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We can help get messages of achievement across

The article by Ruth Sparkes (FE Focus, February 29) highlighted the importance of positive media coverage for colleges and emphasised the need to promote this by a consistent dialogue with national journalists.

The TES reported last November that the FE Reputation Strategy Group was aiming to raise national awareness of the excellent work taking place across FE.

We know that FE colleges have a strong local reputation and that we need to ensure this reaches the national stage. Ruth Sparkes is correct in saying that colleges need to communicate with the national media in a professional, engaging and timely manner. Many principals learn how to do this "on the job" supported by their marketing and communications teams.

The FE Reputation Strategy Group has identified the need for a "communications toolkit" to be used by colleges to raise national awareness of their achievements. This will include key messages, template press releases and useful facts and figures.

Dr Alison Birkinshaw, Principal, York College, Chair of the FE Reputation Strategy Group.

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