The Open University’s campaign to mark its 50th birthday has been announced as a winner in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations 2020 excellence awards.
The Open University’s campaign, #OU50, took the title in the Education category, beating off stiff competition from universities, including Swansea University, University College London, and University of Oxford to win this prestigious award.
In announcing the OU as the winner on Wednesday June 3, judges said that The Open University had “successfully positioned themselves as a leader, drove revenue, and achieved outcomes for stakeholders – uniting a network of staff, students and alumni”.
The #OU50 campaign not only marked the institution’s 50th anniversary, but also showcased how social justice remains at the heart of its mission.
This was achieved by raising awareness of the OU’s unique story and its ongoing impact, whilst showcasing how the OU continues to shape the future of education.
The year-long campaign brought together the OU’s wonderful community with over 110 events from Edinburgh to Uganda – including a bumper Charter Day celebration in April 2019.
As well as physical events, the celebrations were taken online with over 6,400 messages shared across social media on the day, including special messages from honorary graduates such as Sir David Attenborough.
The #OU50 campaign also witnessed the OpenTALKS series to celebrate our love of learning, where audiences heard the OU’s world-class academics, students and supporters.
The 50th anniversary provided an opportunity to support the next generation of students. As part of the fundraising campaign, a special 22ft Tree of Learning was commissioned – now housed at the Library on our Milton Keynes campus, culminating in a 50th Anniversary Scholarships Fund which has now raised its £50m target.
Speaking about the award win, Jhumar Johnson, OU Director of Development, said:
“The OU@50 campaign was truly a university-wide effort and would not have been achieved without the continued support of every faculty and unit across the UK and Ireland. Being recognised at the CIPR Awards as one of the best in our industry is something we should all be proud of. Thank you all.”
You can see the other CIPR Awards winners and read more about the OU@50 campaign.