A DIY digital prospectus allows students to do it themselves.

Offering an opportunity to understand your students like never before, and deliver communications that are more relevant and engaging. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of allowing students to build their own digital prospectus, and the savings that can be generated as a result.

Print prospectus vs digital prospectus

For many FE Colleges today there is a battle being waged; between a digital-first approach to communications, and a long-established norm of printed communications.

Despite a surge in investment by the Education sector in social media and digital channels, students and their influencers (parents, friends, teachers) still value a printed prospectus. It is accessible, easy-to-digest and is one of the first contacts students may have with an FE provider.

In recent years, many Colleges have addressed the gap between digital and print communications with a condensed printed prospectus, which points to more detailed information online.

However, these printed prospectuses still have a lot of content to cover, and by necessity have to dramatically reduce the level of detail that can be included, particularly when it comes to course content. They are also expensive to produce, and become out-of-date quickly, needing to be reprinted and often leading to a lot of waste.

Historically, printed prospectuses include information on every department, every course, every facility and every option available for students. Not only does this present a problem with information overload, it is a very carbon-intensive way to communicate with students. Colleges printing yearly batches of prospectuses waste thousands every year on pages that aren’t relevant to the reader.

Why build your own digital prospectus?

Instead of producing a One-size-fits-all prospectus, some Colleges are now offering an alternative – a digital prospectus that students create themselves from the website, tailored to their individual requirements.

Using technology embedded in a website, students can add all of the relevant course content and additional information that interests them, and then create their own print-ready PDF prospectus. Not only does this present the student with a personalised prospectus based on their requirements, it also reduces waste for the College, and cuts print costs.

Uniquely, it also gives Colleges an incredible insight in to the behaviour and preferences of their audience, and allows them to establish a relationship with students at an earlier stage. Capturing student data at the point of prospectus contact is usually impossible, as Colleges are unable to track exactly where their printed prospectuses end up. Tracking student use of traditional websites is fraught with difficulties, due to privacy laws surrounding website use of under 18s.

Individual course leaders or faculties can also create smaller, tailored prospectuses to showcase their courses and facilities when they run open days or department-specific events.

Using a personalised prospectus facility to create tailored PDFs, Colleges can capture useful student data and engage in meaningful relationships with prospective students.

Allowing students to choose which content they include can help you to identify your audience, know what they want, and help you to engage with them in a meaningful way.

PDF Builder from Lesniak Swann

This is a unique solution for Education providers, which turns website content into a personalised prospectus. PDF Builder allows students to create a digital prospectus that holds information tailored to their needs, avoiding information overload, and also:

  • Allows course leaders to create documents they need, reducing print costs significantly
  • Works with the most up-to-date information from your website, so documents will always be consistent and accurate, and reduces data-entry to a single point
  • Reduces print waste throughout your organisation, helping to reduce environmental impact and benefit your sustainability policy.
  • Multiple templates can be created and tailored to ensure that any literature is consistent with brand guidelines and your communications policy.


For more information, and to see PDF builder in action, contact Alex alexs@lesniakswann.com

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