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Universities and Higher Education

We are a strategic communication and PR agency that helps universities and higher education institutions to engage with key stakeholders, including students and alumni, businesses, funding bodies, academia and government.

"Allegory gets strategic communications with a vengeance. Its contribution to the OU and FutureLearn has been significant, supporting me and my team deliver a ground-breaking communications plan that credibly and compellingly conveys our track record for innovation. Emma and her team truly understand the pressures of in-house comms, and find solutions where others get overwhelmed by problems.”
Lucian Hudson
Former Director of Communications, The Open University
"Allegory gets strategic communications with a vengeance. Its contribution to the OU and FutureLearn has been significant, supporting me and my team deliver a ground-breaking communications plan that credibly and compellingly conveys our track record for innovation. Emma and her team truly understand the pressures of in-house comms, and find solutions where others get overwhelmed by problems.”
Lucian Hudson
Former Director of Communications, The Open University

How we can help

Communication strategies, public relations, audits and perception studies

Leverage expertise and research outputs to engage with the media, industry, policymakers and funding bodies

three people to represent audience mapping

Communications team building and reorganisation

We’ve worked with

Case studies

Coventry University: REF 2014

Leveraging research impacts to generate substantial media coverage, direct engagement with industry and policymakers, and a 70% increase in research funding
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Library of books to show learning

FutureLearn

Launching the Open University's new online courses platform with over 100 pieces of high quality media coverage
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Jesus College Oxford

A brand refresh of a 450 year old institution to attract students and researchers, and promote its access programmes
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Building relationships with people to drive growth

Open University Business School

A stakeholder outreach and relationship building campaign to deliver revenue growth for the Open University
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SOCIAM research programme

Working with Southampton, Oxford and Edinburgh Universities on brand development for the SOCIAM research programme
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University of Liverpool

Working with academics, investors and the medical community to launch a simple device with the potential to save millions of babies lives
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Wolverhampton University

Leveraging the power of honorary graduates to maximise their potential as key, influential stakeholders
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Coventry University: REF 2014

Leveraging research impacts to generate substantial media coverage, direct engagement with industry and policymakers, and a 70% increase in research funding
Read More
Library of books to show learning

FutureLearn

Launching the Open University's new online courses platform with over 100 pieces of high quality media coverage
Read More

Jesus College Oxford

A brand refresh of a 450 year old institution to attract students and researchers, and promote its access programmes
Read More

Knowledge Transfer Network

Creating a bank of multimedia case studies to help the KTN connect industry with innovators
Read More
Building relationships with people to drive growth

Open University Business School

A stakeholder outreach and relationship building campaign to deliver revenue growth for the Open University
Read More

SOCIAM research programme

Working with Southampton, Oxford and Edinburgh Universities on brand development for the SOCIAM research programme
Read More

Wolverhampton University

Leveraging the power of honorary graduates to maximise their potential as key, influential stakeholders
Read More

Our universities team

Emma Thwaites

Emma has 30 years of strategic communications expertise and has delivered campaigns for higher education institutions, including the Open University, University of Southampton and Jesus College, Oxford. Prior to launching Allegory in 2012, Emma held senior communications roles at the centre of UK government where she led national campaigns for Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Deputy PM, Nick Clegg.

Richard Baker

Richard has more than a decade’s experience working with universities on projects ranging from knowledge transfer and research commercialisation to the creation of innovation destinations which support the wider efforts of academic institutions to enable broad economic impact from research. A former daily newsroom business editor and deputy editor, he has also accompanied university economic development missions to China and India.

Stuart Baird

Stuart has worked with the universities of Liverpool, Nottingham, Trent, Derby and Coventry to deliver research impact PR, including the global launch of two life saving devices in maternal care. Prior to agency work he worked in-house for Government including stints with No10 Downing Street and on campaigns for the Department for Education and the Education Skills Funding Agency. 

Paul Smith

Paul is a specialist in higher education communications with more than 20 years’ experience. He has held several, senior, in-house communications roles in HE and has provided consultancy support to the sector for nearly a decade. Working at both a strategic and operational level, he has achieved outstanding results for 13 HE institutions across the UK, ranging from business schools to Russell Group, top-ten and metropolitan universities.

Emma Thwaites

Emma has 30 years of strategic communications expertise and has delivered campaigns for higher education institutions, including the Open University, University of Southampton and Jesus College, Oxford. Prior to launching Allegory in 2012, Emma held senior communications roles at the centre of UK government where she led national campaigns for Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Deputy PM, Nick Clegg.

Richard Baker

Richard has more than a decade’s experience working with universities on projects ranging from knowledge transfer and research commercialisation to the creation of innovation destinations which support the wider efforts of academic institutions to enable broad economic impact from research. A former daily newsroom business editor and deputy editor, he has also accompanied university economic development missions to China and India.

Stuart Baird

Stuart has worked with the universities of Liverpool, Nottingham, Trent, Derby and Coventry to deliver research impact PR, including the global launch of two life saving devices in maternal care. Prior to agency work he worked in-house for Government including stints with No10 Downing Street and on campaigns for the Department for Education and the Education Skills Funding Agency. 

Paul Smith

Paul is a specialist in higher education communications with more than 20 years’ experience. He has held several, senior, in-house communications roles in HE and has provided consultancy support to the sector for nearly a decade. Working at both a strategic and operational level, he has achieved outstanding results for 13 HE institutions across the UK, ranging from business schools to Russell Group, top-ten and metropolitan universities.