging article they are likely to go ahead without input from New Zealand, which is a missed opportunity.” 

The team is busy pulling together their plans for 2023, including how best to profile these initiatives to ensure high visibility.  

“Finally, I would really encourage New Zealand tertiary education providers to think carefully about what Indian students and their families are seeking from investing in an international education experience, and how individually and as a sector we can work together to meet those expectations,” Ms Roy says. 

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