Communications & marketing training for students’ unions

We love sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm with students’ union staff, officers, volunteers and students.

We can tailor our training to your needs and if you can’t see a session that looks right for you we can talk about putting together some bespoke training for you.

Media law & media skills

We combine theory with practice to equip participants with the knowledge and confidence to take part in interviews with journalists.

Adam gives an overview of key areas of media law people should be aware of when making statements, posting on social media and appearing in the media (and any other form of communication!): defamation (libel/slander), sexual offences, contempt of court.

We then look at different interview formats including radio, press and tv/video and how to confidently get your message across.

The second part of the session features interview role-plays using scenarios based on real students’ union media case studies and/or examples you provide from your union.

Jo works with participants to prepare for their mock interviews before Adam takes over as interviewer. We mix in scenarios they’ve prepared for as well as some unexpected ones to replicate different situations they might find themselves in.

We end by reflecting on how the interviews went with participants able to ask questions and consider how to improve their performance.

Suitable for: students’ union officers, students’ union communications staff

Format: half-day in-person or online (longer for groups of more than four to allow small role-play groups)

Trainers: Adam Lindsay, journalist, & Jo Walters, 25 Dots founder. We both have years of experience working with students’ unions.

Cost: £350 for four people plus expenses

Contact us to book or get more information –

This session works well combined with our officer communication skills training session. Book both for a £50 discount.

Officer communication skills

Whilst students’ union officers often have good communication skills (they persuaded enough people to elect them!) they sometimes find it hard to translate them into their professional officer role. This session covers some key communication tips specifically aimed at elected officers.

We think about who your audiences could be and how to choose and clearly convey your key messages to them. We look at how to structure your communications to get people’s attention including how this is probably different to other types of writing and communicating you’ve done previously. 

Whilst the theories and principles covered such as accessibility and inclusion apply to most forms of communication, this session focuses mostly on social media (including video) and combines theory and practical activities to try things out.

The session concludes with a look at how to handle negative comments (particularly on social media) and respond to criticism. 

Suitable for: students’ union officers

Format: half-day in-person or online

Trainer: Jo Walters, 25 Dots founder

Cost: £300 plus expenses

Contact us to book or get more information –

This session works well combined with our media law and media skills training session. Book both for a £50 discount.

Handling negative comments

Learn how to confidently handle negative comments, from useful constructive feedback to nasty personal criticism, to improve your work whilst maintaining your own wellbeing.

By the end of this course you will…

  • be able to identify different types of negative comments and assess what response (if any) would be most suitable
  • have a repertoire of responses to negative comments received in person, online and in the media
  • have identified strategies to maintain your own wellbeing and support others receiving negative comments

Suitable for: students’ union officers, students’ union communications staff, staff and volunteers that handle social media account, staff that support elected officers

Format: self-directed online course

Trainer: Jo Walters, 25 Dots founder

Cost: £50 per person

Sign up online via SU Skills

Format: half-day in-person or online

Trainer: Jo Walters, 25 Dots founder

Cost: £300 plus expenses

Contact us to book or get more information –

Election candidate digital campaigning
A pacey session combining marketing theory with practical introductions to useful tools, all tailored to fit your election rules.

With students’ election campaigns making more use of digital channels (and being required to use them due to Covid-19 restrictions) we want to help inspire and educate them to make the most of them.

Our work is optimistic and positive so we’ll talk about the upsides to campaigning online rather than focusing on the things candidates can’t do.

We’ll look at a variety of digital channels and formats including video, livestreaming, paid and organic social media, websites, capturing audiences for remarketing/social media ads. The focus will be on free and low cost options.

We’ll also go through some basic marketing principles to help candidates hone their message and think about their audiences.

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Have a list of ideas for their campaign
  • Have started to identify their key messages and audiences
  • Understand some basic marketing principles
  • Feel confident about trying the tools demonstrated
  • Know some basic ways to ensure their digital campaigns are accessible and inclusive
  • Be reminded that their campaign activities must comply with their election rules and other rules/legislation, e.g. data protection

Suitable for: potential/actual election candidates

Format: 90 minutes online session delivered as a more interactive session for 10-15 people or a webinar for larger groups.

Trainer: Jo Walters, 25 Dots founder. Jo has run training sessions for election candidates for many years! A long time ago she won an election campaign and lost her re-election bid (so is proof that running against an existing officer isn’t a lost cause!)

Cost: The first session is £180 with repeat sessions available for £90 each, e.g. to allow candidates to select a convenient time or accommodate more candidates.

We can also offer 30 minute 1-1 sessions with candidates to go through their plans and questions. These are £25 each.